Having a dog can be a very personal thing. For some, growing up with a dog has, and will always be, an important part of their lives. For others, being allergic to dogs makes it impossible to enjoy the special bond that dog and owner share. For Joe Kavaluskis, his severe allergies made it impossible for his son to have a dog. But for Joe, it was the thing he wanted most for his son. Logan Kavaluskis had wanted a Boston Terrier for as long as he could remember. When he was a little guy, he often carried a plush toy Boston Terrier. Logan loved Boston Terriers but could only dream of having one. As a child, he’d had lots of pets, like hermit crabs, hamsters, and lizards, but he always wished for a dog.
It was a tragic thing, but Joe had myeloma cancer. He battled with the disease for 9 long years. Nearing the end of the 9th year, Joe realized that time was no longer on his side. So, he had a heartfelt conversation with his wife about what he wanted for Logan’s 13th birthday. He told his wife Melanie that he wanted Logan to finally have the Boston Terrier Logan could only dream about for such a long time. Sadly, the tragedy unfolded in its own way, and Joe passed away only five days before Logan turned 13. Logan reached his teenage years knowing his father would no longer be by his side.
As is the way in life, tragedy is often followed by new beginnings. Here’s the way it worked out in the Kavaluskis family. Melanie had listened carefully to Logan’s father’s wishes. Truth is, Joe was known to be a man who “always loved surprising his sons”. She and Logan’s brother arranged for Logan to take a trip to get his older cousin a puppy. Logan agreed to go along because he loved dogs so very much. And that was the first hint of Logan’s new beginning. The family picked up the puppy and Logan’s cousin offered to let Logan hold it. Logan’s older brother began a video recording the moment Logan was handed the little Boston Terrier. Just as Logan began holding the puppy, his cousin told him that the puppy was truly his- a gift from his father. Logan simply cried.
It had only been a few days since his father had passed away. Imagine the great gift Logan had received from his father – who truly wanted to give Logan the puppy he had longed for the most.
Imagine how difficult it must have been for Logan to cradle that tiny puppy in his arms. His sadness over missing his father could never be completely erased by the little puppy. And yet, Logan realized also that years of wishing had come true. His father truly heard Logan’s wish and did his best to fulfill it. How difficult to love a puppy when loving his father was first and foremost in his heart… But, as his mother Melanie told iheartdogs.com, Joe had it planned before he passed away. Joe told Melanie to make certain that Logan had a dog as a birthday present. Joe knew that a dog would give Logan “a lot of comfort”. Melanie acknowledged that the new dog brought her entire family comfort.
According to ABC 13 On Your Side, Joe was known as a man of “big gestures”. As Joe was battling the rare blood cancer multiple myeloma, he was still planning one last, most important gesture.
Joe knew that Logan would become 13 years old on what his mother Melanie called his “golden birthday”. Logan would be 13 on the 13th of the month. Sadly, Joe lost his battle with cancer on January 8th, just 5 days before Logan’s 13th birthday. It had been difficult to plan anything for the nine years that he had been ill. Melanie said that “it was up and down” for the entire time. That was hard for the family. Logan told Inside Edition that his father always was planning “cool things” and “keeping them secret” until it was time to reveal the surprise. Logan said that his father “turned everything into a good, happy thing”.
Logan’s birthday arrived and so did the little Boston Terrier. Logan told 13 On Your Side that “words can’t explain the shock” he felt when the little puppy was in his arms and the ultimate gift was explained. Logan said that he had to ask “really?” just to make certain that he wasn’t part of “a horrid prank” and to “make sure it was his dog”.
Logan named the French Boston Terrier Indy. Now Indy Kavaluskis lives in Hudsonville, Michigan with his family and is so small that he can barely “waddle up the stairs”. Indy is identical to Logan’s stuffed plush Boston Terrier “Puppers”. Melanie told Fox 17 WXMI that Puppers was bought on a vacation trip to Silver Lake in one of the gift shops there. Logan was just 3 years old at the time, and he took Puppers along with him everywhere he went. The trip Logan’s family took to pick up Indy was taken on his dad’s orders. The name Indy comes from a snowboarding trick. Snowboarding is Logan’s favorite sport. Joe loved to watch Logan as he excelled at snowboarding.
Melanie says that Joe is with them because he’s a part of Indy. She says that everyone in the family feels very much as if Joe is there at times with Indy. Melanie believes that she and Joe have raised their boys to believe that “with every bad thing that happens it’s best to leave behind something good”.
Logan told news reporters that his dad’s last gift to him was the very best one. The family has been enjoying having Indy around because the tiny dog does what puppies do- getting into everything, running around energetically all the time, sleeping soundly when tired, and playing with puppy toys as often as possible. Without a doubt, Indy has become the clown in the family. He plays hard and sleeps hard – just like Joe Kavaluskis did when he was well and still with his family. Melanie says that Joe’s gift to Logan was “just perfect” and “perfect timing”. The family plays with Indy and Indy is helping them to grieve through the hardest time they’ve had as a family. The tiny black and white puppy has settled right in.
Fox 17 WXMI reported that the video of Logan getting Indy has been shown more than 100,000 times on social media as of January 30, 2020.