Kodi Addendum

A couple of quick notes:

First, and of course, many thanks to everyone who passed along their condolences, prayers and good thoughts to us. It’s been a sad couple of days around the Scalzi Compound, and your notes and memories of your own good dogs and other pets have been helpful to read. I’m also delighted that the comment thread for yesterday’s entry reached 300+ comments before someone tried to be an ass on it (the entry was linked to by FARK, which I love, but which is known to harbor the occasional troll). That might be a record. And yes, I deleted that comment, and will any other trollish comments on that particular comment thread. People who troll other people sad about their dog are the very definition of “jackass,” and don’t rate the privilege of comment here.

Second, folks in e-mail and over at Twitter have asked if we plan to get another dog at some point. The short answer is “yes,” but the slightly longer answer is “yes, but we’re not in a rush.” I suspect most of you can figure out why that might be. Fortunately at the moment we have three other pets who will keep us busy enough. And before you ask, yes, I think the cats have figured out Kodi is gone and that we are sad; two out the three have been extra affectionate the last couple of days. The third, Lopsided Cat, is likely to show his concern for us by dragging down a deer and leaving it for us at the garage door. That’s the kind of cat he is.

Third, for those of you who want a last look at our good dog, I’ve collected some of my favorite photos of the pup for you, underneath the cut. Click through to take a look (and apologies to those of you on the RSS feed who are about to be suddenly inundated with Kodi pictures).

Thanks again, everyone. It’s been a privilege sharing a little bit of Kodi’s life with you.

118 thoughts on “Kodi Addendum

  1. All your Kodi pictures are wonderful. That’s the combination of you and her, of course. Thanks so much for sharing so much of your life with your fans, John.
    We have 2 dogs now, but our first one died last year. I’d never had one growing up – and Sasha was your kind of dog, big…Chow/Lab mix – and I had to take the day off from work after we took her to the vets for the last time, I just couldn’t go in that day.

  2. Oh, John and Krissy and Athena, I’m so sorry about Kodi.

    I wanted to reply yesterday, but I was too choked up to get anything coherent out. It’s not that I had a deep and abiding connection with Kodi other than the website–I haven’t been secretly visiting the Scalzi compound to play with her–but my Lab is also 13 and not-doing-so-well. We’re fairly sure that he has a rare bone cancer, and hearing about Kodi just hit it even more home for me. Here’s sending you lots of hugs and love, and keeping my fingers crossed about my own pup. I know 13 is a damn good run for a Lab (and an Akita), but it’s still really hard to think that he won’t make 14.

  3. Thank you for sharing the story of Kodi. A special story about an incredible relationship between a dog and a child. The obvious affection shared by your entire family and Kodi shined through the words.

  4. I always kinda thought Kodi got slightly short shrift here, compared to the cats. I suppose that’s as it should be, since they outnumber her 3:1. But as a dog lover, I appreciate the dog pictures here.

    My favorite: Kodi looking back over her shoulder in the snow. :)

    That one with Krissy broke my heart, because I’ve held and kissed and loved 3 dogs now that we had to let go. They all passed with us stroking them and whispering “Good dog. You’re a GOOD dog” in their ears.

    So, to Kodi: you’re a GOOD dog, Kodi. Good girl…

  5. Thank you for sharing Mr Scalzi. I can think of many things worse in life than being “suddenly inundated with Kodi pictures”.

  6. I love the way Akitas look. They always have such a concerned air, as if life is very serious indeed. Bet she took her duties as a Scalzi quite responsibly. She was very obviously a sweetheart.

  7. Hi John and all the Scalzi’s,
    I commented yesterday, and read all the comments about Kodi. Again: My Condolences for your loss.

    I just do not understand why a person would make disparaging remarks about the loss of a beloved pet and member of the family. They are indeed “Trolls”. They must have a hole in their soul to be so hateful. Thank you for taking down these kinds of comments. They serve no purpose other than to give the author some kind of sick thrill (I guess).

    BTW, I came across your blog on FARK so I am familiar with the loathsome species of which we speak. Have a good day and a better tomorrow!

    Skip, and Peanut the Dachshund (Queen of the World)
    PS
    Great photos I loved them!

  8. I am sorry to read of your loss, she was a beautiful dog and I’m sure she’d want to be remembered for the mecha bear defeating laser. And of course giving big hugs.

    I remember my first dog, she was bought by my parents just a couple of months after I was born so I would have someone to grow up with. To most people she was nothing special, just a black collie/lab cross with a white bit in her chest. Your standard mutt, but to me she was the biggest thing in my world. I think she was more upset than my mother on my first day of school, and certainly made more of fuss of me when I got back. When my father passed away I remember her dragging her old sleeping blanket and dumping it on my lap to try and comfort me. And I sadly remember the night when I was 17 and she passed away of advanced old age. I sat up all that night just holding her and she slipped away just after dawn.

    My biggest regret these days is that I live somewhere I cannot keep a dog, they brighten your lives in ways you just cannot imagine.

    Farewell Kodi, and my thanks and sympathies to you John and your family for sharing her with us.

  9. Much as I’m a dog person, I have to say that some of the Kodi pix above, especially the one with her looking over her shoulder in the snow, seem to say, “I’m embarassed to be doing doggie things; I’d be much cooler if I were a cat.”

    One suggestion, when you’re ready for another dog: get a shelter mutt. They’ll probably have some personality quirks, but will love you absolutely for bringing them home, and there’s far too many of them out there. I had a GBD (Generic Black Dog) that lived to age 17. Smarter than was good for her, sweet disposition although the mailman feared for his life (when really only his pants cuffs were in danger).

  10. Don’t apologize. (RSS feed reader here.) Your dog was so adorable and those pictures are wonderful. I am happy to have them “spamming” my list right now.

  11. Why’d you have to go and do that to me? Sitting here Sunday morning, going through fark, trying to figure what to mad/cynical about this week and then I read this and start sobbing like, well, me at the end of a certain Owen Wilson movie*. What really got to me was the “Oh-boy-my-favorite-person-in-the-world-is-here-!-!-!-!” reaction that goes to show how dogs have no sense of cool, they wear their hearts on their collars. I left my dog, Lucydog, with my parents and they say she moped around all weekend until she heard my voice from the front room and starting doing a move that I have come to call the bucking bronco. She will jump with her hind legs, then her front legs, and spin around like she trying to shake off a miniature cowboy**.

    A lot of people who read this probably won’t make it as far as this comment so please promote the idea of going to their local SPCA. If there is a certain breed that someone has had good luck with in the past they might find a similar puppy down at the pound. I got Lucydog when I was a broke college student, for the fire-sale price of $85, tax/tag/spayed. She could easily pass for a full blooded American Foxhound and she hasn’t had the first health problem. Your article really tugs at the heart strings and if someone was considering getting a dog this might just push them over the edge. You have the opportunity to encourage people to go consider the SPCA(or local animal shelter), not to the exclusion of breeders, but check out both. Shop around, think about it, buying a dog should not be a spur of the moment decision in any case.

    Thanks for the great article, I’ve got to go, somebody’s whining because she needs to go outside and go to bathroom***.

    *Shanghai Noon gets me every time.
    **Like Owen Wilson’s character in Night at the Museum.
    ***I have the weirdest parakeet you’ve ever met.

  12. Hello John,
    Thank you for sharing this most personal experience with our family.It is a very sad day when
    we have to say good bye to these wonderful animals.I have had a dog in my life since I was a
    child.I still remember “Lady” my very first dog.Now at 67 years young,I have lost a few more.
    It never is easy, nor can it be.The only peace I get from it,is they are not suffering any
    more.I hope when my time comes to leave this earth,I will see them all again.They were my
    family as are the four Blue Heelers that share our horse ranch in BC Canada.Kodi and your
    family are an insperation to dog lovers every where.
    Regards,
    Santino and Andrea

  13. Thank you for sharing your memories. I’m crying like a baby. People underestimate the impact that a pet has on your life. The unconditional love and companionship cannot be quantified and there is certainly a hard-to-fill hole when they leave us. My condolences to you and your family.

  14. Hello John,
    The pictures of Kodi are great! Thank you for sharing them.The one with the gray cat looks
    like our big gray cat “Hank”.We should have
    named him D7 he is sooo big.
    Regards,
    Santino.

  15. I’m very sorry to hear about your beloved pup. She always seemed like an awesome dog.
    I looked forward to new pictures of Kodi.

  16. John — yesterday you reduced me to tears and so I could only type a few words of sympathy. I wish I had the skill to write as beautiful and moving a eulogy for my beloved deceased ladies as you did for Kodi.

    Thank you for the lovely pictures.

  17. John,

    Condolences on your loss. Your post brought tears. We lost our first dog on, of all things, Donna’s birthday. Rending comes close to describing the feeling.

    We waited a bit over a year before getting another and we were glad we did. The distance made it easier to not try to turn the new dog into the old dog (which wouldn’t have been possible, but dogs can be made neurotic, too).

    Curiously enough (and suggesting nothing more than the peculiarities of a random universe) our first dog was named Kory. It took us almost a month to find a name for the new one and we struggled not to duplicate, but the accidental utterance of certain phonemes prompted a response and she is named Coffey. Kory, Coffey…a pattern? Not at all. Does Coffey remind us of Kory? Only by being very different.

    But in one way the same—a good dog is a good dog and there’s nothing quite like that relationship.

    Take care.

    Mark

  18. Lost my Good Guy a little over a year ago. An aged 15 Labrador mix. I’m convinced that there was a time that he saved my wife’s life for a while when she was really sick.

    He was a good friend too. It is bitter sweet when we lose our friends. We feel their loss, but their presence remains as we share our memories.

    Watery eyes return…

  19. What a beautiful dog! I’m so sorry for you and your family’s loss. I know you have many good thoughts going out to you now, but add mine to the bunch. Losing a fuzzy one causes a special kind of hurt because they give us all their love and only want our affection in return. It’s pure and magical but also awful when it has to end.

    Remember all the good times and know that you made a wonderful creature wonderfully happy.

  20. So, so sorry to hear of your loss. What joy our pets bring! Your post resonated with me strong so much as I watch my old dog hobble around. As stiff as she’s getting, she still perks up when my husband says her name. She loves me, too, but like you, I know I’m not my dog’s primary person. It’s enough.
    Beautiful of your wife to hold Kodi close while she went on her way.
    All my best,
    Jen

  21. Looks like you got on MeFi too. At least the trolls are much rarer over there. I keep meaning to join, been lurking there for about 10 years.

  22. Even when they are very old, even when you have done all you can, it hurts, hurts, hurts when they go. My condolences to you all. I will remember fondly your photos of a very patient Kodi lying next to your diabolical cat army, looking into the camera with weary savoir faire. He was a good dog.

  23. So sad, yet beautiful. Yes, Time brings many things — including the loss of old & beloved friends… and the gain of new ones (who don’t replace those who’ve gone, but who add to the total amount of love in the world & in our lives).

  24. Seems like an amazing companion. If the tears of strangers from far away bring any condolences to you, I’m sure you’re feeling a bit better. Having lost a pet at 15 years old, I understand the pain of the loss, but also the joy in knowing a good dog led a great life.

  25. Hey John? No need to apologize for flooding my RSS feed with Kodi pics. Those were wonderful and Kodi sounds like a great dog. It’s so tough to lose a great pet like her… but the pictures make clear the joy she brought you. Thanks for sharing these.

  26. Beautiful pictures as always.

    We adopted an Akita from our local animal control last month, after finally buying a house. Mal was a “stray” (my vet says he was no doubt kicked out on the street by someone who couldn’t afford to feed or house him anymore).

    He’s almost entirely housebroken, sits, stays, lies down, shakes hands and plays soccer with his oversized tennis ball, which he loves.

    We got him in part because of all the great things we’ve heard about Kodi. When they told us his breed I immediately thought of her and, combined with how calm he was even in the madness of animal control, said yes please.

    We owe you and Kodi some thanks for helping us pick out a fantastic dog.

  27. Our cat, Copernicus, has unfortunately had reason to visit the vet a number of times over the last few days. However, while we were at the vet the receptionist told us she had lost her dog a week or so ago which apparently, as far she can figure, has not overly distressed her cat. The cat has been bringing presents home, dead rats and the like, every day since the dog passed away. The receptionist thinks that maybe the cat is happy to be an only pet again and it is making it known that she doesn’t need another animal in the house. I suppose we can only guess at the true motivation for any cat’s behaviour but they really are funny creatures.

    Thanks for posting the beautiful Kodi pictures.

  28. My favorite pictures of Kodi had the cats in them, not because I prefer cats, but to see the antithesis of the proverb was always sweet and charming.

    My condolences.

  29. Lovely and heartbreaking pictures of Kodi. Thank you for sharing them.

    We lost our beloved dog Toby to cancer in 2003 and waited almost a year before allowing another dog into our lives. Casey is different from Toby in almost every way, except size (large) and affection (immense). I didn’t think I could love another dog as much as I loved Toby, and yet what I feel for Casey is every bit as strong. It comforts me that new love is possible after such a loss.

  30. What an awesome puppy! Gah, I’m gonna cry again. I gotta go give my pup a squeeze now. Thanks again for sharing such a touching story!

  31. Thank you for sharing Kodi with all of us. She was a remarkable dog and my sympathy goes out to you, Krissy and Athena.

    Do you have an animal-related charity to which Kodi’s fans can contribute in memory of her?

  32. Be careful of the, “That dog is just the greatest dog…gotta have him!” syndrome after your dog is gone. It’s kind of like losing a girlfriend when you’re young. Every girl suddenly looks terrific. I’ve had three old dogs die in my arms and it can really set you up.

  33. It is pretty easy to add IP banning to your blog site. A quick google search will show you how. Most trolls are either not smart enough or not ambitious enough to get around it. It is easier than continually deleting their posts.

    I hope your daughter is ok. I remember when I was a kid and lost the dog we had my whole life. It is a weird feeling. You walk into a room and instinctively expect him to be there. It is different when you are an adult and can remember a time before the dog.

  34. Well spoken, well spoken indeed.

    Sabrina and I will get another cat one day, but I know that cat could never replace Star; he or she could only succeed her. Sabrina lost a cat of her own some months before she came to live with me, and she feels the same way about her Demon that I do about Star. So we’ll take the time to choose just the right cat…or, I should say, to let the right cat choose us. Sounds like you’ll be doing much the same thing with a dog, when the time comes.

  35. Just saw the news. John, Krissy, Athena, I’m so sorry. We lost our golden retriever Clifford a year and a half ago, under similar circumstances (except I couldn’t make it back in time). It tears such a huge hole in your life.

    She was a beauty, and a good dog.

  36. For some in explicable reason, the fifth photo down reminded me of Penn & Teller.

  37. For some inexplicable reason, I separated the words “in” and “explicable.”

  38. Second, folks in e-mail and over at Twitter have asked if we plan to get another dog at some point.

    And since John’s too classy to say it, I will: please stop asking him that. It’s too early.

  39. I haven’t been by the site in a few days so I just now saw this. I am so sorry for your family’s loss, and so happy that Krissy and Kodi had a chance to be together one last time. Over my nearly 3 decades on earth I’ve lost 2 beloved dogs, a beloved cat, and an ancient but sweet hamster. It never gets easier to go through, and my heart goes out to the Scalzi family (cats included)

  40. My sympathies to the entire Scalzi family, including the cats. I too have lost a very good dog, so I do understand how much it can hurt. It will take time, but there will be room in your hearts for a dog again someday. I will join those who encourage you to find your next dog in a shelter or rescue organization.

  41. That last pic broke my heart.

    When my darling Murphy left me, I wasn’t in any hurry to get another dog, either. The hole in my heart was too big.

    But about 2 months later, we went to the pet supply place for vitamins for the iguana, and the Humane Society folks were there, and a volunteer had this sweet black lab mix puppy on a leash. He jumped up and licked all over my face and looked at me like “Are you my Mommy?” So I sat down to play with him. The longer I played with him, the harder it was to get up off the floor and go get the damned iguana vitamins. I sent the husband off to get them, and by the time he came back, I was in tears.

    That bottle of iguana vitamins cost $125, and came with a dog.

    I still miss my Murphy, and I always will, but Whiskey Jack is a pretty awesome dog in his own right! He just knew I needed him, and wasn’t shy about telling me so.

  42. I won’t rush you into getting a pup. However, I always share this experience when people I know lose a dog. We had already committed to bringing a new puppy home when Nala died, and still in a state of shock, we followed through and picked up our pup. It was wonderful. Best thing we could have done. Baby animals heal all wounds. Be well.

  43. I usually just lurk, but I wanted to drop by and say how moving your posts about Kodi have been. What a lucky dog, to have such a wonderful tribute and such a loving family – it seems like she had a great life. I’m sorry for your and your family’s loss, and it’s clear Kodi will live on in your memories (and on the internet).

  44. Absolutely fantastic pictures of a very beautiful dog, that not only loved her owners but was very loved. I especially love the pictures of her lying beside the cats. It reminds of me my dog and cat’s relationship. Well, except for when the dog is trying to get the cat to play, which more resembles something from ‘When Pets Attack!’

  45. Great pictures of a wonderful dog. Thanks so much for sharing your experiences of both your love and your loss.

  46. Sorry about the asshats. I went through the same thing last year when my friend of 14 years, who just happened to be canine, passed away. The best thing I can say is that reliving that through your loss brought back only good memories of happy times. I guess the sorrow really does pass in time.

  47. My condolences on Kodi. Losing a loved one is never easy no matter how many legs that loved one has.

  48. Im a pretty cold bastard. But I just read the first post and this one. I’m crying my eyes out. Just thought I’d let you know the effect that had on me, and I dont even know you or Kodi. Its amazing.

  49. I usually love the photos you post on your blog, but these are just beautiful. It is very obvious that she was loved. I hope the happy memories you have with her will help heal the wounds of her loss. I still dream about my Qui-Qui (long story on the name), which, to me, is like extra time I get to spend with him. He was probably the only dog I’ve ever had that had a sense of humor. We had a particular version of hide-and-seek that we played with him, which he became every excited about every time. We’d keep him in a brightly lit room while another person hid in a dark room, then we’d let him out into the darkened room. Sometimes, all you had to do was hide in a shadow, and he’d stare and stare and then pass you by, still unsure. It was hard to stifle laughter at that point, and he’d come back and stare, still not sure whether he’d found you or not. So cute. There are a lot of stories with him and I could go on forever. I love the dog I have now, a papillon, but he’s nothing at all like my Qui-Qui. He’s not nearly as smart, not nearly as friendly, and not nearly as easy on his toys. But I love him more than anything and he has a special place in my heart. It’s just a different relationship because he’s his own dog. I don’t love him any less, but I’ll never have a relationship like the one with my red miniature poodle, my Quiquers. I probably never will. They are all special in their own ways.

  50. John; thank you for posting the pictures of Kodi, and for all of the Kodi stories, too. Condolences to your entire family. There’s a Kodi-sized hole in the world and now memories have the job of filling the Kodi-shaped hole in your hearts.

  51. Aw, dang it, there I go, getting all teary again. Kodi was a beautiful dog, and I’m all extra soppy because we just put down our pug, Abby. I was doing okay, looking at Kodi in the snow; Kodi taking down mecha bears with lasers; Kodi lounging about with teh kitties. It was that last picture, with Krissy, that got me. Dang it, John.

  52. Kodi was the very definition of adorkable. The “Kodi Eyes Human Puppy with Skepticism” and “Kodi Impersonates Eeyore in the Snow” are especially precious.

    Yay for the lack of douchebaggery in comments, and, again, condolences to you all.

  53. When I look at that last picture, I think of all the times I’ve been in Krissy’s place and I know how much it hurts. I wasn’t there when Good Dog Carl died, though, and that hurts worse. I’m glad that Kodi was able to hang on so she could be with her person at the end.

  54. Reading about Kodi has me thinking about Buster, Camby, and Midnight, about whom I will not be able to write further without becoming incapacitated by tears. Instead, please accept this offering of condolences.

    2089

    “He’s gone,” the doctor said to the nurse, with the beeps of the medical equipment at the bedside as the only other sounds in the room. “She won’t be far behind.”

    * * *

    John walked through a darkened landscape, a dim grassy plain, towards what looked like the point of an approaching dawn on the horizon. He approached a lump on the landscape, which he thought at first was some kind of rock. Then the rock got up and started wagging her tail.

    “Kodi! Good heavens, pup! Is it really you?”

    –Right on both counts!–, John heard in his head. In a moment, John and Kodi were hugging and slobbering over each other (Kodi doing most, though not all, of the slobbering).

    “Kodi! You’re talking!”

    –Strictly speaking, I am thinking. Call this ‘thinking with benefits.’–

    “I’ve missed you so very much!”

    –And I you.–

    “I guess I’ve kept you waiting. I never expected to make it to 120.”

    –I’m not surprised. You lived in a house filled with love. How do you think I made it to 13?–

    After a long, warm hug, John asked, “So, is this what I think it is?”

    –The Place Between. We’ll be headed over towards the light in a minute. It’s not quite the way you’ve imagined it.–

    “Really different?”

    –Oh, yes. You couldn’t know how much better.–

    Kodi lifted her head to look behind John.

    –On the other hand, some things are just the same.–

    “Huh?”

    Kodi jumped away from John to Krissy, who had just appeared, and embraced her with enthusiastic slobbers of celestial canine love.

    –OBOYOBOYOGOSHHOWONDERFUL
    ILOVEYOUILOVEYOUITSSOVERYWONDERFULTOSEEYOU …–

    And this was just the end of the beginning.

  55. Beautiful pictures, especially the one of Athena hugging Kodi! Yeah, take your time getting another dog. We lost 2 elderly cats, Ophelia and Lyle, within 6 months of each other; leaving us with one cat, Fluffy. Gradually over the past 2 years, 3 other cats(Twilight, Moonlight and Psyche) have shown up and adopted us. We also get regular visits from our younger son’s shepherd-lab puppies (Mac and Moe). They are all wonderful, but we still think of Ophelia and Lyle often.

  56. I can barely look at the pictures, and cannot bear to read the entries. Know that you are in our thoughts.

  57. I’ve been away all weekend, so it was especially moving to read these posts after a joyful reunion with my own pup. My heart breaks for you, Krissy, and Athena. You three will be in my thoughts. I’m glad you have the cats to cuddle with while you mourn. Thank you for these photos, John. They’re beautiful.

    Good dog, Kodi.

  58. My condolences to you all. She was a good dog. You were lucky to have her, clearly, just as she was lucky to have you. You gave each other good lives. I hope that in time, all of your memories are of the joy of having known her, and that these dim the pain of losing her.

  59. It’s been very helpful for me to read your Kodi entries and every single response. When Kissyfur and Ramone passed (I wrote about that on your previous entry) I felt agony like I’ve never experienced before (still do) and I felt completely alone and lost. It is comforting to me to know that I’m not nuts in the head for feeling how I feel. I still hurt so deeply but now I understand that it’s okay to hurt and okay to grieve for as long as I need to in the ways I need to.

    Thank you everyone.

  60. Very well written article, you had me crying, then uncontrollably laughing with the Mecha Bears picture.

    Really brought back memories of my own dog who passed.

  61. John, thanks for sharing the photos, they’re great. I think my favorites are the one at the top of the post, and the one where she’s all snowy. She looks so happy/goofy in the first pic. And of course the Mecha bears gives me the giggles. I’m sorry some assclowns trolled your other thread, that’s just awful.

  62. Hugs from Misty (Mercedes Lackey) and me. Man, we’ve been there.
    A falconer can get attached to his hawk in a lot of the same way, in some really special cases.
    My redtail Cimun was with me for a lot of years and I still keep her eggshell and feathers with me. Her injuries caught up to her after some great years & she died in my hands, but I still smile any time I think of her.
    And I know how it is with a good dog, too. Xito and Toon made our lives better in a lot of the same ways dear Kodi did for you all. You all aren’t alone and now, your Mighty K-Dog is celebrated by thousands.

  63. Thank you for sharing how much Kodi meant to you in the previous post, and these lovely pictures. Every pet that enters our lives leaves something special behind, my wife and I have learned through our own loves and losses of animals that have shared our hearts. All the best to the People and cats in the Scalzi Compound!

  64. This RSS reader doesn’t mind in the least being inundated with Kodi pictures.

    And when I had my last great loss, one cat was uber affectionate while the other decided I needed mice. Dead mice. Entirely too many dead mice. So if Lopsided Cat leaves a dead deer at your back door, that would be a blessing. Because just about anything is better than stepping on dead mice in the middle of the night. ;-)

  65. She sounds like she was an adorable and sweet pet, who added a lot to your family’s life. I’m sad to hear she’s gone.

  66. Heartfelt condolences to you, Krissy, Athena and the cats. I’ve known akitas and you are enirely correct that they can either be fantastic or terrible pets. Kodi was clearly on the fantastic side of that equation.

    Our first dog, Sebastian, was a Shetland Sheepdog, smart as a whip, lovable and gentle. Sadly, we found he had epilepsy (the first time your dog has a seizure is a scary moment, let me tell you). The medication to control his seizures took their toll on his kidneys and he died after just 9 years right before Christmas in 2004 (tough year – lost my last grandparent, my mom, and my dog that year).

    15 months later, one of my wife’s co-workers had chocolate lab puppies available. We had been talking about inviting another dog into our family and it seemed like the right time. Rosie has been part of our family ever since she cam bounding out to meet us and, although she is a dumb as a not-very-smart rock, she is as lovable as they come, and fiercely protective of our 4 kids.

    Dogs truly are family members – it’s astonishing to me how some people don’t understand how true that is. Best regards to your family, and you’ll always have Kodi in your hearts.

    – Jim

  67. John, I’d like to add my condolences on your loss of a wonderful dog. I have to say, the picture at the top of the entry still made me grin, even though I knew what the entry was about; what a great personality that dog had! It really comes through in the photographs.
    Here’s to the day you will also grin at those pictures, when the pain of loss will not be quite so sharp.

  68. I used to be one of those people who always thought, “Well it’s only a dog, it’s only a cat, it’s not like a real person died”. Then our cat of 13 years died and I found myself incredibly sad. Your and your family have my sincere condolences.

  69. John-

    You and yours have my sincerest condolences on the loss of Kodi. I lost my dog about 6 years ago, and I still miss the big fuzzy guy. There’s nothing quite like being greeted by a big dog, especially when you’ve had a bad day.

    Kodi was very obviously well loved, and a member of the family.

  70. Oh man, I just read both posts and I’m sitting at my desk at work crying – it’s a good cry which is strange for me to say because I don’t like crying. Dogs and horses were a huge part of my life growing up in and around rodeo; we had a Border Collie/Aussie Sheppard mix who we almost lost many times. He even lost one of his legs and got the fond nick-name Tripod. We also had a paint horse we used for trick-riding named Scooter. Both lived extremely long lives and died in the same week. I still look at pictures of both of them and tear up. They were such a big part of my growing up, sort of like siblings. It’s difficult to explain how growing up on the road like that causes you to bond with your animals, but it was special and Kodi sounds like that special kind of dog who was family too. Thank you for sharing!

  71. Somewhat belated condolences. Losing a family member is hard, whether or not they happen to be human.

    The day I mind a few Good Dog pictures in my RSS feed is the day you are welcome to stomp my iPod Touch into little sparkly but heartless pieces.

  72. The following scene came to me this morning:

    Gatekeeper of Doggie Paradise [standing behind podium, stern look on its face]: “So… Kodi… prove your worthiness to enter here.”

    Kodi: “I defended my masters for 14 years.”

    Gatkeeper: “…and?”

    Kodi: “With lasers.”

    [Kodi charges his laser, burns a hole right through the Gatekeeper's podium]

    Gatekeeper: “Impressive. You may pass.”

    [Kodi passes through the gate to doggie paradise]

    Gatekeeper: “Sheesh… third time I’ve had to fix my podium this week…”

  73. Our son Larry called us last nite and told us he was sending the link to your website and yr notes on Kodi’s passing. He said it may him cry at work. We can relate. We lost a Good Dog, Sam, in 2008. We all still cry when we talk about him. They give us so much, and we have so little time with them. Thank you for sharing.

  74. Lovely photos of a Great Dog.

    I’ve had to help several of my pets, of both canine and feline persuasion. It never gets any easier, but having good photos helps bring back the better memories.

  75. I’m guessing the last shot is, um, from the last day? The bandage on her foot is hard to ignore — when I had to have my cat euthanized, they brought her in with her foot prepared, and it has taken on an over-large dimension in my memory of that time.

  76. when you do pick out your new dog make a point of picking him/her and not a replacement. a mistake all too often made. new pet, new personality, all new.

  77. That last picture is pretty heartbreaking. But also I bet your wife would not trade that moment for anything.

  78. That’s why I haven’t commented until now. The cynic in me would probably come up with something rather snarky, while at the same time realizes that it would probably be less than well received.

    For some reason, though, the laser photo reminds me of the MGM lion.

  79. Sorry for you loss. Everyone handles grief differently. A lot of people wait when their pet passes. Many people I know were shocked and surprised when I replaced my dog so quickly. However, the unconsious reaching for my constant companion and grasping empty air was unbearable for me. And, with the realization that his genetics are living somewhere in every dog of his breed, he was replaced with a puppy less than a week later. The new pup grew into another big beautiful golden boy, who, though not a duplicate of the first, is as loved as the first, with many of the wonderful traits of the first… and a few extra… he is willing, though grudgingly, to sleep with my 12 year old son (who loves him to pieces). Again, condolences for your family’s huge loss.

  80. My son sent me the link to these stories. My sweet Maggie behaved the same way toward me as Kodi toward your wife. We were joined at the hip and she hated to be anywhere that I wasn’t. She died of ehrlichiosis in the prime of her life and I grieve her to this day. And yes we got 2 dogs that I love and adore and who each have many, many endearing qualities. We also have 2 cats about whom I feel the same. But sometimes in our lives we are blessed with that one animal who is special in a way no other can be. I received such a treasure and will be forever thankful. I imagine your wife feels the same way.

  81. You’ve created some beautiful memories there, and, in the end, isn’t that all that is ever left, but what sustains us?

    You are right to wait a little while, but not TOO long. You honor everything that was right and good by taking another into your heart.

  82. Thank you for sharing Kodi and the other family moments that you do choose to share with us. I think it is pretty awesome that you got 300+ supportive comments but then you and your family are pretty awesome. I know that when it is time, the right animal will find you and your family and you and your family will be ready for him/her.

  83. Sorry to hear about this. I can count on one hand the past times I’ve cried in the past 5 years and the last was when Morgan,my childhood dog that I’ve had since I was 12, died in 2009. She was a sweet dog and she’d always make this little “love groan” when you pet her the right way. Getting a little teary talking about it to be honest.

  84. sniff sniff – whaaaaa. I can’t stop crying . Thanks for sharing Kodi with me and the rest of the intranet world. I’m so very sorry for your loss.

  85. My condolences to you and your family. You wrote a beautiful and touching tribute to Kodi.
    I lost my “heart” dog last April to cancer (abdomenal tumor as well). She was 11 years old and I was there the day she was born and with her until the end.
    Nothing can describe the devastation of saying good bye to them and sending them off to the Rainbow Bridge. Having them forever in our lives wouldn’t be long enough.
    Thank you for sharing your story and the beautiful pictures of Kodi.

  86. What a good doggie life she had! Thank you for the wonderful photos; it’s so hard to lose a good furry friend.

  87. My Stitch is a bull terrier I purchased sight unseen on the internet. She was shipped too young, not fed on the plane and nearly died. She was 2.2 pounds. She slept on my neck.

    http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y35/TraumaMamma/DDpictures026.jpg

    When we got her, the Vet wrote her off for dead. She was barely 4 wks, not even should have been weaned and very ill.

    But she lived, as I devoted everything I had into saving her. And she has the brain and speed of a border collie with the occasional stubborness of a bully breed. She became Therapy dog certifed and goes into nursing homes, schools and hospitals. She loves to go to work and meet people.

    We added two more bull terriers and they, too, mourn when one is sick or at the vet. She let them as pups nurse on her until her own nipples started to chafe. She mothered them.

    I am her person, although I do share equal time with my youngest daughter. I know all too well the secrets a dog can keep and the pain they seem to understand you are having, or even wanting to share in the joy.

    I do not know how I will get thru the days when I do not hear the toenails clacking on the floor and see her waiting for me. I love her the most, although I love all my dogs.

    She was my first. She “gets me”.

    I feared the day I had to let her go. She hates the vet, probably because her first experiences she was barely a pup and almost died. I have pondered how I could make it better.

    I’ll pray for a mild season and hope I can lay with her one last time. She loves to soak up the sun. That is just how it should be.

    http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y35/TraumaMamma/000_0748.jpg

    Thank you for your beautiful story. :)

    Donna the 911 operator in Ohio.

  88. I’m very sad to hear of the loss of your twerzon – a pet starts off as an animal and then becomes a sort of halfway between animal and person with lots of personality and mutual love – a twerzon.

    Thank you for sharing your relationship with her and making us all cry a little (or a lot).

  89. Anyone’s life is made all the richer if you get to share it with/ be loved by a ‘good dog.’ And I’m pretty sure their life was made better for being part of yours. However, I do have to admit my cats were ecstatic that my partner’s dog, the ‘big white thing that tried to eat them (until they realized they had claws and could use them)’ was gone- but they missed my dog and mourned her passing for months. She hadn’t tried to eat them, so this may have had something to do with their grief.
    I’m saddened by your loss and hope that you will get another dog when the time is right- life is too short not to share it with animals. Maybe a ‘pound dog’?

  90. Love the photos – particularly the fourth one with Kodi doing her Yoda impression. Our own akita (Bear – not very original, sorry) can go from totally chilled (Yoda) to fully alert (Batman) in a twinkling. And back again in under a minute. From what I have read you have all been blessed by being chosen by Kodi – whatever you think it’s always that, your akita chooses you. The hurt will pass but the good memories remain and someday your next akita will do something and you’ll feel warm as you think “Kodi used to do that, too”. When you think you can, a visit to the Friends of Akitas website and forum (which is sooo much more than a rescue group) may prove therapeutic.

    Bear sends hugs and woos to you all.

  91. A bit late here, but sorry for your loss, John.

    We currently have a 3 cats and a rescue dog, and the expression on Kodi’s face when she’s with the cats are almost like a mirror into our girl’s soul.

    And yeah, I’m not big on banning trolls as a rule, but coming down on someone’s grief is just over the line.

  92. My sympathies, John. It’s always hard. My own cat Gremlin is 15 years old, and her kidneys are starting to go….

  93. Hi,

    I went to see a dog today that it’s owners need to rehome for various reasons, none of which indicate that the dog is problematical. My family and I fell for her and we are due to collect Willow, a four year-old Weimaraner, some time this coming week.

    I stumbled across your wonderful words about Kodi, and it seems that my dream of what a dog could be is the same as your reality. You are such a lucky family to have had such a great dog for so long. Thanks for telling us about her – it convinces me that we are doing the right thing.

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