Words are hardly adequate to convey the warm regards I have for everyone who posted about Kodi's passing. I wish I could thank each of you in as special a way as you have blessed both Kodi and me by your concern. I came back from Europe this evening (it was a trip that I had avoided for several months due to Kodi's illness, so at least last week I did not have to worry about her while I was gone) and had not read this thread since January 20th. It was a bit too hard to do so, so both Kodi and I have been rewarded with a show of care and affection that Kodi would have loved to see, and by far surpasses anything I expected. As I read the posts that went up since January 20th I realized how great you guys are, and how grateful I am to all of you who showed the full measure of your character and humanity.
There was an autopsy and it was revealed that Kodi died not from any form of cancer, but from gastric dilatation of the volvulus (GDV). This basically means that the stomach became filled with gas and then turned on itself. The reason that this is deadly is that the twisting of the stomach cuts off the flow of blood back into the heart. So, she died from coronary failure. It could have happened at any time in her older life, her being so big and all. But one day after such good news about the cancer showing no growth for so long, and no metasicization either? Initially, I thought it was a cruel joke, but the Lord does work in mysterious ways, and I now know Kodi died peacefully, as I prayed each day she would without suffering.
She passed away peacefully, in her own home yard surrounded by the things with which she loved and was familiar. I just wish I had been there, and I will regret it all my remaining days.
As much as I thought I knew the time it took to care for the Kodibear of the house, I had not realized how much time I had taken out of my life and thoughts to care for and worry about Kodi these past couple of years. Her medicine bottles now begin to collect dust on the kitchen counter, the cans of chicken noodle soup I treated her to daily remain in a row on the shelf, I no longer spend my time scanning the yard making sure she is in view, and I no longer rise at 3 AM just to check on her.
A big slice of my daily life is no more.
Having to care for the other dogs has lessened my sadness. I was so looking forward to Kodi's recovery and having her around for at least several more months.
The night before Kodi passed away was a great night. We returned from the vet with Kodi flapping her ears out the window and standing all the way back home, just like she and her sister Aja had done for so many years and miles in their travels with me. I didn't even mind the dog slobber on my left shoulder that night. We had such good news concerning her health and I was looking forward to many months of having that great big smile looking back at me each morning. I had cooked a chicken breast for each dog and was playing loud party music to which a number of the dogs began to howl, especially Little Bit. Apparently, whenever I play John Coltrane and he hits a certain note on the sax, she begins howling like mad (I figure it's because she is a Charlie Parker fan).
All the dogs jump up and down when I start dancing, and I think in dog language my canine name is "Dances with Doggies."
The entire pack was in fine form and there was wonderful excitement throughout the Kuvasz Ranch as we danced and barked the night away to some tunes. However, when I pulled out my own guitar, the dogs, starting with Abba (traitor!) quickly went outside. Even Kodi. I just had to laugh at such blatant criticism of my playing abilities. I mean, I did not even get a chance to play a single note. All it took was for Abba to see me pull the guitar out of its case, and he ran out the back door, leading the pack with Kodi as the rear guard. I put the guitar away at that point and seduced the doggies back into the house with biscuits and sat on the floor as they jumped on me. And Kodi was getting as much attention as I was for the rest of the night.
Kodi looked so good at the vet that day that even the vet and the students commented upon it; that she appeared both happy and as healthy as they had ever seen her.
The rest of the night was spent with all the dogs in the house, moving from spot to spot as we were all restless and so darned happy to see Kodi moving so well and barking up a storm in that squeaky-happy tone bark she had in times of sheer delight.
Before I left for Europe, I delivered framed prints to the vet and the students in the pix of them and Kodi I posted here because they did so much to help Kodi and their caring should be rewarded with a memory of their beautiful efforts. I think Dr. Mike is one of the finest people I have met, and I hope he has a great career and I am sure he will help many, many animals (and thus their owners, too) in his time practicing veterinary medicine.
Tomorrow, I am going to the crematorium to collect Kodi's remains, and I have picked out a bronze plated urn for her that will be placed alongside the one of her sister Aja, and my earlier doggie, Shiney, who herself was the doggie who taught me to love dogs
. Near the end of her life, Shiney became great friends with Tiny Tim, who lived across the street from me in Providence, RI
Yes, Tiny Tim used to serenade Shiney! He called her the concierge of the neighborhood because she would sit on my balcony and salute with a friendly bark everyone who passed by her. One time, I came home and he was singing to her from the street as she stood with her paws on the railing. THAT was a sight!
The rest of the pack is acclimating to the loss of Kodi, but I know they still miss her, especially Abba and Luckie. I was downloading a doggie video from my video camera to my hard drive and I had the sound on and Kodi was barking on the tape and Abba and Luckie heard her bark and ran around the house, then into the yard desperately looking for Kodi. Immediately, I turned off the tape and choked up, as much for the empathy I was feeling for their loss as well as my own. I just wish there was some way to communicate with them that Kodi is not coming back.
Abba and Luckie have taken up the position on the porch where Kodi used to sleep and they huddle together at night before they come in the back door and jump on my bed sometime after I fall asleep. Abba is sticking close by to me, just like Kodi did after her own sister passed away
Raja is growing like a weed, and still is often a gangly foolie dog who steals socks, slippers, toilet paper, and food bowls, scattering them throughout the yard. The day I left of Europe he stood up on his hind legs and put his front legs on my shoulders and he was eyeball to eyeball with me, so he is going to be a huge dog when he is finally full grown. I am happy I got him before Kodi passed away because I believe she passed on some of her charm to the pup in the several months they shared their lives together.
The week I found out that Kodi had cancer; I made a cd of music I played each time we went to the vet for her treatments. The front of the cd case is below. If anyone wants a copy of the cd, email me.
And one more of the Beardog that I love; especially since Monday is the anniversary of Bob Marley's birthday.
And one of the Shiney-Dog
. Upon return from ear surgery in 1990. she was so smart that she learned how to catch biscuits with the cone, then tilted her head down as they slid out for her to gobble up.
Finally, the reason I loved Kodi so much is fairly plain and evident in the way she looked back at me. That smile is what melted my heart each time she looked up at me.
Thank you again for allowing me to share a part of the wonderful life Kodi had.