Duke went on his usual afternoon walk with his owner, Gino Wensel, when he was stabbed in the head by men passing them on the path.
The force and impact of the stabbing was so severe that the knife became firmly embedded in Duke's skull.
Wensel said he was shaking after the incident and believes that the man stabbed Duke out of fear, thinking he would bite him.
“He (Duke) is just like that, he was excited for him, walking and running towards the guy. The guy thought he wanted to bite him, he looked scared and I think it was a nervous reaction.”
Winsel said he was not angry at the man who stabbed his dog.
“Duke wasn't bleeding, he was going on after it happened and the leash came off his neck and I had to run after him. He stopped in front of a school and he was looking for me. Then I called a friend to pick us up and we took him to the welfare.”
When they got there, they took a picture of him and X-rays before removing the knife.
“We went to see him and he is on a drip and when he saw us he wanted to come home. They said we might be able to get him back on Friday or Saturday, They just want to keep him for observation.”
Allan Perrins, spokesperson for Animal Welfare Society of South Africa (AWSSA), based in Philippi where Duke was taken, said the assailant fled the scene.
“Why anyone would launch such an unprovoked vicious attack on what is clearly a cared-for family pet and why anyone, other than someone with ill intent, would be loitering around with a dangerous weapon in their possession remains a mystery for now. Duke arrived at around 3pm with the knife still deeply embedded in his skull.”
He said Duke was lapsing in and out of consciousness and the head veterinarian found that the knife had to be urgently removed.
“The potentially deadly serrated blade had bent upon impact, narrowly missing Duke’s brain and almost exiting through his right eye socket.
"The surgical team led by Dr Zheneta Stoynova immediately sprang into action and prepared Duke for emergency surgery to extract the knife and deal with the gaping knife wound.”
Perrins said the operation was a success and felt Duke would make a full recovery and likely be discharged in the coming days.