So much has happened since the last time I shared a message on my blog! Much, of course, I am delighted to say, has been wonderful. I am, however, sad to say that one of the most heartfelt events in our lives during this time was the passing of our beloved service dog, Duncan. Diagnosed in early 2022 with late-stage kidney disease, our sweet Duncan passed away on September 6, 2022. We were devastated, as he had been a very significant and especially dear part of our lives. He lived for 17 years -was with our family for 12 years. He was my husband’s service dog and a precious member of our family. I had never imagined the day would come when we would actually be without him, but when that moment came, it hit hard!

Read this blog about Sweet Duncan.

Duncan

After Duncan passed, I was so dejected that I was adamant about never getting another dog. I read a wide selection of books and articles about coping after losing a cherished pet to try to come to terms with our tremendous loss. I found much of what I read to be a great comfort in my grief. Among the numerous helpful publications that I read about the death of a dear pet were Rainbow Bridge, and the book, How to Recover From the Heartbreak of Pet Loss.  Among other steps I took to help myself heal was to research canine kidney disease and to donate money to the research of the disease. After a period of reading, contemplation, and praying, I gradually started to feel more positive and comfortable about having another dog again, and finally decided that I was ready to have another one. Then, as if the timing were almost miraculous, we were unexpectedly offered the opportunity to acquire Kenji. A charming, high spirited, cuddly Lhasa Apso – a toy breed – he nearly burst into our family with excitement and anticipation.

Kenji

Kenji officially joined our family and brought with him a needed boost of energy, warmth, and joy! We began to search leisurely and found an AKC  breeder, Cindy Holley – a divine connection! After speaking on the first day, we knew that it was more than a coincidence that we met. Cindy breeds Lhasa Apsos and shared pictures with us of her new litter (little did we know at the time that we would adopt one of the puppies). She shared a picture of Kenji one evening soon after with an offer to come and get him if we wanted him and we knew at that moment that he belonged to us, and decided to go get him. We had hardly had time to prepare for him—I’m normally very organized and always have a plan for everything, but this situation was indeed different!  Happily enough, the timing ended up being perfect; Leonard had been drowning deep in sorrow, much more than I had realized. Lenny and I were both ready to receive a new fur baby in our home and welcomed him with great happiness!

Lenny and I With Kenji

Me and Lenny with Kenji

Kenji’s name is Japanese and means “second intelligent son.” We acknowledge that Duncan was our first intelligent fur-baby, and we will forever remember him with love and gratitude. With Kenji’s arrival, we can still appreciate the love that Duncan brought us, yet we can now add to our very warm memories  special time with a new gift in our lives – Kenji.

With our two previous dogs, Harry and Duncan, we worked with Healing For Heroes to get both dogs trained for obedience and public access. Now that Duncan has passed, we will have Kenji and Harry (my husband’s Labradoodle) return to the training regime. We are currently working to get Kenji obedience trained and house trained as well as qualifications necessary for a Good Canine Citizen certification.

I am excited to open a new chapter in our lives by training our new fur baby, Kenji Goodson, who will carry on Duncan’s legacy as an obedient, trained dog and one we will look forward to spending many joyful, comforting years with.

We treasure our time with Duncan as a true blessing in our lives. We realize that time does not stand still and that we should enjoy each moment as it comes. We are deeply grateful to now have both Harry and Kenji with us, and we are so fortunate to have had access to the technology that allowed us to capture so many beloved pictures, videos, and memories that help us to remember Duncan. He will forever be in our hearts.

 

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