Dog trains man

Monday, December 14, 2015

Kenzo's Final Gift

I felt all the blood leave my face and could just hold on to the edge of the examination table. The vet immediately noticed. She grabbed my arm while the vet technician made an attempt to support my back.

Reality hit me hard. The time to say farewell to Kenzo had come. "How could it be possible," I thought. He displayed some discomfort earlier in the morning and was not himself. He could still eat and drink though and his stool was fine. I wasn't too worried but thought it was best to have him checked today and not wait until tomorrow when the vet office would open, so we drove down to the emergency vet clinic in the center of Copenhagen. I never expected them to find cancer, and in the far state it was in.

It was all looking so good earlier. Kenzo had been defying the odds after the vet told me half a year ago it was best to euthanize him. We proved her wrong. But her message had snapped something in me nonetheless. I had to face the fact I was dealing with some issues in my life, and the thought of losing Kenzo was the last push that made it all just too overwhelming, and I slid down into some form of mild depression or burn-out. During the day I would wander around with a dark cloud in my mind. At night I had nightmares about Kenzo in which he would fall, and I was unable to grab or help him.

Something needed to change. I unplugged from everything. No more mail, no social media, no more news, no more papers. Just Kenzo, Tilde, Merete and me. And so we trotted off into the dunes and onto the beaches living from day to day as best as we could. During those months it was as if time stood still, further enhanced by the timelessness of the landscape we were in. We didn't notice how late Spring became Summer, and Summer became Fall. Our short walks became longer. Kenzo was doing better. Slowly but steadily, he was improving, until he could again do a full one hour walk in his Valley.

The walks, the beautiful nature, and Kenzo's company, they all seemed to heal me too. When we returned to Copenhagen a month ago, I felt a lot better, we were both on the mend now. The future seemed bright once more.

I looked over at Kenzo, laying down in front of the examination table, half asleep, half awake, from the sedatives that started to wear off. I realized it had been Kenzo's last gift for me. He had healed me, during our last Summer together, he had healed me one more time. I walked over and caressed his ears, and told him thank you. Thank you for your last gift. Thank you for changing me into the man I am today. Thank you for always taking care of your family, of Viva, and of Tilde. Thank you big guy. I love you.

Slowly I felt the life flow out of him. It was over.

I left the vet office in a blur while still whispering his name and thanking him over and over again. Still, through all the sadness, I could see how truly blessed I am. Blessed, to once have a dog named Kenzo in my life. A dog that changed everything. I will never be the same, forever changed. Thank you, big guy, thank you.



  1. Oh, sweetie. Sending you the world's biggest hugs. Kenzo was truly an amazing dog (words adequate to describe him fail me), and the bond that you shared was an extremely special one. You'll be in my thoughts and know that I'm holding you in my heart. <3

  2. I can't imagine how you found the strength inside to write this, but I'm so glad you did. Even though we've never met, sometimes certain bloggers - and especially their dogs - find a way into our hearts, like Kenzo has in mine. I am so glad you had that time together and I am so glad you had to let him go. Perhaps my Jeffie is showing Kenzo around heaven. Sending love and hugs...

  3. What a true gift he gave you. Wow. Blown away through my tears. He was one special dog Leo. What blessing he brought you.

  4. I've been thinking of you since I heard the news. Tears for a beautiful dog today. Hugs and love...

    Monty, Harlow, Christine and Aaron

  5. My condolences for the loss of your dear friend.

  6. So sorry to hear this. Kenzo was a very special dog AND he had you. What a blessing.

  7. We are very sad because we know him for a long time. It´s hard and we are with you.

  8. Det er meget flot skrevet, og hvor føler jeg med dig. Selv har jeg for mindre end en måned siden også måtte sige farvel til min bedste ven gennem ti år. Quick var også en Hovawart, og vi købte ham i sin tid fra den forfærdelige kennel Hof-joy. Quick fejlede dog umiddelbart intet. Han var den mest kærlige, godmodige og skøre hund. Det er et utroligt bånd man danner til sådan en ven.


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