: Man's Best Friend
My old neighbor out in the Seattle burb where we lived had a beautiful golden retriever. Lizzie was every kids favorite dog, kind of a family member to all the kids, full of love and smart as a whip. One day I caught wind of a little tension between her owner and a neighbor, it seemed the police dog across the street broke free and found his way to Lizzie in heat.
Anyway, months later my daughter came busting in the door jumping with exitement like a Mexican jumping bean, hauling us by the hand to go see the beautiful new puppies. I had a feeling this was gonna cost me, but I walked down to join the gathering of neighbors at the garage down the street. "Can we daddy? Can we, can we?" And that's how we got Cody.
I've known some dogs in my day, but none with the heart, valor, smarts or discipline of Cody. If you'd ever seen how long he'd balance a milkbone on the bridge of his nose, waiting for the command, you'd agree. I could be watching a Mariner's game, forget, and he'd keep that bone on his nose until realized I had left him hanging and said "OK". If you'd ever seen how well he recognized words, you'd be amazed. Because he accompanied me on long drives to the peninsula or cascades, I needed him to pee when I stopped. With only a couple of tries, he learned that when I said "go pee" he was supposed to. I could say that any time and he would. When heeling, I only had to scrape the soles of my shoes a certain way to say stop, another to sit, and another to go. When he could not find a tennis ball I'd thrown, I could point and say "over there" and he would go in the direction I pointed. If it did not lead to the ball in 5-10 seconds, he would stop and wait for another hint, and follow that one. He trusted my direction just as I trusted him to protect my kids when they were home alone, and protect he did. He was pretty amazing - but the most amazing trick was on the river.
When I fished with him, he learned that each time I pulled line from the reel I was going to work the pool. He would go lay down at the shore when he heard that drag being pulled. As soon as I turned and reeled up, he would jump up knowing we were going to move. I used to love to show friends... watch this and pull some line, and have him go lay down. He would sit tight until I reeled up. What an awesome dog.
But he wasn't always the fishing dog of the century - the first time we went to the river he ran off and rolled around in some dead animal. I had fished until dark and I wanted to eat and get some sleep to get the dawn shift in. He stunk so bad I had to give in and wash him so I could get to sleep. By now it's like midnight and getting cold at that elevation. He's as wet as a drowned rat and I crawled into my sleeping bag to sleep, but his teeth were chattering so bad I couldn't sleep. I got up, lit a big bonfire to dry his ass off! He knew exactly what to do, drying himself off by shifting his position, fluffing up like an 90 pound fluffball, taking in the heat like a sunbather in the tropics. By now it's o'dark thirty and my hopes of waking up at dawn are shot. I just had to laugh.
For over eleven years, he was a symbol of true fidelity, our family sentry, our dear reliable friend. Yesterday morning he fell dying suddenly as my daughter tried to revive him with tears in her eyes.
Thanks for giving us the pleasure and privilege of having the best dog on earth for all those years. Cody, we're really going to miss you buddy.
08-22-2002, 08:25 PM
Really sorry to hear that Juro... the memories are hard at this time for a pet... Had a cat...black....even fetched and was like a dog...picked it up on a hot summer day from a porch in Brookline.. He died after 18 years if you can believe it.Sick for about a month and slowly wasting away but refused to die...so we had to take him in to the vet.... I balled my eyes out. buried him in the backyard and the kids were heart broken...we buried him with a lock of each of our hairs.... sounds corney...but he was really part of the family and 18 years is a long time. Boynton.
Cody was over 100 pounds, so I brought him to the Humane Society for cremation. They ask for a $150 donation which helps cover their operating costs, goes to a very good cause. I still have another big dog at home (120 pound yearling!) and won't be picking up any new pets soon but if I do I will be going to the Humane Society to adopt for sure.
I hope to sprinkle some of Cody's ashes on the spots where we used to camp together in the pacific northwest, next time I go.
These rituals might sound corny to some but to our families they are important.
08-22-2002, 08:51 PM
Very sad. My condolences.
My next fish caught will be released in Cody's memory.
Pics to follow.
08-22-2002, 09:40 PM
Juro, sorry to hear of your families loss, yes it is hard when you lose them, been married 25 years we have had four cats and two dogs. We had several of the cats for 17 years, all are gone now except for one dog. Great Dane - 8 years old she is as gentle as a lamb and smart. Plus the size at 130 lbs and deep bark keeps every one away from our house. They all know where the great dane lives. Great dog though, she may live another 2-3 years as they do not live much longer than 10 years. Each of the pet losses have been hard. After this one we are going to take a break from pets for a while though.
08-22-2002, 09:54 PM
Sorry for your loss, Juro. As a previous owner of several dogs that eventually passed on, I can only convey that I understand some of your feelings.
Keep your chin up. You undoubtedly have many memories to keep you warm inside.
Juro, I am very sorry about your loss of Cody. As you said man's best friend. They will never double cross you, and are always there for you. It brings back special memories to me as when the wife retired I bought her a little Mini Doberman. She weight when she died all of 12 pounds, she went everywhere we did, infact one day I took her to Quonochotaug Pond with me. I had crossed the breachway in my canoe, and was near the oposite shore when she decided she wanted out. I reached over and grabbed her and rolled the canoe over, ruinning my Nikon camera. I sure wish I had her around today. unlike Cody she was very sick for about 3 months she had stomach problems a growth on her liver. I had to have her put to sleep, till this day I wonder if I did right, but I saw her suffering, took her to the dog hospital for intravenous feedings during the day and brought her home at night so she wouldn't be alone. Tammy born 02/06/91 put to sleep 08/03/99. I am crying now. Note the tape where she got intravenous feeding.
08-23-2002, 07:01 AM
I'm so sorry to hear about your loss. Your rituals don't sound corny at all and will make those places that much more special to visit. Hawkeye has been gone two years and I still miss him sorely but he still lives in my heart and memory as Cody will for you.
08-23-2002, 09:15 AM
When we loose someone close to us, a small piece of ourselves goes with him. The good thing, is that a large piece of the one we have lost stays with us. I too have had many dogs. And like you, they were a large part of my family. Several months ago, I was forced to put my dog down. I still feel guilty about doing so, but it was for the best. A dog is unconditional love. Always happy to see you. They don't judge. They don't care how much money you make. For a little food, water, and an occasional scratch behind the ear, you have a loyal life long friend.
I know the passing of Cody has touched you deeply. If it had not affected you as it has, you would not have told us. Please except my heart felt condolences to you and your family. And it is my hope that you find solace in the memories of a loyal friend. Peace.
08-23-2002, 09:22 AM
Sorry to hear that you lost what sounds like a great fishing buddy.
11 years is pretty good though, especially for the memories your kids will have. It's tough when you lose a pet, but in the end...
...it's worth it.
08-23-2002, 09:53 AM
Sorry to hear of your loss. The great pets, and Cody sounds like one, will live on through the memories of those they have touched.
08-23-2002, 03:49 PM
I can only add my condolences to the list. So sorry to hear about your dog.
Dogs are the coolest people on earth.
08-23-2002, 10:01 PM
This thread of yours reminds me of a big golden retriever named 'Beau' I had. I got him when he was 9 months old from the Missoula, MT Humane Society (they even had the regiatration papers to him). He was my constant companion and would stay where I told him to for hours. Like you there were times I forgot to release him from 'stay' and would find him laying where I gave the command many hours later. I moved to Cascade, MT (about 800 population) when he was 4 years old, and folks in town were amazed that I could walk with him to the post office, tell him to satay, and he would stay until I did my business, or finished visiting with folks I may have run in to, and released him. Then he would happily, with waging tail and big doggie smile walk at heel the 4 blocks home with me.
He loved the water and would swim out in the Missouri, drift downstream, run back up the bank and do it again until I started to wade out into position. Then he would swim over to me, get a pat on the head and go back to shore and lay down until I either quit the run or called to him.
He developed epilepsy when he was 7. And this is what killed him. He had a Grand Mall siezure in the middle of the Missouri when he was 9 years old and drowned. This was a real heartbreaker because I couldn't do anything to save him.
I replaced him with another 9 month old golden retriever named 'Red' because he was of the dark golden red color. I had to give him away when he was 7 because I moved from Port Angeles, WA to Mount Vernon, WA and couldn't have a dog in the house we rented until, we could get our place in Port Angels sold and find one in Mount Vernon. It just about killed us to have to give him up, especially since our now 15 year old had grown up with 'Red'. They weere nearly inseperable.
We finally got another golden last March, 'Kobe', from the pure bred Golden Retriever rescue program that Evergreen Golden Retriever Club of Woodinville, WA runs. Kobe is so much like Beau in his actions and willingness to learn that even my wife commented that Kobe is a lot like Beau.
08-24-2002, 01:53 PM
Very sorry to hear of your loss.
It's the toughest part of having a dog (and other pets) - they just don't live as long as they deserve considering the companionship they bring us and the unqualified loyalty they show.
Mine is sitting next to me right now - just over 12.
Best wishes, from all of us.
08-24-2002, 05:22 PM
I truely feel for you Juro. My condolences to you and your family.
My wife is the lead veterinary technician at her parent's hospital, so I get to see its inner workings. I see everything from emergency treatments to clients walking in with their 12 week old puppies and kittens for check-ups. I also see euthenasia of even life-long companions.
The first time I witnessed a euthenasia I tried my damnedest to hold back from crying. It didn't work. After all the things I've seen at the hospital in six years, that's the one thing that I can never get used to. I thought that after the first few I'd in some way become de-sensitized. Children and especially elderly people really get to me. In many of the cases with elderly people, the dog or cat that they're bringing in to put to sleep is all that they have left in the world. Man... My wife on the otherhand is very tough, I give her a lot of credit. She deals with these issues on a day to day basis. But every now and then she'll break down...there's no avoiding it if you're human.
I sometimes wonder how I'll handle my two dogs passing. My wife stops me in my tracks and changes the subject. But it's a part of life. Just as we so enjoy our Sonja and Cartman's companionship, we have to keep in mind that they may not be here tomorrow. As busy as we are, we try to enjoy them as much as we can.
Clients will often write poems and make-up cards to send to the hospital and staff to show their appreciation for the care given over the years. But it's also very therapeutic and can ease the pain.
So no matter how silly you're rituals or ways of remembrence may seem to you, do what your heart tells you.
08-24-2002, 07:12 PM
Condolences to you and your family. We said goodbye to our oldest springer last winter after 14 years - many spent hunting the bracken for pheasants back in the UK. The emptiness we feel initialy is gradually replaced by the warmest and fondest memories and our best friends will always be nearby.
Allow me to add my deepest sympathies and sincere condolences. I too am reminded of my loves and losses of my animals, their individual personalities, their skills, dedication and unquestioning devotion. We are all very lucky to have been touched by our pets' lives. They rest in better places; we will never forget them.
08-27-2002, 05:29 PM
"I just ain't got time for a man that doesn't care for dogs."
They add so much to our lives, even after they are gone. Thanks for the great story about Cody.
Here is Mousse:
08-27-2002, 05:52 PM
May I add my condolences to you and your family. A little over a year ago we lost Bucky, our Golden of twelve years. A big girl over 90 pounds, she would fetch tennis balls in the surf until your arm gave out. She always took the front seat in the drift boat and could wade the swiftest creeks, eddying out behind boulders like a kayaker. Her younger sister, Daisy (same parents, later litter) fills the void as she learned well from her big sister. Some of the board members met her at the Medford spey clave last spring. Well now the cycle continues as Barley, 9 weeks old today, has joined the family. A true Golden, he runs around the yard with a tennis ball in his mouth and sits in Daisy's water dish until she chases him out! Daisy will pass on what she learned from Bucky and both will continue to enrich our lives as only dogs can.
Just saw this, it's amazing how these animals become part of the family/ pack.
Sorry for your loss.
09-16-2002, 10:17 PM
As promised, that North Shore fish was caught and released in memory of Cody. See the Stripers board for a pic.
Thanks Jeff - That fish is a thing of beauty. A fitting tribute.
09-17-2002, 12:11 AM
(and I can't remember who) 'See how a man handles animals, and you'll see how he handles humans.'
The loss of a long time family member (2 or 4 legs makes no difference) is just a heart breaking as any other family member. Pooch and Cats are well 'long in the tooth' so I'm not lookng forward to the ..
Back to 'edit.' Saki "The Socialble One," (spellings the pits tonight ... 15 pounds of cat in your lap doesn't help) as Jim Jones coined her (and about 14 years of age) just came up for her evening portion of 'unconditional love.' That's why we invest so much love and effection ... it's the return of unconditional love ....
09-18-2002, 06:29 PM
Well I knew it was probably coming in the next year (see my prior post in this thread).
My wife called me out of a meeting at work this afternoon from home, said that Dakota our Great Dane had passed. She was as usual sitting in her chair looking out the window as she did every day for the last 9 years guarding the house.
My wife called to feed her and she did not move. She had passed in her sleep. Heart just stopped. Our Vets loved her also took her from the house and now this era is over for us.
Just yesterday, at this time I came home from work, greeted her at the door and let her out in the backyard, she was fine. Will remember that and this morning as I left for work petting her on the head as I left the house.
Great Danes are large but very gentle dogs.
For 26 years we have had pets, I think it is now time for a rest and the wife agrees.
09-18-2002, 07:19 PM
09-18-2002, 08:40 PM
Sorry to hear that Hal.
09-19-2002, 02:24 PM
Sorry to hear that ,Hal........
09-19-2002, 08:59 PM
Hal, I just saw this now. I'm sorry for you and yours.
09-19-2002, 09:46 PM
Sorry to hear about the loss of good companions.
Juro, I had told you about my buddy Chase being ill when we were doing the Steelie trip last spring. Well, I had to put him down the week I came back.
I took him out to the bird farm the day before and he pointed 9 beautiful phaesants and retrieved all of them to hand, just like the champion he was. So as sad and tearfull as I was and still am, I know that he's hunting birds without pain and suffering now and I have many wonderfull years of field trial ribbons and great hunting day pictures to keep him with me. His ashes were spread out over the happy hunting grounds that we frequented and that way he will always be where he was happiest.
09-23-2002, 04:44 PM
I can understand the loss of a friend and a family member as I lost my golden of twelve years last Nov. She fished everywhere with me from Puget Sound, to the Deschutes, to The Big Wood outside of Ketchum (originally a Sun Valley dog). My sympathies to you and your family. The memories from these friends last forever. When I read your post this picture came to mind since you are familiar with the Pac. NW traditions. My neighbor (a Husky) would put poor old Lucy into all types of compromising situations when he had the chance thus demeaning a tried and true Cougar dog. Thanks for letting me share this memory...
09-25-2002, 11:49 PM
Thanks for every ones thoughts it has been a week now since Dakota unexpectedly departed us. House is very quiet and wife is recovering from the schock. Great Danes are very unique big but gentle loving dogs.
We are sure she is in Dane heaven chasing wild game. I can remember the first time I took her with me for a run when she was a pup 8 years ago. I wanted to see how fast she could run. Took her to the park and started to run as fast as I could, I have always been a fast runner, continue to jog to this day.
Well she took off and after a 100 yards she was just getting started. Danes can flat out run. She loved to run and chase game as the european aristocracy used them for.
My boys, wife and I will always remember Dakota as the dog they grew up with. Will never forget the night she got out of the yard and she started chasing rabbits around the neighborhood with us chasing her. Finally cornered her in a fenced in yard, but she just wanted to play and keep chasing rabbits until she was exhausted. Thought I was going to have a heart attack chasing her.
Thanks again for your thoughts
Have some great pictures of her, but none digitized yet, will have to work on that.