Kenny G, once known as Kifli, had a big, friendly smile, an amazing, multi-color coat, and a sweet and gentle nature. What he needed was a home.
Kifli came to the APL from the City Kennel in 2013, and immediately won the hearts of staff and volunteers. A large German Shepherd mix, Kifli was love in a fur coat. The APL concluded he was a “constant companion.” The note on his kennel read, “Looking for an emotionally secure, low-maintenance relationship? I am all you need. Let me sit at your feet, walk by your side, and I’ll be your devoted companion forever.”
Despite his handsome looks and winning personality, Kifli didn’t find his new home immediately. Perhaps it was because of his age; staff estimated him to be ten years old, and some people are reluctant to adopt senior dogs. More likely, though, he was waiting for Julie. When she met him, she knew right away he was her soulmate.
Kenny G was not Julie’s first dog; she had loved and cared for four others. And, each was the best dog she’d ever had, until she met Kenny G. He turned out to be exactly as promised – he was Julie’s constant companion. He didn’t care much for toys, and wasn’t interested in treats. He just wanted to be by her side. She describes him in a single word: “perfect.”
Kenny G had the best life with his best friend. Julie lives in an area perfect for nature walks, with plenty of wildlife. Kenny G. never strayed. Even when deer approached him, he turned his back on them, and never chased. Julie took him for rides in her convertible, too, where he was the perfect co-pilot. He even flew first class with her once to California. But none of this made him as happy as simply being with Julie, at her feet or by her side.
Kenny G’s loyalty was matched by Julie’s own. A couple of years after he and Julie found one another, the vet discovered a tumor near his liver. Surgery would be risky and very expensive, but would make him much more comfortable. With some trepidation, Julie approved the surgery. Kenny came through with flying colors.
Sadly, as Kenny approached fourteen years of age, he developed a heart condition that caused him to slow down, mentally and physically. Julie replaced her rugs with yoga mats, to ensure he’d be able to navigate the house safely. She rearranged her routine to minimize the stairs he would use. And he saw a chiropractor for regular treatments. As time went on, however, he became confused, and then anxious as his condition worsened. When his quality of life was not what he deserved, Julie made the heartbreaking decision to let him go. Kenny G passed peacefully at home, in the arms of the person he loved the most.
Though he is gone, Kenny is far from forgotten. Julie keeps his memories alive, and not just in the stories and hundreds of photos she keeps. He inspires her to advocate for senior dogs. She is exploring a project that will help those who adopt senior dogs pay for their medical care, and another that would pair healthy older dogs with older adopters, who would receive assistance in caring for them. These projects are a tribute to one very important senior with a permanent place in her heart.
Julie is starting to consider adopting another dog. She’ll look for another senior dog. She knows finding another gem like Kenny won’t be easy, and the new dog will occupy a different place in her heart.
She still misses her soulmate. Fortunately, Julie, like many of us who love our pets, knows she’ll see Kenny G again, many years from now. He’ll be waiting, smiling widely, and will settle back into his favorite place of all – right by her side.
Information about the Cleveland APL
To meet the adoptable animals at the Cleveland APL, visit our adoption center in Tremont at 1729 Willey Avenue in Cleveland or our PetSmart Charities® Everyday Adoption Center in the Parma PetSmart® store at 6870 Ridge Road. To view all of the animals who are waiting for loving homes online or on your mobile device, visit www.ClevelandAPL.org
or download our free adoptions app on your iOS or Android device.
Our Facebook page is called “Cleveland Animal Protective League”. Here is the link to it for your reference: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Cleveland-Animal-Protective-League/29396512928
Our Twitter handle is @Cleveland APL. Here is a link: https://twitter.com/ClevelandAPL