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The Legacy of Beezer and Boomer by Doug Koktavy (Book Review 2010-72)

Product Description

The Legacy of Beezer and Boomer is a memoir that offers new and transforming insights into our relationships with companion animals. When Doug Koktavy reluctantly brought home two sibling Labrador retriever pups on his wife's urging, he was sure the dogs would create upheaval in his already hectic life. He could not have known the dogs would become cherished family members and take him on a wild ride that would change his life forever. The trouble began when Beezer, at age nine, was diagnosed with kidney disease and given ninety days to live. Doug, by then divorced and self-employed, tried to manage the downward spiral of his beloved pet the way he did everything--by controlling it. He called vet after vet, searching for hope. He spent hours online, researching treatments. He enlisted animal communicators to help him converse with the Beez. As Beezer worsened, Doug agonized over what he might have neglected in caring for him. Guilt crept into his life. Thinking about the future without his best friend, he grew frantic with fear. His legal work and his own health began to suffer. Yet, it was the caring for Beezer that eventually led to an awakening for this ego-driven attorney. Beezer needed subcutaneous drip treatments, which Doug administered in the evenings. As they snuggled on the couch during those sessions, Doug poured out his soul to him. He also began to listen to his buddy. Even as Beezer was dying, he was teaching Doug about life. The story does not end there. Not long after Beezer passed, the universe had another punch for Doug. Now Boomer was ill. Had Doug learned Beezer's lessons well enough? Could he meet this new challenge with acceptance and peace? Many books deal with the death of a companion animal and subsequent grieving. This groundbreaking memoir on the dying of a pet invites you to share the author's pain and discoveries during that difficult period between diagnosis and the last goodbye.

About the Author

Doug Koktavy is a self-employed creditor's attorney in Denver who has played ice hockey for years and competed in triathlons. He is a moderator of the K9 Kidney Diet Yahoo Group and a member of the Bone Cancer Dogs Yahoo Group. He is on the Board of Directors of Bone Cancer Dogs, Inc., and is a volunteer with Safe Harbor Labrador Retriever Rescue. He enjoys biking, running and taking quiet walks with his dogs.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 328 pages
  • Publisher: B Brothers Press; First edition (June 21, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 098212600X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0982126004
SOURCE:  Author 


Let me start by saying that I was in tears at the end of the prologue.  Yes, I didn't even make it through the first chapter.  I have just lost my beloved Australian Shepherd, Blue, to cancer and this book really struck a nerve.  How I wish I had had this book a few months earlier to learn about the resources that are available on the internet.  I had no idea that there are groups online that discuss canine cancer, other illness and treatment as well as offer support.  

Doug Koktavy not only writes a heart warming and enjoyable story about his wonderful dogs, but provides important information about treatment and other resources.   The story is one of the best I have read in a long time about the connection between pets and family.  I could really relate to Doug sleeping on the floor when his Labs couldn't get on the bed, making special food, and doing everything with his power to make the pup feel comfortable.  I hope Doug goes on to have many more pups in his house since they will obviously be the best kept dogs in the world and anyone would be lucky to be reincarnated as one of them.  


  1. Thank you for sharing, Mary. I am so sorry for your loss. I totally understand your feelings. Take care--and keep the kleenex handy!

  2. Mary, I am sorry for your loss. I do understand what it is like to lose your dog. (or more appropriately best friend, companion etc). When my dog passed away a couple of years ago, a friend gave me a plaque with a poem called " the Rainbow Bridge" on it, along with Slash's pawprints. If I get a chance I will send you a copy of the poem. It is great.

    Thanks for sharing this. I will be looking for this book!

  3. We got a dog 2 years ago. It was for the kids. Well, the dog is my best friend. I can't imagine our house without him. I am so sorry for your loss.

  4. So sorry for your loss, prayers are with you.
    The house is so lonely without them when they leave, even if another is there.
    The book sounds good, but don't think I could handle the tears right now.


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