Cold feet...


My feet are cold. For the first time that I can remember in a very long time, my feet are cold. I realized that this yesterday morning as I sat at my computer sipping my coffee and trying to concentrate on getting my articles in for dead line day...


Something was missing...someone was missing...my best friend....

His name was Kodiak - Kody or Cody for short. He was my best friend, always there for me, always watching over me, and always grateful for my presence. He was my pet, my companion and a member of my family.  Monday I had to make a decision that shattered my heart - I took his pain away for the last time and held him as he fell to sleep for the last time.

Many animals have come and gone in my 42 years on this Earth.  A Siamese cat named Kelly who I grew up with...we got him when we were both two years old, and he passed on when we were 21 years old. Then there was also a dog named Angel - a face that truly only a mother could love - she was my baby for also 11 years. 


There have been more, I am after all known for taking in the strays in life..and all of them have touched my life in their own special way...

When I was younger my animals knew all my secrets, the very secrets that I now share with strangers here on this blog - the things that when they happened, as a little girl I had no words for. So needless to say that animals have always had a special place in my heart.
Cody, however, was an extra special life, one that quite litterally kept my own life going.


It was over a decade ago when a trip to Orphans of the Storm in Riverwoods, IL brought Cody to my life. My ex husband, the kids and I were there to see if we could find a medium sized..black...short haired ..female dog to adopt. We passed by so many cages that day...so many dogs doing their "adopt me" wiggles and barks. But, we were on a mission...we knew what we wanted...or so we thought...

Something kept drawing me back to one cage - there a male 6 month old pup stood quietly watching me. His sad eyes looked up at me and I swear from the first time they did I felt a connection.  He was quite large ...already over that 50lb weight limit we had in our criteria...he was wet, and straggly looking. His fur was long and different shades of rust and brown. He stunk....bad...real bad - but those eyes of his kept drawing me back.

I called to my husband ...asked him what he thought of this dog named Teddy in front of me - he said "no" and went on his way....

I've never been one who swallowed the word "no" easily - so I  pushed and he finally relented - 


He agreed we could take him to the family run area to see how he was with all of us.
One of the shelter workers went and got a leash for us to walk him there - Tim, my ex, took the leash but the dog wouldn't budge for him - I then grabbed the leash and my soon to be best friend wiggled and followed my lead.

There was now no going back - I was sold. Teddy would be our new dog.

We put him in the back seat with the boys who were giggling away at the wet and huge smelly pup taking up all the room.  After we got him home I gave him a bath  and as he dried while his coat was being brushed I realized the beauty of him had been hidden from our eyes - he turned out to be one of the prettiest dogs I had ever laid eyes on - a mane like a lion - his fur brilliant - he looked noble - Teddy was not fitting of him, his name was changed to Kodiak - Kody (Cody) for short.

From that point on he was by my side every moment he could be. When I sat down he laid on my feet. When I took a bath or a shower he laid next to the tub. He was my shadow. He kept careful watch over my boys and guarded his home and us.

It was Cody who made me aware when some 3 week old kittens had been abandoned in our shed in Illinois - He stood by the door of the shed crying until I discovered what he knew. Those kittens were now his kittens to watch over - he allowed them to crawl all over him and he sat in front of me protecting them when I bottle fed them.

Now most of my neighbors were terrified of him - he had that look - part grizzly ...part wolf...and just plain scary to cross.  To me he was just a big baby - a 130 lbs pile of fur who thought he was a lap dog.  He was a mix breed ..part Russian Mountain Dog and Malamute - and somewhere along the way a Chow entered the picture - he had the evidence with the blue tongue.

Cody saved me many a night when abuse entered my marriage. He laid by my side on the nights I was fearful and he chased my ex away many a night - there were a couple of times he wouldn't even allow him in the house when he knew he wasn't to be there. Then there were the nights when I had self doubt that I would ever be able to make it through the hurdles laid before me that Cody would be there...laying on my feet,,reminding me that I wasn't alone.
  
Obviously I could go on and on about Cody - many years to remember and many stories to tell...the one thing I do remember is all through out the years I would often look at him and say "You're not allowed to die.."

The house feels empty without him laying there - it's all still so fresh that I cannot help but to remember sitting there just two days ago...on the floor at the vet's office...his head in my lap and petting him as I said my final goodbye - I held him until the end.  

My divorce wasn't this hard to swallow...

I am not sure if I will ever get use to my feet now being cold. ..




If you love a dog...this is a must view




Comments

janetallen said…
This is further proof that our animals choose us - we do not choose them. He must have known you would need him for more than just a foot-warmer. Lucky Cody - Lucky Eva :-)RIP

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