Angels among us

 

Last updated 12/21/2021 at Noon

Kim Queen and Enzo, the Queens’ beloved great Dane.photo provided

There truly are angels among us, and Kim and Hank Queen, who live in Panoramic Estates, have a touching story that proves it.

Enzo, their 180-pound Great Dane, came to live with them when he was 2 years old, as his then family, who were friends of the Queens, were moving to a place that wasn’t suitable for a big dog. The Queens had lost their border collie/husky mix a year before to cancer. Kim had always wanted a great Dane. They had five fenced acres and even bought a van so they could transport Enzo.

Kim said he took a little time to warm up to them but, as soon as he did, he became the loving lap dog that Danes are known to be. A beautiful big boy, all black except for a small white spot on his chest, with very long legs, he loved having both Kim and Hank around all the time. Kim is an artist who works in acrylics and has her own home studio. Hank, who does healing work, also works from home. Enzo had another friend, the Queens’ 23-year-old toy poodle who still goes on daily walks with her family.


This past year, Kim and Hank both contracted COVID-19 and were very sick. At the same time, Enzo became very sick, and they suspected he caught COVID from them, which happens in rare cases. Although the Queens fully recovered, Enzo continued to not be 100 percent. A trip to the vet revealed he had some heart issues. The vet said he probably only had two to four more years to live so they were referred to a canine cardiologist.

Great Danes are especially prone to a life-threatening heart condition known as dilated cardiomyopathy, or DCM, in which the heart becomes so large, thin, and weak that it no longer can effectively pump blood to the body.


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The cardiologist made a much more dire prediction than the regular vet, saying Enzo might have only another two to four months to live. The Queens took him home, made him as comfortable as possible, and kept watch over him. He enjoyed going out into the yard and lying on the ground in the sunshine.

Throughout October he continued to grow weaker. It had only been a month since they had seen the cardiologist. Enzo stopped eating and drinking water in late October. When it appeared the end was near, the Queens lit candles around Enzo and kept a vigil with him through the night.

The next morning, he rallied a little and asked several times to go outside. He would go out and lie beside the greenhouse where he wasn’t visible from the house. Fifteen minutes after his last venture outside, Kim realized he wasn’t in his usual spot.


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Their five acres are fenced, but they have always left the gate on the driveway open, and Enzo had never left the property. This time, he was gone. They searched everywhere until it got dark with no sign of him.

Their searching continued for days, with posts to Facebook and other social media, and flyers distributed in the area. The Queens were certain Enzo had chosen, as animals often do, to wander off and die alone, but they wanted him home to be buried in the earth he had loved to sleep on. A month passed and no sign or word of him.

Kim and Hank went to the coast in early December to celebrate Kim’s 60th birthday. As they arrived, they received a call from a man who said he had found their beloved dog. Adam Silva was out golfing at Aspen Lakes when he hit his ball out of bounds on the seventh hole. When he went to look for the ball, he came upon Enzo’s body in the dry Cloverdale ditch. His body was untouched by any wild animals or raptors, despite having been there for probably five weeks. Silva wanted Enzo returned to his family so he could be at rest where he belonged. But how would he find them? Enzo had no tags, as his collar had been removed when he dropped from 180 to 160 pounds with his illness.


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Silva checked Craigslist for anyone missing a dog, to no avail. When he reported it to the people at Aspen Lakes, they said someone in Panoramic was missing a big dog. Silva found a flyer in Panoramic with the Queens’ number and called them.


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When they told him they were at the beach, he offered to take Enzo to their yard and bury him for them. They were astounded that someone would do that for them — with a dog weighing 160 pounds. But do it, Silva did.

He brought tarps to the ditch, placed Enzo on them, and pulled him to his vehicle. He drove to the Queens’ home, found the spot they had described for Enzo’s grave, and proceeded to dig the grave. Silva estimated the grave to be 3.5- to 4-feet deep and 4.5-feet wide. He felt fortunate to not run into any bedrock. Enzo was laid to rest, the soil returned to the hole, and then Silva encircled the grave with stones.

Silva is a Sisters native, having grown up and attended school here. He participated in the Heart of Oregon program, YouthBuild, and AmeriCorps. He credits his experience in those programs with giving him his work ethic and the skills to be self-employed as an all-around handyman doing general maintenance, yardwork, and any number of other tasks. Having had dogs all his life, Silva knows they are part of the family and hopes that “someone would do the same for me.”


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The night the Queens returned home from the coast, Kim reports she “went out under the moonlight to visit my best friend. This man/angel placed his grave perfectly as we had requested and went as far as encircling him in stones. I wept for Enzo and am so happy he is home. I hope to meet our angel soon. He said he will take me to the place Enzo chose to leave this world. Thank you, Adam! You are a man among men! Forever grateful for your kindness!”


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When Kim posted on Nextdoor about Enzo having been found by Silva, there were over 60 posts commending his kindness, goodness, and saying, “Adam is truly an angel.”

 

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