An Attorney Reflects on the Life and Death of His Labradors

THE LEGACY OF BEEZER AND BOOMER: Lessons on Living and Dying

“What a fabulous, heartfelt and enjoyable read (assuming you don’t mind some crying). Doug adeptly describes his transition from skillful attorney, who takes pride in controlling the world around him, to a soul-searching student who, under the tutelage of his beloved four-legged mentors, strives to live in the moment. In the genre of ‘dog vignettes,’ it’s mighty refreshing to read a journey of feelings rather than simply a comical description of life with a dog.” ~ Dr. Nancy Kay, author of Speaking for Spot.

Nearly 80 percent of companion animal owners consider their pets as family members. Most of them will outlive their “children” and will face the difficult journey of caring for and saying goodbye to them.

Grief after a loved one passes, including a pet, is common and many resources exist to help. Just as common but less well-known is the anticipatory grief many individuals feel before their pet passes, which can cause fear, guilt, hopelessness, anger, denial, and depression.

PictureThe Legacy of Beezer and Boomer: Lessons on Living and Dying from My Canine Brothers by Doug Koktavy explores the author’s overwhelming anticipatory grief when his beloved sibling Labradors, first one and then the other, were diagnosed with terminal illnesses. He comments, “This harrowing, sometimes humorous, and ultimately enlightening journey describes how I ultimately found peace, strength, and acceptance by learning to listen to my dogs.” He adds, “If I can learn this, anyone can.”

All told, this first-place recipient of the CIPA Evvy Book Award in the Self-Help category illustrates how one man – and by extension the rest of us – can earn “The Daily Point” and learn to stay present, cope with emotions, and ultimately find peace even in the most difficult situations.

Doug Koktavy is a self-employed creditor’s attorney in Denver, Colorado, who has played ice hockey for years and competed in triathlons. He enjoys volunteering for pet organizations, biking, running, and taking walks with his new Labrador, Dory.

Posted by JoAnn Turnbull at May 4, 2010 9:26 a.m.
Category: Pets & People