Kodiak T. Bear, TGD
November 5th, 1992 - November 8th, 2004


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Tribute To Kodi T. Bear, TGD (ITW) :

Kodi Bear died of Lymphosarcoma and all it's complications on November 8th, 2004, just 3 days after her 12th birthday. This is my tribute to her.

I will never forget how she studied me from afar for ten minutes when I first met her, then came happily running up to me having decided I was worthy.

I will never forget how soft her ears were.

I will never forget how gentle she was.

I will never forget the very first time she barked, about a month after I brought her home, at about 3 months old. She was something like only 20 pounds, and I suddenly heard this big, powerful, deep bark in my house. I was startled because I didn't think there was a big, powerful dog in my house. I realized it was Kodi, and when I looked at her I realized she was startled too.

I will never forget the first Kodi Park, a small triangle of land right next to the first apartment she lived in in Madison.

I will never forget how much she shed, magically blowing out multiple coats of fur in one day.

I will never forget how cute her ears were when they were folded over like a cat, and how cute they were when they finally stood up and were almost as big as her head.

I will never forget how she was one of the big dogs in puppy kindergarten, and all the other big dogs wanted to play out the domination game with her, but she didn't get that, she just wanted to chase little Mischief The Dog around the room, and all the big dogs would go chasing after her.

I will never forget how it would take an hour every day just to walk a single block down State Street because she had become a celebrity in Madison. We'd walk a few feet and then get stopped, usually by people I didn't recognize but people that Kodi knew. Her recognition of people was far off the charts for dogs.

I will never forget how she became an international traveller in 1994 when she came to France with me, and how it was the first time she was with me 24 hours a day (something that we modeled our lives after for the last half of her life), and how she learned to tilt when riding the subway, and how she went into museums, and how she sat under cafe tables and caught and ate the frites avec la moutarde de dijon that I tossed down to her.

I will never forget how she learned three languages and was fluent in and used two of them for her entire life.

I will never forget how she always knew if I could hear the phone ring or the knock on the door and would bark only if I couldn't.

I will never forget how she could recognize people by the sound of their footsteps.

I will never forget how everyone thought she would be a great "chick magnet" yet she completely failed in this respect - and how she was the best 'chick' I could have around anyways.

I will never forget how she understood that she was not allowed to hurt all the other tiny animals in my house, and how my clever ferrets figured this out, and the day I heard whimpering from my kitchen. When I went in to investigate, the two ferrets were clamped on to each leg and attacking, and she was whimpering at me to please, please let me kill them, Dave. Or maybe just bite them. Just once. Just once let me bite the little ferrets.

I will never forget how, in 1996 I bought my first house and started my first business solely because of her, Kodi Bear Property Management.

I will never forget how, in 1996, she adopted a poor little wayward kitten by the name of Mr. Peterson who used to (try to) nurse off of Kodi and she would oblige and lick Mr. P clean. This went on to the end of Bear's life, when Mr. P was 8 years old and should have known better.

I will never forget the many times she earned the nickname 'Snow Shark,' and how she could be sleeping in my car for hours as we drove up into the mountains, but the moment I saw the first patch of snow, even a dirty little mound of crud by the side of the highway, she'd suddenly be awake and up by the front seat, forcing me to stop so she could roll around in it.

I will never forget the time that we went camping, around 1997, when it was pitch black with no moon and some strange man mistakenly walked towards our tent and she went from happy camping dog to scary-powerful guard dog in a split second.

I will never forget how she always would lick the floor, and we never knew why.

I will never forget the time that I risked my life without question to save her the one time she got confused one day about streets.

I will never forget her cow-greeting. She had a stuffed cow that she loved, and when people she liked came to the door she would run up to them with the stuffed cow so they could appreciate it as much as she did.

I will never forget how she was going to stand next to me in my wedding-that-almost-happened back in 2000.

I will never forget the time that there was a huge party at my house on her 10th birthday, and I got everyone to sing Happy Birthday to her, and she sat on the couch, relaxed and oblivious to the attention, until suddenly everyone at the same time sang "Happy Birthday dear KODI" and she jerked her head up in shock and surprise. Giggling at how it must have felt to have everyone in the room suddenly call your name.

I will never forget the day in 2002 that I realized that Kodi had been with me for a third of my life.

I will never forget the day that I realized that I had spent approximately almost a full year of time walking my dog, and how great that felt.

I will never forget how she saved my life in 2003. I owe her everything and gave her all I could.

I will never forget the first time I was given a job offer that would have been a huge promotion and a pay raise, but I wouldn't even consider it because they wouldn't let me bring my dog to work. I will, however, forget all the other silly job offers that I immediately turned down because they wouldn't let me bring my dog - they are too numerous to count.

I will never forget the time that the Lindy community watched Chad's 50th birthday party video showing Lindy In The Park (of which Kodi was a common attendee), and when Kodi Bear showed up in the video, everyone in the room cheered.

I will never forget how gracefully and powerfully she fought the cancer that finally consumed her.

I will never forget how she spent all my money (and then some) and how she was worth every penny. I can never repay her for all that she gave me.

I will never forget how she won the coveted "Greatest Dog In The World" award, 12 years straight.

I will never forget how, in the full 12 years of her life I never called her "bad dog" - not once.

I will never forget all the friends she had.

I will never forget how she was my center and my ground.

I will never forget how proud she made me of her.

I will never forget how proud she made me of myself.

And I will never forget how she changed my life, and continues to change it even after she's gone.

Thank you Bear.

I can't wait to see you again.

   yoi inu, mai Koguma

Comic


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Daveola of GD & MH