The Loss of the Greatest Team Member of All Times
Remembering Mr. Gunny the Boxer - Our Beloved Mascot
It is with a heavy heart that the Child Care Biz Help team must share the passing of a great friend and beloved mascot, Mr. Gunny - also known as “Gunny Houdini, The Greatest of All Times.” (Houdini because no cage could hold him, lol)
On Tuesday, April 18th, Child Care Biz Help owners, Daniel and Caroline Jens had to make the hard decision to lay to rest 11-year-old Mr. Gunny. With the compassionate support of Lap of Love, Gunny now resides in a place called Rainbow Bridge. Here he is restored to his youth, and able to run & play with friends. Here he is no longer in pain.
Those who knew Gunny, understand how cool of a dog he was, and how much he meant to the Jens family and the entire Child Care Biz Help team. There is a large void where he once slept, played, ate, and where he sat in client calls. Gunny liked to make appearances to say hi to his favorite clients.
To celebrate his life and gain a deeper understanding of his purpose, we want to share his story. As you read on, we hope you can see how Gunny not only impacted our customers, neighbors, family, and friends but also how he impacted owners Caroline and Daniel Jens.
“Dogs leave pawprints on our lives and our souls, which are as unique as fingerprints in every way.”
Chief Barking Officer
Gunny became the official mascot of Child Care Biz Help in June 0f 2016. During his time as CBO, Gunny often livened up the office with loud snores and smelly farts. Justina and Caroline spent many afternoons working together laughing just waiting for the next “silent but deadly.”
Gunny’s favorite time at work was mingling with clients at retreats that took place in his home. He loved getting unlimited pets from everyone that attended and the secret table scraps he would get fed just for being so darn cute.
As we mentioned earlier, Gunny also loved making appearances on video chats as Caroline talked with her clients. Every week, Mandy from Blossom Crew would start their video chat by asking to say hi to Mr. Gunny and every week he would rise up to greet her.
If you didn’t see Gunny in the background on a call you would hear him snoring as his bed was always right next to Caroline’s desk.
Though Gunny wasn’t the most productive, he will leave a giant void at Child Care Biz Help.
The Deeper Purpose of Mr. Gunny
In the cold, snowy heart of Wisconsin, Dan Jens, a US Army combat veteran, sought comfort and companionship after returning from a difficult deployment in Iraq. Struggling with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depression, he found solace in an unexpected place - a small boxer puppy named Gunny.
Named after Dan's Gunnery Sergeant from his time in the service, Gunny would become not just a loyal companion but also a beacon of strength and inspiration for Dan during his darkest moments. Dan’s wife, Caroline was also comforted by Gunny during those dark moments as it seemed Gunny knew the hurt and helplessness a wife feels as they watch their spouse battle with PTSD.
Gunny's life was filled with challenges from the beginning. In his first few weeks of life, he lost his biological mom during breastfeeding. As he grew, Gunny was struck by a severe fungal infection called Blastomycosis, which was initially misdiagnosed by a veterinarian. The medicine they provided only worsened his condition, causing his retinas to detach and rendering him almost completely blind.
Undeterred, Gunny adapted to his new life, learning to rely on vocal commands like "stop" to avoid obstacles and "down" and "up" for navigating stairs and curbs.
Gunny's unwavering enthusiasm for life was infectious. His playful antics, like twisting his body and wagging his stub tail when he was excited to see you, brought joy to everyone he met.
He loved nothing more than being out on the water, enjoying the sun and waves on the pontoon boat. The harsh Wisconsin winters, however, took their toll on the Jens family.
One day, when the temperature plummeted to a staggering 75 degrees below zero with wind chill, Gunny found himself in grave danger during potty time. He froze and frantically cried out, but Dan quickly came to his rescue.
Realizing that the frigid weather was too much for them, recent empty nesters Dan, his wife Caroline, and Gunny moved to sunny St. Petersburg, Florida.
Gunny reveled (and often sunbathed) in the warm weather, becoming the life of the party wherever he went, despite his many health struggles, which included cataracts, glaucoma, eye removal, cancerous tumors, multiple surgeries, and a terrifying encounter with a neighbor's aggressive dog. He always remained resilient, easygoing, and happy. Gunny was a true soldier, just like his papa.
His unwavering love and devotion were a constant reminder to Dan that no matter what challenges life threw at them, they could always find the strength to overcome them together.
The unconditional love Gunny showed Dan helped him see that he was still loveable, even when he felt like a monster in his battle with PTSD.
Gunny kept Dan alive, unlike many of his battle buddies, unfortunately, who have committed suicide due to suffering from PTSD alone. Between keeping God at the center of his life, and the companionship and love of Gunny and his wife, Dan has stood strong even during those moments when voices in his head tell him to give up.
What Was The Lesson?
Gunny's gentle spirit taught Dan the importance of unconditional love and the power of resilience. In the face of adversity, Gunny showed that it's possible to find happiness and contentment, a lesson that Dan carried with him as he continued to heal from the traumas of his past.
As they walked together, Dan would sometimes find himself complaining to Gunny about his struggles. But one look at Gunny's scars and empty eye sockets was enough to remind Dan of the resilience his furry friend displayed, inspiring him to suck it up and face his challenges head-on.
Help Us Make A Difference
In honor of Gunny and his incredible impact on the Jens family, we are proud to work with a non-profit organization in WI called Dogs to Dog Tags . Dogs to Dog Tags (D2DT) is on a mission to save at-risk, rescued, or donated dogs, train them, and home them with veterans who may be battling post-combat stress and anxiety.
Just as Gunny helped Dan through his own struggles, D2DT aims to create similar life-changing bonds between veterans and their canine companions.
If Gunny's story touched your heart or if you've been inspired by the love and resilience he showed throughout his life, please consider:
- Sharing this story on social media with #GunnyTheBoxer
- Supporting D2DT and give to the RIP Mr. Gunny campaign by clicking the donate button below
- Fundraise in memory of Gunny (click button below, then click "I want to fundraise for this")
>>> Fundraisers - You can also reach the D2DT/RIP Gunny Donation Page by Texting Mr Gunny to 44321
Together, we can honor Gunny's memory by helping other veterans find the comfort, companionship, and healing that only a loyal and loving dog can provide.
The team would like to give a special shout-out to all our clients and friends who have already shown their support during this difficult time. Thank you for walking alongside us.
As always, please let us know your questions & thoughts in the comments box below, and subscribe to our blog!
This is a very special way to honor a very special dog! Thank you for your support.
I am so sorry for your loss! He was a wonderful dog and an inspiration to us all to enjoy life!
Thank you Cheryl