Is your pet a family member?

If you are like me, you have a special place for Max or Molly or Mr. Mittens in your home and in your heart.

Our pets can be such joys! We laugh at their antics and cuddle with them when we need a hug. But when they are sick and it’s time to say that final goodbye, we find it hard to deal with the emotional pain. Even as we are doing all we can to ease their last days, we feel guilt over not doing enough.

And when we think about the days ahead without our cherished pet, we give in to the fear. We’re so afraid, in fact, we’re missing out on what could be our pet’s best gift to us.

I’d like to prove to you that even though you may be saying goodbye to your furry or feathered family member, these are not the worst of times…these are the best.

“Half of all American pet owners consider their pets as much a part of the family as any other person in the household; another 36 percent said their pet is part of the family but not a full member.”
—Associated Press-Petside.com June 2009

From tears to gratitude

You are invited along on a video journey to hear about an awesome experience I had with my two beloved dogs.

Beezer and Boomer both had terminal illnesses but they left behind a legacy of amazing lessons. If you love a companion animal—and especially if you are going through a difficult time as your pet declines—you might find my crazy story interesting or even helpful. Just click on the first video to start. Thanks for visiting. —Doug Koktavy

“This year, spending on Fido, Kitty and friends is expected to top $38 billion; a 35% increase from five years ago, as baby boomers, including empty-nesters, treat their pets more like children than animals.”
—Tom Sullivan, The Wall Street Journal, Oct. 8, 2006

Beezer was the best dog ever!

I just wasn’t ready for him to die…

I think of myself as a typical pet owner: The dogs get better food than I do. Saturday morning doesn’t officially start until the walk is over. And, if a dog is sitting in my chair, I sit somewhere else. I had this intense bond with them. I talked to them; sometimes I talked with them. I also learned to listen to them. From the time the B Brothers were puppies, I was struck by their selfless devotion to me. Their entire existence revolved around making me happy. They set a standard of caring that few people in my life have met. Lurking in these perfect relationships, however, was the contract from birth: our companion animals love unconditionally yet lead short lives. I knew this going in, but I always felt that day was far in the future.

The vet said, “Beezer has 90 days to live.”

The day I had refused to consider had arrived…

I received that ninety-day diagnosis right before Christmas in 2004. It wasn’t very merry at Doug’s house that year. I felt like I was being buried in an avalanche of conflicting emotions that I had no control over. Anxiety. Guilt. Fear. I was terrified of losing my best friend. Here’s what happened next…

“We expect our children to outlive us. Not so with our animals. Yet we take them into our homes and hearts knowing this is the contract: We will come to love them, but we will lose them.”
—William Porter, The Denver Post, August 18, 2007

“You are going through anticipatory grief.”

This emotional roller coaster ride has a name!

No matter where I looked, I could only find books on grieving after a pet has died and nothing on actually dealing with a pet’s terminal illness. Was I supposed to just blindly wallow through this episode in our lives, hoping I could manage to handle Beezer’s treatments right and still keep my health, my job and my sanity? Click on the next video for more…

“Deciding whether to end the life of an ailing animal is one of the hardest decisions a pet owner has to face.”
—Catherine Keefe, The Pet Column, HABT (accessed August 2009)

Were my dogs trying to teach me something?

Can animals communicate with us? Where are these lessons coming from?

I used to be a skeptic. It took a crisis to open my mind to just accept what if something was possible. And then I looked at the evidence all around me. There was the incident with the tsunami in the Indian Ocean in 2004, when the humans ran to the water and to their deaths while the animals ran to safety the other way. And there was the story about Oscar the cat, who knew when a person was dying and alerted the caregivers. And I had proof from animal communicators on dialogues with animals. And then I heard from my own dogs. As it turned out, both Beezer, a very wise old soul, and his fun-loving brother Boomer had an awful lot to say…





Since he was adopted by staff members as a kitten, Oscar the Cat has had an uncanny ability to predict when residents are about to die.
New England Journal of Medicine

The story gets better. Please turn to the next page for more videos and information about the book, The Legacy of Beezer and Boomer.

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