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Adopted on October 24, 2011 from Adopt A Boxer Rescue

Whelp date was unknown so we chose his Birthday:
October 24, 2006 - March 1, 2017
Lost to Mouth Cancer

Owners: Rory and Beth Downey


Kona was a very special boy but his beginning story was so sad. He was dumped by his owner at a shelter in Chesterfield, SC and I saw his photo on Facebook. His big, soulful, sad eyes stole my heart and I ended up pulling him from the shelter for Adopt A Boxer Rescue (AABR).

This is the shelter photo of Kona that was posted on Facebook that I saw. Those soulful sad eyes broke and stole my heart all at the same time and made me determined to get him out of this shelter.

Soon after this, it was discovered shelter workers were taking dogs to the local landfill and setting them loose and shooting them!! The shelter was subsequently shut down and taken over by the county. FOR THE ARTICLE LINK ON THE SHELTER INCIDENT CLICK HERE.

My wonderful animal loving brother was going to adopt Kona but when he got him home, Kona panicked and escaped from the car as he was getting him out and took off. My brother devoted nine long hot days to bringing Kona ice water, food, shelter, and toys in the NC woods where Kona was "camped out" and tried to gain Kona's trust but Kona was too fearful to come to anyone. I remember one evening my brother calling me and saying Kona would still not come to him and as he was getting in his car to leave, due to night falling, he could hear the toy he left him squaking in the woods. This just broke both our hearts. With the expertise guidance of Terrie McCanse of Washington Boxer Rescue throughout the nine days of trying to retrieve Kona, my brother was finally successful in capturing him on the 9th day in a humane animal trap.

However, Kona was terrified and not at all emotionally stable so my brother could not bring him home due to a senior dog he had for fear of how Kona may react to him in his current state. So I drove down to NC from MD and picked Kona up. I brought him home not sure of what to expect but to my surprise, Kona immediately took to my husband and I! The rescue had no choice but to deem Kona an unadoptable dog due to his unpredictability and because he was found to be a fear biter making him a liability to the rescue in an adopting home. So my husband and I offered to adopt him so he would not have to be euthanized, and due to my long time repoire with AABR and their trust in me and my dog experience, they allowed us to adopt Kona!

I am convinced Kona was severely abused in his original home. He was fearful someone was going to hit or kick him. We never once hurt him but if I merely lifted my foot to do something near him, Kona would hit the floor and start screaming. This just broke my heart to think someone hurt this sweet boy so badly. Kona just wanted to know he was loved and play with his toys. He came a long, long way after we had him and he blossomed into a totally different dog. However, he always had trust issues although he became much more trusting than when he first came to live with us. We worked hard to give him a stable, safe, and loving home environment.

Kona would come and lay on the couch with us every night and he always wanted to be petted. He was a gentle soul despite his fears. He still had those big sad eyes sometimes but there was a light in them eventually and he was happy despite having had what was no doubt a very traumatic past of severe abuse. Having lived with him I have no doubt he was kicked and beaten.

We loved him completely and we were very lucky to have shared our lives with such a special boy. Watching him blossom from the dog he was to the dog he became was one of the most heartwarming experiences I have ever been blessed with. All Kona wanted was to feel safe and to be loved. We were able to provide that for this sweet boy for the years he was with us before he developed mouth cancer and we had to let him go.

We miss you Kona and I especially miss my shadow following me from room to room. You had the biggest heart and you were the most gentle soul. I know you will be waiting for us in Heaven, as faithful as ever my sweet, sweet boy.


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