Today we had to put our pup, Kenna, to sleep.

Kenna had been recently diagnosed with cancer. Last night she could hardly walk and was in too much pain. Today, she’s not in pain anymore.

When we first went to choose a pup, we were greeted by the sight of the entire litter wriggling around a blue kiddie pool. I remember being enchanted by all the puppies, but our whole family kept focusing on one bigger girl pup nicknamed “Half-Collar” (named for the partial white fur collar around her neck). Even as a pup she was very vocal and full of energy, which we saw that first day – after her litter-mates fell asleep, she was still feebly making her way around the pool, trying her best to entertain the people all around her. For some reason this seemed charming, and so a short while later we brought Half-Collar / Kenna home.


When she was younger, Kenna absolutely hated car rides, and would throw up every time. She eventually grew out of this, but for her early years she wasn’t well socialized because we couldn’t easily take her anywhere.

Kenna wasn’t the brightest dog, but she was so sweet and goofy. She didn’t know that she was capable of jumping up on furniture, and would freeze in terror when she was lifted up onto our beds when she was younger (she couldn’t figure out how to get down, you see).

20161128_092715.jpgKenna didn’t like the command “Come!”, but we quickly figured out that if you wanted to catch her, all you had to do was yell “SIT!”, and she’d stop, sit, and wait for you to come and grab her – like I said, not the brightest dog!

Every Christmas Kenna would get a present, and we all enjoyed watching Kenna try to get whatever-it-was out of the bag. Kenna’s presents were the only ones in bags, and so whenever she’d see a gift bag she’d get ridiculously excited, even if it wasn’t for her. And yes, this caused problems more than once, but she was so funny and excited, you couldn’t be mad at her!

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Once Kenna grew to love car rides, we took her on many adventures, one of which was the ocean. She loved walking around town and meeting all the people (who all stopped to pet and adore her), but she was unsure about the loud waves coming up around her feet. Eventually she decided that waves weren’t her thing, so she’d pull against the leash to get back to the car.

Kenna was always down for cuddles, loved having people come over to our house (because they obviously came just to see her!), used to play fetch with herself when she was bored (tossing rocks and pine cones and then chasing them), and didn’t like getting groomed, because she deemed the water unnecessary.

Late last year, we noticed a lump on Kenna’s right hip. At first we didn’t think anything of it, but a few months ago it started getting bigger, and the vet said that it was a spindle cell carcinoma – cancer.

20190329_151313_Film3.jpgFrom that point on our goal was to keep her comfortable. The other day she couldn’t get up the back steps and had to be carried in. Yesterday she slipped in the kitchen and it looked like she dislocated her hip, and for the longest time she couldn’t get up. She was in constant pain, and so our family made the painful decision to put her to sleep.

I knew in advance that my family was taking her in to the vet, but since I don’t live at home anymore, I wasn’t able to be there at the appointment to say goodbye. I asked my dad to text me when she was gone, and around noon my phone buzzed with the message “Kenna. 2007 – 2019.”

Our family lost a dear companion. My heart is very sad today.

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