You will always be a part of me. In my heart and soul forever there to stay.


Kitai's angel sister

Michiko was my first dog of my own. She was tiny and sweet, a friend to all. She loved to play with her stuffed mountain goat that was almost as big as she was.

Sometimes I wonder if Kitai is Michiko reincarnated... After I adopted Kitai from the Humane Society my friend Judy came over to meet him for the first time she was a little taken aback... She said "I can't believe you found another dog with the same human eyes as Michiko!"

You see Michiko had this way of gazing up into your eyes... with the most uncanny expression like she was seeing into your soul... Kitai does the same thing, he'll just stare right into your eyes and linger there.

They play the same, they snuggle the same, they like the same kind of toys, they both love everyone they meet and they both get a little aggressive around big dogs that hover over them too long. In my heart I can't help but believe that maybe, just maybe, my little Michiko has found her way back to me.


Kitai's Angel Brother

Kotaro was a big goofy puppy when he came to live with me. With feet too big for his body and a happy go lucky disposition.

He and Michiko got along wonderfully even though he weighed 110 lbs and she weighed 8 lbs.

After discovering and treating a cancer on his leg when he was 8 years old, it was only days later that we discovered he had a massive lung tumor that had spread to several places in his chest wall.

Once the Vet told me that the tumor could rupture at any time I did the most humane thing I could do for him, which was to let him go before that happened. It was May 2003 I lost Kotaro to cancer and I still cry every time I think about the day I held his head in my lap as the Vet slipped a needle into his hind leg and with a final breath he was gone. To this day just thinking about that day brings tears to my eyes.

I'm not sure why, but in its own way I think losing a pet is harder then losing people you love. People understand the concept of death... I'm not sure if animals understand what is happening to them. I suppose they do as they are creatures of nature, but nothing in my own life has been worse then having to make the conscious decision to end the life of a being I loved so dearly.

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June 10, 2009

Levi, the puppy a bunch of friends and I helped to rescue from a high kill shelter in Kansas, the one I had asked for prayers for a few weeks ago is not going to make it. Despite top notch veterinary care the past few weeks and prayers coming at him from every part of the country he's just too sick and this morning my friend posted that "the light has left his eyes." Her other dogs all spent time with him this morning. She said she could tell they were saying goodbye. Since then they've backed off and left him on his own. She's taking him to her vet later today to let him go.

The diagnosis was Intestinal Lymphangectasia or IL for short. It's such a rare disease in dogs that many vets can practice their entire careers without ever seeing a case of it. Basically there is a defect in the intestines that causes them to become inflamed. This makes it impossible for the body to absorb proteins and other nutrients. The intestines then begin to "leak" fluid into the surrounding body areas. One of the specialists just told her the other day that Levi's intestinal tissue is changing and is showing signs of becoming cancerous. Levi has been through numerous medications and diet changes in the past few weeks to prevent this but to no avail.

So at just a few years old my friend has recognized it's time to let him go, which of course is breaking our hearts. Taking on the responsibility of a pet means taking on the responsibility of caring for them and making the right decisions about their health and peace of mind during good times and bad. I know that often the temptation is to keep them around longer because we can't bear to imagine our lives without them. But, imo, the kindest thing to do is to let them go when that light has left their eyes and if they are in pain, to end their suffering. It's not an easy decision to make. It will tear your heart out and break it into a million little pieces.

People say that when dogs die they go to a place like heaven called The Rainbow Bridge. The thought that Levi will be there, restored to health with other doggie friends to greet him is comforting our rescue group today :( That and knowing that as a group we were able to save him and our friend who adopted him gave him, without a doubt, the most wonderful life experience a dog could hope for being part of her family, part of a pack with her other dogs and just being loved. When I met him you could tell he knew he was loved.

If Kitai is the cutest dog ever then Levi is the sweetest dog ever just wanting to be close to you and be petted on. I think it's all he ever wanted out of life and thankfully he got plenty of it for the past year and a half. All dogs should be so lucky.

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June, 21, 2007

I haven't known many Shar Pei's but I seriously doubt there has ever been or ever will be very many as sweet and wonderful as Krinkles.

I met Krinkles about 8 or 9 years ago... And totally fell in love with him. Whenever I went to visit his mom and dad Krinkles would greet me at the door, follow me into the room then place his nose on my leg and would just sit there like that until I started giving him scritchy scratchy back rubs. He loved when I would run my fingernails through his bristly fur.

Krinkles was a very dignified dog, calm and regal but equally sweet and friendly.

When I found out the other day that he had passed away I was devastated for his parents. He had been the light of their lives for 15 years. To imagine him gone? Brings tears to my eyes every time I thinks about him leaving this world and them without him.

Krinkles nick name was Yogi Bear because he loved yogurt so much. I'm sure Krinkles is watching down over his mom and dad with a big container of yogurt and the gratitude of knowing that he was one of the lucky ones. One of the pets who was fortunate enough to be adopted into a home full of love and devotion. I wish all dogs could be that lucky.

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Michael James Keenan

Michael James Keenan
(And Charlie. Together again)

I'm so heartbroken to share this sad news that Michael James Keenan, the heroic man who saved a woman, a complete stranger from drowning in the SF Bay, then years later saved Bobby, his friend's JRT from a San Francisco apartment fire, died from a stroke yesterday

Michael had been slowly but steadily recovering from his ordeal when he took a turn for the worse last week and passed away. But not before acting heroically for the third time by donating his organs to those in need.

*Tears* for Michael's family and friends who will surely miss having such a precious being in their lives. I can't imagine their pain and loss.

Micheal is most certainly now an angel. May he rest in peace and always be remembered for what an amazing person he was and how the world was a better place while he was here. His spirit will continue if those who are touched by his legacy are moved to live as he did. Selflessly, with a kind heart and a deep appreciation for life whether it be their own, a strangers, or a friend's dog.

This story really tells us who Michael was...

Man burned while rescuing dog dies
(06-19) 09:31 PDT SAN FRANCISCO --

Michael James Keenan, who risked his life once before to save a stranger from drowning in the bay, died Monday at St. Francis Memorial Hospital of complications from burns he suffered while rescuing a friend's dog from a fire.

Mr. Keenan turned 44 in March while being treated at San Francisco General Hospital. He was moved to St. Francis for continuing care of burns he had sustained over 80 percent of his body in the Feb. 6 house fire on Russian Hill.

An artist and sometime carpenter and fashion designer, Mr. Keenan grew up in Maine but spent most of the past 20 years on the West Coast. He started a hip clothing line with friends that honored his home state, called Maine-iacs, featuring durable designs and vibrant colors.

"He was the kind of guy who would walk into any pub and walk out with 15 friends," said Owen Kelly, who knew Mr. Keenan since childhood.

In 2001, Mr. Keenan saw a car drive into the bay near the St. Francis Yacht Club. He jumped into the water, broke out a window with a heavy wrench and managed to pull a woman to safety. Her husband drowned.

"He will always be my hero for life," the rescued woman, Heather Rosnow-Laarif, said Monday.

Mr. Keenan had been house sitting for a friend on Bonita Street, waiting for renovations to be completed on his own apartment, when the early morning blaze broke out. He made it out of the townhouse safely before realizing the dog was still inside.

Mr. Keenan was a lifelong dog lover. He later told a longtime friend, Frank Hsieh, that he had thought he could get the dog quickly, but found he had to search a while before finding the 10-year-old Jack Russell terrier, Bobby, cowering under a bed.

The dog survived after treatment at a local animal hospital.

For several weeks, friends and family said they were optimistic about Mr. Keenan's chances. But he suffered an infection recently that set back his progress, and he had a stroke Sunday night, Kelly said.

Mr. Keenan was pronounced brain dead Monday. Even then, his heroics weren't quite through. He wanted to donate his organs, so doctors kept his body on life support for purposes of finding a match.

Friends and family said Mr. Keenan had a fondness for bungee jumping, Kung Pao chicken and camping trips in the mountains. James F. Keenan Jr., Mr. Keenan's stepbrother, said in a letter that was posted online during the hospital ordeal, "My brother is an artist and his worldly possessions fit inside the trunk of a car."

He could be counted on to show up for a friend's art exhibit, but had a joyous disregard for such things as schedules.

"He was a very sparkly being," said a friend, Stacie Krajchir of Los Angeles. "He had butterfly sense -- no time, no boundaries, no rules. If the sun was shining, he'd let the sun kind of lead him."

Publicity about Mr. Keenan's selflessness, and a blog started by his friends (, led to an outpouring of support and contributions to a fund set up to pay for his medical care.

Nearly all his surviving family members live in Maine or elsewhere on the East Coast, including his stepbrother; his father, James F. Keenan Sr.; stepmother Sandra Keenan; and an aunt and uncle, Bill and Barbara Boynton.

Mr. Keenan was heartbroken when his pit bull, a female named Charlie, died a year ago. Friends said they expect some part of Mr. Keenan's memorial service will be on the beach at Fort Funston, where he used to take Charlie for walks.

Keenan's loved ones are planning a memorial July 8 at Fort Funston. For more information, log on to

Michael James Keenan Memorial

You can visit visit Michael's BLOG and leave a comment for his family, and friends.

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Bobby's Story...
From critical injury to a triumphant trip home, this little guy is one tough cookie!

We would like to extend a tremendous Thank You to Pets Unlimited in S.F. for helping
Bobby and his Mom.

Pets Unlimited

Since inception, Pets Unlimited has been instrumental in saving the lives of more than 250,000 animals. By providing 24-hour veterinary care, community education and innovative adoption programs, Pets Unlimited has earned the reputation as the premier provider of comprehensive and humane animal treatment in the Bay Area.


Early on I spoke with Sally, an administrator, from Pets Unlimited, the hospital caring for Bobby (Click Here to visit Bobby's Dogster page.)

The amazing part. Pets Unlimited underwrote the $26,000 bill for Bobby's treament because the hospital when it was opened had a special provision that they would treat burned animals for free.

His injuries included burned pads on his feet, his nose was burned away, his ear flaps were amputated, burns on his legs, and he is blind... But last week when he went home from the hospital he was happy! Apparently Bobby is quite the fighter and he and his mom had a wonderful homecoming celebration.

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