Memoir about Saying Goodbye to Companion Animals Wins Top Book Award

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The Legacy of Beezer and Boomer brings home the gold at the CIPA EVVY Book Awards

Doug Koktavy, attorney and new author, has been honored with the Colorado Independent Publishers Association’s top award for self-help books for The Legacy of Beezer and Boomer: Lessons on Living and Dying from My Canine Brothers. The award was announced during the annual CIPA EVVY Book Awards ceremony, Saturday, March 27, 2010 in Denver. The inspirational memoir about a guy and his two dogs has now gained national recognition as being a valuable resource for companion animal owners who struggle with saying goodbye to their beloved “family members.”

The groundbreaking book focuses on anticipatory grief, the intense feelings of fear, guilt, anxiety, powerlessness and depression that pet owners can experience during their pets’ final months and days. “A story with lessons on managing your emotions when your pet is sick is sorely needed these days,” says Koktavy. He wrote The Legacy of Beezer and Boomer because he couldn’t find help for his own out-of-control emotions and wanted to share the coping strategies he learned from his teachers.

“More than half of Americans consider their pets as part of the family; some say the number is closer to eighty percent,” he adds. “That is a huge number of people who will outlive their ‘children.’ My story describes my three-year journey when both of my Labrador retrievers got diagnoses of fatal illnesses. I was a wreck until I realized the help I needed was right under my nose…in the wisdom of my dogs.”

Conquering fear and guilt, learning to live in the present and accepting death are just some of Beezer and Boomer’s lessons. The story begins with a verdict from the vet that “Beezer has 90 days to live.” Doug is unable to come to grips with the knowledge that he is suddenly losing his best friend. He grows frantic with fear; his work and his own health begin to suffer as he chastises himself over what he might have neglected to do for his dog. What follows are some of the lowest lows and highest highs of Doug’s life as he says goodbye first to Beezer and then to his sibling brother Boomer.

During the soul-searching that transpired, Doug wrote, “I realized that their illnesses were just the catalysts to something more. There was a bigger story here. I was being told to write it…and so I plodded ahead, and herein lies the tale of two dogs dying and the rebirth of their brother Doug.”

The Legacy of Beezer and Boomer: Lessons on Living and Dying from My Canine Brothers, published by B Brothers Press, 2010, is a 328-page hardcover book with 47 black and white photos and 17 illustrations by artist Chris Smith.

Doug Koktavy is a creditor’s attorney in Denver. He has appeared on KUSA Channel 9 News, and was interviewed by Dr. Martin Goldstein, DVM, on Ask Martha’s Vet, Martha Stewart Living Radio, and also was interviewed on Blog Talk Radio. He volunteers for local nonprofit animal organizations and has developed a fundraiser for nonprofits called the B Brothers Project. A passionate sportsman, Doug has played ice hockey for years and competed in triathlons.

Copies of the award-winning book, The Legacy of Beezer and Boomer, are available at, at the Tattered Cover Book Store, Denver, and through Independent Publishers Group (


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