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Afflicted with Lyme disease, friendly canine still greets customers at workplace

By Staff | Sep 27, 2017

BARB BARRETT/The Luminary Lauren Turner of G3 Graphics Printing in Muncy likes to bring her dog, Duke, to work where he greets the customers. Most recently he has been diagnosed with Lyme disease and is under the care of a veterinarian who is giving him medications.

MUNCY – Taking a dog to work these days is not uncommon. These beloved canine friends bring joy and delight to other dog lovers. Lauren Turner, a graphic designer said she brings her dog, Duke to work on occasion and he is quite content to sit in her computer chair. Duke, a mastiff breed, is four, and has been with Turner since he was a puppy. “I found him at a puppy mill,” she said. “He was only 10 to 12 weeks when I brought him home and he did not know how to eat or drink out of a bowl.” She found him in a crate with 12 other puppies in Dallas, PA. “He was the smallest one, so I chose him. The smallest one always gets passed over.”

Duke is a ‘Cane Corso’ an Italian type of a mastiff developed to guard property and hunt big game. Corso means protector. In Italy they are valued highly for their companionship. Turner said she received certified pages for him that said he was full breed, however, the veterinarian said he wasn’t. “But it didn’t matter. We enjoy him.”

Just a few weeks ago, Duke got very sick. Suddenly he was weak. He couldn’t stand or sit well. “All of a sudden, he would just drop.” He was at work with Turner where they specialize in vinyl graphics, and Lauren told owner, Will Guinter, she wanted to take Duke to the vet as soon as possible.

Thinking the worse, she called Dr. Hocker in Montoursville and the first thing they did was take blood work. Fifteen minutes later Duke was diagnosed with Lyme disease. Medication was given immediately and he will be on it for a month according to Turner.

“We caught it and he should be fine,” said Turner. Duke’s appearance and pleasant disposition is returning. He has been on anti-inflammatory medications for about one week and he will be on another medication for about a month. “In a couple of days, he started to improve,” she added. “Duke is always looking for hugs and kisses.” Turner and Guinter both recalled a tick bite about a month ago and are glad they caught it in time, hoping Duke will continue to get better.

“Both Lauren and Duke are an asset here,” said Guinter. “He’s a good dog.”

“His color is Blue Brindle, he rides well in the car and he is obsessed with my two kids,” Turner said and added that her two and eight year old children have been giving Duke “extra cuddles” to get him well.

Meanwhile, Duke is at work sometimes to help Lauren with phone calls, social media advertising, design projects, and waiting on customers. She started in late spring on a temporary basis for two weeks and has been at G3 Graphics and Printing ever since. “The extra help is appreciated from everybody, even Duke,” Guinter said.

As of 2014 the Pennsylvania Task Force on Lyme disease reports that Pennsylvania is number one for the most confirmed cases. Many animals are now testing positive for antibodies to bacteria that cause Lyme disease.

Lycoming County is one of six that tested the highest with 612 animal cases so far in 2017 according to Companion Animal Parasite Council (CAPC). This is at a rate of 16.96 percent. The total tested was 3,609. This number reflects the total number of tests reported to CAPC in Lycoming County and represents a sample of the total dog/cat population. The Companion Animal Parasite Council (CAPC) is a leading source on parasitic diseases that threaten the health of pets and people.