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“Moose”… transferred from Horace Mann School in junior year … girls, girls and more girls … hard hitting football player … college material.
From Bruce’s 50th reunion greeting to classmates…
[Ed: And the award (predictably) for the shortest (six words) and funniest bio of all, goes to our one and only Bruce Kent. Unfortunately I cannot put a word of it in print… :-(
Life among the stars in Malibu…
Bruce and Katie (49th wife) are living happily ever after in Malibu, CA. According to Bruce, the only things that spoil their idyllic existence are a few “undocumented worker” issues…
Re their dog, Tyson, Bruce had this to say:
Tyson has never attacked anything on two legs. However, he has chewed up quite a few things on four legs….including two coyotes in my back yard a few years ago. Went right THROUGH screen door and nailed them both in about 30 seconds.
His greatest battle was indoors at a Super Bowl party when he jumped a Rottweiler-Dobie mix that stood six inches taller than he and had about 25 lbs on him. He locked on to the back (fortunately) of [Rottie’s] neck and would not let go for several minutes. The dog’s owner and I were carrying out about 200 lbs of dog locked onto each other to toss them in the pool (by head and foot) when Tyson finally relented. The other dog (Nelson) had been undefeated up to that point and his owner was heartbroken at such a crushing loss.
Tyson is a sweetie, but, don’t [mess] with him if you happen to be walking on all fours.
‘Man’s Best Friend’, cont.: “He’s gone…!!!”
On August 15, 2010, Tyson Kent, Bruce and Katie’s beloved “Amstaff” (American Staffordshire Terrier) and “only child” passed away from an illness of several months’ duration. Specifically, thyroid cancer coupled with paralysis of his lower spine and hind legs. A rescue, of course, Tyson was about 11. He died in Bruce’s and Katie’s arms at home, his fight to live pushed to the limit of his strength and beyond.
Since our 50th Reunion Bruce and I have been in touch several times a week by email. We talk about school day stuff, the economy and politics, of course, but—more and more as the years have passed—we chat about our beloved dogs: Bruce and his “Tyson”, I and my beloved “BJ”, a black Lab mix—now both deceased.
No slouch in the dog-loving department, myself, I want to go on record to say that—by word and action—I have seldom if ever seen such love for a dog as that borne by Bruce and Katie for Tyson. It was mutual, of course. Whether daily walks at the beach or down in the canyon or over at Pepperdine College playing “fetch (tennis) ball” on their lawns, or just playtime at home on the floor with mommy—it all added up to Tyson as the focus of their lives.
Toward the end of his life Bruce and Katie did everything they could to keep Tyson going, including surgery to remove a malignant tumor in his throat and a near-death rescue at the vet’s three months before his actual death. No expense was spared and no effort was spared as they several times a day needed to assist Tyson with his elimination routines. In the end, having lost the use of his hind legs, they even bought him a custom-built cart so that Tyson would be able to get around on his own (see video).
One can only imagine their grief as they endured those final months leading up to Tyson’s death…
And so it was with both alarm and a sense of relief (the agony would be over and the healing could begin) that I opened my email Inbox that day in August, 2010, to read from Bruce:
At 1:10 PM PST……..it was beautiful and quick.
It was more than I asked God to give us: we spent the last 30 minutes of his life lying together staring and talking to each other; our faces no more than six inches apart. He was clear and expressive and completely present…
Katie then came into the room and snapped a couple of photos as it was a beautiful sight. He then got up and moved toward the window and begin vomiting and convulsing as Katie held him on one side and I on the other… He then looked directly at me and died—our eyes locked not more than three inches apart. It did not last more than two minutes and it was over. I could not have asked for a more perfect or beautiful ending to what has been a beautiful and perfect time on earth together. God has once again exceeded all expectations.
Last November when my “BJ” (Blackjack) could go not a step further and was put to sleep in our arms at the vet’s office in Flat Rock, NC, I received the following inspirational note from Bruce:
The thought of “BJ”, of course, rekindles all of my memories about this time of year… [in 2009] when Tyson began his last desperate fight for life. There is nothing anyone can say or do to relieve the anguish of watching our beloved dogs fade. All we can do is to be there at their side every step of the way, and to know that, at the end, we held up our end of the loving contract between man and dog.
I share your pain and feelings, my friend… We are their guardians, not the other way around. Feel blessed.
Below are some photos of that time four months before Tyson died visiting Angel’s Rest —a very special place in Utah where Tyson could rest when the end came, and await the day when his mommy and daddy would come to him…
Last few months desperately trying to hang onto life as he knew it. “Farewell, Tyson, my boy. Until we meet again…”
“Enough of California and ‘Governor Moonbeam’…!”
Long in the planning, the Kents—Bruce, wife Katie and fairly new addition, “Gibson”—packed up and moved east not long ago to a beautiful new lakeside home in Sharpsburg, GA.
Sharpsburg is a small community just to the southeast of Atlanta. Not having visited yet, there is one thing of which I am certain about the Kent family’s new digs: no longer having to pay Malibu’s property taxes, they must be thousands of dollars ahead annually. I think that must have been one of the main motivators of the move, along with escaping the day-to-day economic, cultural and regulatory effects of the leadership of Governor ‘Moonbeam’, his administration and the California state legislature, generally.
Gibson, or “Gibby”, is another Amstaff rescue adopted following the death of their beloved Tyson in 2010 (see photos, above). Since their arrival there’s been a feline addition to the Kent “pack”: Bruce has expressed amazement over Gibby’s tolerance of “The Cat” taking up residence in “his” house!
Bruce tells me one of the highlights of his life is an afternoon nap curled up with Gibby. In the photo below you can see Katie and Gibby reflecting on life’s wonders staring out over their lake. An idyllic scene wouldn’t you say? Looks like a great place to retire, Bruce…
Our current plan is to visit the Kents in March-April (this year, 2016) on our way south to visit my sister’s new home in Nokomis (near Venice), FL, another Connecticut escapee. (Sister, Linda, class of ’64, hates the cold of New England winters as does most everyone of our age that I know. Along with the long-endured economic demise, like California, of a once-great state…)