A Note From Kenna’s Mom–Update!

Puppy Kenna on death row in Georgia (before she was rescued), 2006

Puppy Kenna on death row in Georgia (before she was rescued), 2006

Reposting (originally posted on September 18, 2008–see update below):

Yesterday I received this wonderful message from Sheryl, Kenna’s mom. Kenna’s story is told in Chapter 17 of 8 State Hurricane Kate. Sheryl gave me permission to share this with you:

About a month ago I received an e-mail from Kenna’s foster mother, Rebecca, letting me know that Kenna’s story was to be included in a book. I immediately ordered 8 State Hurricane Kate. Ironcially, the book arrived just as another hurricane, Gustav, was bearing down on Baton Rouge. I wept the entire time I read the book. Jenny, you have truly impacted my life. To fully understand the affect you have had on both Kenna and myself, you need to know more of our story.

In November of 2004 I fled Georgia with only the clothes I could carry. I was leaving an abusive marriage in search of a new beginning. I landed in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. In fleeing, I had to leave everything behind, including my beloved golden retriever. Through the divorce proceedings, I tried to get my dog back, but the best I could do was get visitation rights. In August, I experienced the ravages of hurricane Katrina in a small apartment in Baton Rouge. With no family and only a few friends, I was terrified. I heard about the efforts going on at Lamar Dixon and wanted to help. But I was so fragile, just trying to make it through each day was all I could handle, I couldn’t give any more of myself. For weeks, I didn’t have electricity, phone, or water. I was the senior manager for my company in Louisiana and as such I had my hands full trying to make sure all my staff was evacuated from New Orleans and that they were safe. Work was the only thing that kept me going during those days. Then Rita hit and Baton Rouge suffered more than it did during Katrina. Emotionally spent, and grieving over lost family members and pets, I and the other residents of Baton Rouge struggled through the rest of the year. It was during this tragedy that I found my home in this wonderful city.

Many months later, I was given my male ACD, Bleu, by a wonderful man. I fell in love with the breed. I was on Dogster.com one day researching the breed and happened to come across Kenna’s web page. My heart filled with a joy I had never known and it seemed as though Kenna was speaking to me. After working with Rebecca and finalizing the adoption, I took my little Kenna home. She and Bleu quickly became inseparable. On Christmas day of 2007, while grooming Kenna, I found a lump. Panic and worry set in. As soon as I could get an appointment, I took Kenna to the vet. They immediately performed surgery and removed the tumor from her chest. They sent the mass off to pathology to be tested. They told me that we would get the results in two weeks. After a very anxious couple of weeks, the vet told me that the lab lost the sample. They needed more tissue to do testing. My little girl had to go through more surgery! After the second surgery, the clinic called back. They found the original sample. Tests confirmed that Kenna had a soft tissue sarcoma. That’s cancer of the connective tissue. I was devastated, but immediately decided to proceed with radiation treatments. I borrowed everything I could and sold off some of my retirement investments to pay for her treatment. Family and friends couldn’t understand my commitment to this young dog. Three times a week for seven weeks, I took Kenna to the LSU Veterinary School of Medicine for treatments. I had to, I understood what my little girl was going through. I too had had cancer. Twenty years ago. I survived, I knew she could too! Caring for Kenna restored my purpose and rejuvenated my will to live my own life.

Today, she is in remission and is as playful as a puppy. Jenny, you are my angel. If you hadn’t saved Kate, Kenna wouldn’t have been pulled from that gas chamber in time. She never would have come to me.

We are all connected. Your actions impacted my life. You were Kate’s savior, and through your effort, you have become mine and Kenna’s savior as well.

Thank you for all you do.


P.S. – Kenna has her own web-page out on Dogster. You can go the the following link to see updated pictures…http://www.dogster.com/dogs/418662

Update: In 2012 I had the pleasure of meeting Sheryl, Kenna, and Bleu in person. I’m very grateful to Sheryl for writing to me and telling me their story. We have become friends. 🙂 Sheryl has also generously supported rescue efforts to help other dogs, for which I am very grateful. ~ Jenny


Bleu, Sheryl and Kenna, October 2012

Bleu, Sheryl and Kenna, October 2012


Kenna, October 2012

Kenna, October 2012 (same ears!)


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