Monday, December 21, 2009

A present from Kennedy & Poppy

Dear Kennedy:

What a surprise today on our walk through Willamette Univeristy..there, in front of us, was a new Penn tennis ball -- the kind I play with every day! This one was special, because it had the word "coach" on it we knew it had to be from you, letting us know you are okay and you truly are on our walk everyday with us!! What a great Christmas gift!!

Lots of love!!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

lLicking the bowl

Dear Kennedy: I "get" it now....your picture on the blog shows you licking the beaters. Mom made Christmas cookies the other day..and automatically put the bowl on the floor..and I just stared at her. I did not know I was suppose to "clean" it!!


Sunday, December 13, 2009

it has been a while...

Dear Kennedy: It seems like ages since we have communicated, but our computer was locked away due to an office finally I can tell you and Poppy what we have been doing, even though we feel you checking in on us all the time! As YOU know only too well, this is the time of year mom loves watching those Lifetime and Hallmark movies...not that I do enjoy them too, all cuddle up. I am getting along famously with Kate and Chumley at dog park, my two morning friends, and we have so much fun together. One of these days we will get a picture of all 3 of us posted here.

The aunts and uncles had a fun Christmas gathering at the apartment last was a little "strange" when they came back, and Uncle Jim could not find the car, and they were all worried it was towed pehaps, but Uncle Mike seemed to come to the rescue. Do you remember these get togethers? They all seem so very nice, and played with me!

I have 3 stockings hung by the fireplace!! All for me! Nothing in them yet...I think tonight I will see some packages, as I saw some things peeking from sacks when we went to the store. Mom says I am the ONLY dog with 3 stockings...!! Will write more soon...

Monday, November 9, 2009

Jack is two!

Happy Birthday, Jack!!! Two years old....and a special yellow ring cake for the champion !! Wishing you many, many more....and thank you for being such a special creature who has brought so much love and joy to me.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Still Champion of the Ring Tug of War at Mnto Brown

Glorious victory again last weekend...I still have not lost the yellow ring tug of war. Men weighing 200 lbs cannot even beat me, nor dogs as large as Great Danes. The only dog so far to match me is my friend Bearon (who is larger than me). We end up with the ring in two pieces (after tugging for about 15 minutes!)...but as my mom says, "That's okay, Jack, you still have not lost"!!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Rainy days

Dear Jack.....I caught you and mom huddling together watching a Lifetime movie while it was raining outside last week..and YOU were actually watching the TV!! I hear that dogs see better with the high definition TVs! xxoo Kennedy

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Guide Dog Puppies on their way to campus

Gucci is the one looking out of the basket....isn't she darling?! I hope she is headed to the Oregon campus!!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Finally..can the truth be told?

Dear Jack:

The video of the Family Jogging Event is truly delightful and so fun to watch and is the #1 most watched video up here!! You were great, as well as MOST of the other dogs.

I hope now that you can work on the one issue I asked you to -- especially since it now is at least "referred to on tape"....i.e. Megan saying to Curtis and Greta..."Stay away from the hotdogs"!! Perhaps the editor of the Buck Banter will now publish the real story of what occurred that day in Sellwood Park and exonerate me from being the worst offender at a family function (when I grabbed the turkey leg at Patty & John's Thanksgiving event). As most of you do not know, cousin Greta "table danced" at Sellwood Park that day -- jumping on a picnic table of some poor, unknown family and tried to get some hot dogs. It was all hushed up...but know the truth can be told since the video is out!

Poppy and I are on our way to Ireland...all decked out in our green shamrocks!! We will take special care to make sure all goes well for Amy & Tom!

Monday, October 5, 2009

The Black Pack

Dear Jack:

Poppy and I watch with much interest and delight your new morning routine at Dog Park with your black buddies -- Chumley, a large 6 month old standard schnauzer; Kate, a 1 year old Great Dane and Black Lab mix, and Bumble, a 2 year old Standard Poodle. The four of you wrestle, tumble and roll around and play together so well...sometimes you engage Kate to tug with your yellow ring and it is all so hilarious! This foursome is indeed "The Black Pack"! Once you 4 get started, it is "Annie Bar the Door"...

What a way to start the morning!

Lots of love,

From the New York Times

Dear Kennedy:

Mom thought you and others might enjoy this article from the NY Times...

Life Lessons From the Family Dog

New York Times editor Dana Jennings writes every Tuesday about coping with an advanced form of prostate cancer.

Bijou, the family dog of Times editor Dana Jennings.

Our family dog started failing a couple of months ago. Her serious health problems began at about the same time I was coping with my own — finishing my radiation and hormone therapy for prostate cancer.

Since last summer, I’ve learned that my cancer is shockingly aggressive, and the surgery, radiation and hormone treatments have left me exhausted, incontinent and with an AWOL libido. These days I’m waiting for the first tests that will tell me the status of my health.

Even so, as I face my own profound health issues, it is my dog’s poor health that is piercing me to the heart. I’m dreading that morning when I walk downstairs and … well, those of us who love dogs understand that all dog stories end the same way.

Her full name is Bijou de Minuit (Jewel of Midnight) — my wife teaches French. She is a 12-year-old black miniature poodle, and she is, literally, on her last legs. Her hind quarters fly out from beneath her, her back creaks and cracks as she walks, she limps, she’s speckled with bright red warts the size of nickels, her snore is loud and labored (like a freight train chugging up some steep grade) and she spends most of the day drowsing on her pillow-bed next to the kitchen radiator.

Bijou’s medicine chest is impressive for a 23-pound dog: A baby dose of amoxicillin for chronic urinary tract infections; prednisone and Tramadol for pain; phenobarbital for seizures; Proin for incontinence – all of it wrapped in mini-slices of pepperoni.

She is, I realize, “just” a dog. But she has, nonetheless, taught me a few lessons about life, living and illness. Despite all her troubles, Bijou is still game. She still groans to her feet to go outside, still barks at and with the neighborhood dogs, is willing to hobble around the kitchen to carouse with a rubber ball — her shrub of a tail quivering in joy.

I know now that Bijou was an important part of my therapy as I recovered from having my prostate removed. I learned that dogs, besides being pets, can also be our teachers.

Human beings constantly struggle to live in the moment. We’re either obsessing over the past (”Gee, life would’ve been different if I’d only joined the Peace Corps.”), or obsessing over the future (”Gee, I hope my 401K holds up”). We forget that life, real life, is lived right now, in this very moment.

But living in the moment is something that dogs (and cancer patients) do by their very nature. Bijou eats when she’s hungry, drinks when she’s thirsty, sleeps when she’s tired and will still gratefully curl up in whatever swatch of sunlight steals through the windows.

She’d jump up onto my sickbed last summer, nuzzle me and ask for her ears and pointy snout to be scratched. It made both of us happy as she sighed in satisfaction. And she was the subject of one of our favorite family jokes as I recuperated: “You take the dog out. I have cancer.”

In spending so much time with Bijou, I began to realize that our dogs, in their carefree dogginess, make us more human, force us to shed our narcissistic skins. Even when you have cancer, you can’t be utterly self-involved when you have a floppy-eared mutt who needs to be fed, walked and belly-scratched. And you can’t help but ponder the mysteries of creation as you gaze into the eyes of your dog, or wonder why and how we chose dogs and they chose us.

Dogs also tell us – especially when we’re sick – of our own finitude. And, partly, that’s why we cry when they die, because we also know that all human-being stories end the same way, too.

Good dogs – and most dogs are good dogs – are canine candles that briefly blaze and shine, illuminating our lives. Bijou has been here with us for the past 12 years, reminding us that simple pleasures are the ones to be treasured: a treat, a game of fetch, a nose-to-the-ground stroll in the park.

Simple pleasures. As I lazed and dozed at home last summer after surgery, there was nothing sweeter to me in this world than to hear Bijou drinking from her water dish outside my door. It was if her gentle lap-lapping ferried me to waters of healing. I’ll miss her.

Monday, September 28, 2009


Here I am...all cuddle up in my mom's lap, while she "operates" on all my animals I "overloved" this week....


Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Our friend Darrel

Dear Kennedy:

Please look for our friend Darrel Valentine in heaven. He was recently mugged and died a few days later. It is so very, very sad. Mom and I met Darrel soon after she got me..we started a new routine of walking at Minto Brown in the morning before work. There was Darrel and his two older Labradors -- Velvet and Lady. Darrel was 74 years young...and walked over 10 miles a day. By the time we arrived at Minto, Darrel probably had walked for an hour or more. He was a gentle and loving man. Soon after we met him, he took possession of another black lab, Nike -- she was a little skittish but settled down under Darrel's care. How we will miss this wise and gentle man.

We hope the criminal (who was looking for money for drugs) who mugged and left him so injured he suffered a stroke will get arrested. So, please, Kennedy, look for Darrel..perhaps you two will start doing laps around the track in heaven; he needs a good Black Lab!! That would put a smile back on all of our faces at Minto Brown!


Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Family events

Dear Jack:

Please note to contact the editor of the Buck Banter about an incident that occurred recently that may exonerate me as being the "worst offender" at a family event. It is "Hush Hush" for now!!!
This is a "gentle reminder"...!!


Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Happy Birthday Kennedy from Jack

Hi Kennedy, it's me Jack. Mom was sad today, so I have been keeping her busy at the office throwing the ball to me, and playing with the other West Paw toys Ryan & Nikki sent me.

One thing she forgot to mention was on the first day of 2002, you "reversed" your walk -- instead of walking towards the Capitol, you started walking through town, and followed that walk ever since. She thought it insightful that you know to do it that year. Also, since the 9/11 anniversary is coming up, how you & she just stayed home all day together and watched the horrors and what a comfort you were to her.

We still want to mention your last heroic deed that never got you saw those 2 boys struggling in the water, and you barked and alerted mom to the impending disaster! I hope to follow in your footsteps.

Here's hoping all heaven has been baking those cookies for you...I am sure Poppy has been the taskmaster and organized a great Party for you!! Lots of love....Jack

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Happy Birthday Kennedy!

Kennedy...9/9/09....your tenth birthday. It was going to be a big celebration for
"my niner"! But somehow, I knew from the beginning, you were never going to live to see "double digits". I miss you every day.

At the office, Rob dubbed you "the worker". Whenever a candidate came to the office for an interview, you had to be in the meeting, too; we valued your input! Whenever there was a conference call, you were right there by the conference phone. A couple of times, we tried to close the door, only to hear you pawing the door. I remember one meeting with the head of the Dept of Revenue, when you let out a "stinker"....well, we never liked what they said in that meeting either. Once, on a conference call, a dog started barking ...and you raised your ears, but never barked back. You were the perfect office dog.

I know you and Poppy sent me Jack, a fun loving puppy who makes me laugh all day knew I needed him. I do miss my wise old soul however...lots of love and hope you have snickerdoodles and Nordstrom pink cookies all day long!!

Monday, August 31, 2009

Busy Times

Hi Jack! Sorry I did not get back to you re: the party etiquette, but as you know, we Kennedys have been pretty busy up here!! Plus, I wanted you to be YOU. Poppy and I were watching you that day...and you were absolutely PERFECT! You played well with all the dog cousins and the people cousins...and never grabbed all that good food! Wow...what a spread. Aunt Patty and Uncle John had all my favorites there. I would have emptied that buffet in a minute.

Enough of the accolades! Poppy and I are just enjoying peeking in at are sooo good and so sweet. We are waiting for you to do something bad. Next time mom makes HAVE to lick the bowl!! That was my favorite thing.

Our new campaign is to find you a new cousin......we think the Uffelmans should get a Portuguese Water Dog.....This time of year is a great time to get a new one!

Love, Kennedy
P.S. Be nice to mom now especially. My birthday is coming up - 9/9-- and I know she will be sad (even with you there!!)

Friday, August 21, 2009

Family Party Etiquette

Hi Kennedy, me again, with a question. There is a Family Birthday Party on Sunday -- will be my first ever "family function". Any advice on what to do and what not to do??? Am getting excited... Have met alot of them, but not all.

Monday, August 17, 2009


Hi Jack! Thanks for the note, please feel free to write me anytime with all these questions.
Yes, I understand what you are saying; mom's motto is "If you can't sing well, be loud"!

Some things you have to overlook, as she does let you do anything you want, feeds you well, buys all the toys you want, and stays home to play with you and hardly ever leaves you alone. we Kennedys say, "I don't want to hear any more yip from you on this"!

Our mom

Hi Kennedy....I have a question for you. During the week days, we listen to Paul Linman in the morning and Mark and Dave in the afternoon while we are in the car. However, on the weekends, mom puts the radio to 103.3, turns it up high, and starts singing along (whether she knows the words or not). My question is...has anyone told her she cannot sing on tune?

Other than that, things are going really well...we are having so much fun! I got a new "ring chucker" ...I love it, but I end up carrying the ring around, instead of giving it back to mom to throw!!

Give loves to Poppy for me.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Hi Kennedy, it's me, Jack!

Dear Kennedy:

Everyone at Dog Park misses you! When they see me, they ask my mom "where is Kennedy?" and some of them get tears in their eyes and say how sorry that you are no longer here. Wow, you were really popular here at dog park. They say you "cleaned up" the park really well...and there is even a "shortcut" path that some refer to as the "Kennedy bypass". One man said, in awe, that you were "humping until the end ...what a great dog".

I hope they all start to love me like they loved you. I am trying really hard. I play with everyone and do not play rough (and never have I humped or will I ..I think you are the only one they let do that!) Everyone is so nice to me..I like to carry around my tennis ball, but sometimes I get distracted and lose it, but someone always finds it for me. I hope to live up to your expectations and I hope you are there some days in spirit, walking around with us.


Friday, August 7, 2009

My favorite song now...

I will remember you....will you remember me?

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Thanks family and friends..I had the time of my life!

Thank you, Family and Friends, for making my life so special and so much fun. What fond memories. I apprciate all of you for putting up with me, especially the last year, when I had an "odor" that most of you detected, (but not my mom)!

Special thanks also go to my first family, the Kirbys, I was so lucky to stay in touch with them; my Auntie A who I loved visiting all the time and walking with Charlie, Garfield School employees who always asked how I was doing -- and Debbie who gave me treats 2x a day; Everyone at Minto Brown Park, who knew my name (though perhaps I did not know their name); Debbie (who had Smokey and now Bearon) who has become a great friend from Minto, Terri and Solomon, Susan and her labs; the list can go on and on there.

Thank you also, Salem, Oregon -- everyone downtown knew me and we would wave every day to the shopkeepers and groups meeting for coffee...Special thanks to Mary Lou Zeek Gallery for her daily treats and water bowl, (messing up her floor alot!) the guys at Shyrocks, Magoos for letting me be "a guide dog" several times inside the tavern; all of my Capitol friends and Marla & Jeff & Murphy - the first dog I met in Salem; the staff at Great Harvest who baked the wonderful Snickerdoodles for me everyday and asked about me...the staff at the Nordstrom counter in downtown Portland who fed me "pink cookies" and always knew my name, though it might have been months since I was there.

And speaking of "pink cookies" Auntie Kelly came and brought me two my final day and I gobbled those up so last meal. Thank you Auntie Kelly, for thinking of this and staying with my mom for 4 hours that day!! And to Auntie Debbi for bringing the chimes that night...I was so blessed to have such a "peaceful" sendoff....and all the flowers afterwards.

I know I have missed some...and will add more...but what a life! I will continue to write about
Jack...since he is too little to write..and frankly, he just is not that into it right now..he is having too much fun playing ball, and swimming and diving, and taking mom out on long walks and playing tug.

I had the best life...I had the time of my life!

It has been a while...

Greetings all...I know, it has been awhile since I have posted...but up here, we are busy and there are certain rules..that is all I can say for now. Anyway...I just wanted to fill you in on the details regarding "Jack" and how we got Jack and my mom together so fast.

As soon as I got here..Poppy was there, waiting for me and we both said at the same time..."we have to get Joan a new dog".....we both felt she needed a "cuddler" -- someone smaller than me, and then Poppy said -- "And someone not so food motivated, the family would like that"...I said, "What do you mean"? And he said..."Kennedy, remember Thanksgiving and how you grab the turkey leg"...I replied.."Poppy, that was for entertainment..I thought things were a little slow that day and everyone needed a good laugh"! I tell you , the things people remember about me!! Anyway, Poppy was following the Guide Dogs for the Blind, and saw this "little one" that he had fallen in love with...named Nexus...I thought he was perfect too and "voila!"..the deed was done.
We are both having a good laugh up here, because Jack is just running my mom around!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

And the golden retrievers

Back on..I forgot about the golden dogs up here -- Buffy, Carly & Kelsey -- they have been at a Golden Retriever Summer Reunion the past just briefly saw them before they left!

A quick check in...

Hey all...I am here in heaven...and I saw a computer. I think I will be yanked from it, because we are not suppose to talk to you mortals....but quickly, let me tell you Poppy and I are having a grand old time. Uncle John Lell, well, he is still eating his tomatoes with sugar on them, beating Poppy at cribbage...and both of them are eating sausages and hot dogs all day long. And the Chicago gang is all here too...can you say "Sprechen sie deutsch"??!!!

Opps...I have to run...but quickley...Mary Ann & Jim...I see Boey hopping around...Bliss was well named, because she is so happy, Shotsie is just about the coolest dog around, Pretty is spending all the time watching the new baby girl of the Uffelmans, and of course my mom's Booker, Paisley & Max & Noah all bombarded me when I got here! take care of yourself and get rested & get happy please...we all love you. Mom, you start eating something other than that Yoplait drink...and all of you thank you for taking care of my mom...I love you all and hope you will love Kennedy 2! You are the best!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

And a deer also!!

Yesterday morning...not only was the bird there...but a huge deer!!    This morning, just the bird.

Last night I attended the graduation from dog obedience class of one of my best friends, Bearon.  
Bearon is my mom's friend Debbi Oss dog.  He is a beautiful Shepherd.  

I laid on the floor and watched very carefully the entire class of about 8 dogs performing obedience.  I was very focused.   At one point, someone in the audience said "Perhaps we should have the old dog show us"...I think he meant me!!   Of course, I would have passed with flying colors, especially if there were enough treats!

Bearon was the best dog and I was so proud of him!  

Monday, June 15, 2009

Our early morning bird

Every morning for the past week, we have a bird chirping at our window around 5:30 a.m.  "Time to get up, time to go to work!!"    I think it is Poppy coming to wake us up and wish us a good day!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

My Poppy

How I will miss my Poppy...I remembered the first night I met him...I was so excited to have such a warm and cuddly Poppy..he fed me biscuits and from that day, we had our own special routine going on.  When I arrive at the house, I would get a "welcome" biscuit, and when I left, I got two -- one in the garage, and one he gave to my mom so she could get me into the car (I never wanted to leave!).  

Never once, was the Biscuit Box ever empty.  Even near the end, when Poppy was weak, Poppy asked about the biscuits and made sure there were plenty for me and Cori.  I will miss him dearly.   

I had the privilege of being "his dog" while at St. Vincent's and will post a picture of me in his room.  I loved being that close to him and bringing him comfort those 2 days.  

But there is a silver lining, my mom said...because finally Shotsie is reunited with a family member after over 45 years!!  Can you imagine that reunion?  

Poppy, we will miss you more than you ever know...but on our daily walk around town and Willamette U, we know you will be with us    (we usually go around 10:00 a.m., so make a note of it) !!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Sunday night redeux

My mom says I am like "clockwork" fact, she does not even wear a watch or set an alarm because she has ME!!  So, Sunday, I am out on "lookout point", since something happened LAST Sunday...and there I see something, and I start barking.  She comes running out again, but there in the waters was a BIG BLACK my swimming hole!!  She made sure I did not go down there..because they are mean and ugly.  But, as soon as he heard me, he started swimming away. I have a new nickname -- Rolex!  

We are all getting excited for the big wedding next week!!  i even get to go!  I have a black tie...I better get it out and get it ironed!  

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

The Big Rescue

My mom and I rescued two boaters on Sunday evening!!  I was laying outside, while my mom was taking her bath around 8:00, when I saw 2 guys in a big raft.  They appeared to be having some trouble...I barked and mom came outside to see what was going on.  The current was running pretty strong, and mom shouted at the guys, asking if they needed some help.  They were suppose to be at a park upstream, but had gone past it.  Mom said, you have to get over to our side of the river and get out now, before it gets dark.....she had to REALLY convince them that what she was saying was right...I stood by her the entire time.  They finally made it over to our shoreline, with much difficulty, got out and carried their raft up to our backyard.  She offered to drive them to Independence, but they had a cell phone and called their uncle.  One of the guys had no shoes,  and neither of them had a life jacket.  If I had not barked, who knows what would have happened!!  

Friday, January 16, 2009

observations from the hospital

I have spent the last few days at the hospital in Portland with my favorite person, my Papa!!
Tuesday night Auntie Patty called and said get up here pronto!  We flew out of the house and drove up.  Mom left me in the car and ran about an hour, she came to the car  & I was able to go in the hospital room!!  I ran up to Papa who was laying in this great big bed -- I wanted to hop up and join him!  He recognized me and was not even surprised I was there!!  

It was a few hours later, and Papa seemed to be getting a little bit better.  All the relatives were nice and thought perhaps it was my appearance that helped Papa.  If I could still eat "Nordstrom pink cookies", I would claim the recognition and make them all buy me cookies to reward me.  Actually, I think the credit goes to Auntie Mary Ann, who brought Fr. Rick for blessings and the prayers by everyone that night.  

Also credit has to be given to Nurse Helga.  The next day, Helga came in and said to are not "on the bus" today and you will not be "on the bus" tomorrow!  I did not know what she meant by "the bus", but my mom told me.  So, when walking today, we were stopped at the corner, and the city bus stopped -- I ran the other way!  No way was I getting on the bus!  

Now, every day there is a yellow school bus I see parked on Vitae Springs Road.  I told mom it is a good thing we lock the gate, so that bus does not come down our lane to pick us up!!

There are more observations that I will write about later!  Tomorrow is Papa's birthday and I can hardly wait to see him again!  

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

January 16th - a great day

We soon will be approaching January 16, a "holy" day in the Buck family.  We remember this day as St. Shotsie's Birthday and Brother Berard's feastday.  

And we need to add another event to this day, as my mom just remembered that this is the day the Guide Dogs for the Blind called her and said they had a dog for her to meet -- named Kennedy!!   Yes, this is the day when I learned I had someone coming in to probably take me to their family.  

So when Janet learned she was having her surgery this day... we said it was a good sign!  

I am progressing as well as can be with my kidney failure.  Am on a strict diet and now weight 95 lbs and have more energy.  I am eating all the right foods.  There has been times when I have not liked the food, much to my mom's anxiety, but we are working it out.  Been stressful for BOTH of us!!  So thanks for all your concerns and prayers.  I do catch my mom eating in strange the garage and the bathtub...but she is trying to be nice and not eat all that good food in front of me!!