Ode to Kodi Continued

Monday, December 7, 2009

The things I didn't count on:

I've seen other blogs and mine isn't fancy. It's not full of pictures and links. Honestly, I don't even know how to add multiple pictures to this page.

I started the blog mainly because during a survey for our business, several clients requested that we start a blog. And of course, I thought why not? A happy customer is a ...happy customer! So I began by introducing myself, my family, our business, etc. And believe me when I tell ya, I don't have any writing skills! But I'm game.

I never knew this would become a forum for my personal expression. I'm not the smartest chick you'll ever meet but I can be pretty quick. And it never dawned on me that in a matter of months I'd be using our blog to bare my soul to any hapless stranger who stumbled upon this page. But events lead us to places unforeseen. And I feel I have to follow this path, right now.

If you've followed the blog, you might have noticed I haven't posted since Halloween. Significant changes have been happening all around me and when I get overwhelmed I tend to throw everything aside and set my mind to the task at hand.

The main task at hand was keeping my Chesapeake Bay Retriever, Kodi, happy, serene. . . peaceful. Kodi was diagnosed with cancer in June when we returned home from our first ever Bead & Button show. We came home on a huge HIGH from having a successful show only to be hit in the head with a hammer because of our babies illness.

Over the last few months we've spent countless hours feeding him healthy food. Staying up all night most nights baby sitting him. Talking to him. Taking him swimming. Bathing him. Brushing him. And so much more.

Kodi spent the last ten years of his life with either me, Michael or one of my family members, mostly my sister Tarlee. The only time he wasn't with Michael or I was when we had to be out of town. He went to work with me almost every day (we had a room for both dogs in the back of our bead store), he went hunting with his father, he went to the store, he rented videos with us, he went with us to my Mom's house, to the lake. I really can't think of a single time that he wasn't with me or my husband. He was so determined to ride along with one of us that we were forced to buy vehicles that would allow us to bring our dogs with us where ever we went.

If one of us got up to go check the mail, he thought we were going somewhere and literally walked so close to us (as not to be left "behind") that his nose touched our butt. If we stopped (which we often did for our own amusement) he typically ran into us. We had to clutch our keys as to not make any noise to get out of the house without him. It was a game! But now it's a habit and it's breaking our hearts to pick up our keys trying not to make any noise and Kodi isn't here.

There are a zillion great stories about Kodi that we can share here. Like he loved to hunt Carp in frozen ponds! We would take him out duck hunting and he would go on to frozen ponds to break the ice and Carp fish. I have no idea how many unsuspecting fish he drug from frozen ponds and tried to bring them over to us! Poor fishies...

He loved water. I've never seen a dog so adept at swimming. He was never "introduced" to water as most dogs have to be, he took to swimming more so than most aquatic life I've seen. Using his tail as a rudder, he could swim without the use of his front legs and he could swim forever. As a matter of fact, a couple of weeks before he passed, he swam to the middle of a pond and wouldn't come back to us! We thought we were going to have to go in and get him. And forget calling him out of the water. . . he would just stare at you like "Okay, did you idiots run out of things to throw again?"

Kodi was passionate about everything he did in his life. From chasing/fetching his soccer ball, to patiently sitting waiting for 10pm to obtain a treat, to learning new "tricks" like opening doors, to waiting on us to wake up, to fishing or hunting. He was also hard headed if he wanted something, such as going "bye-bye". We learned early on that "NO" wasn't part of his vocabulary! But we learned early on that we really didn't have to punish Kodi for any misbehavior's because his yearning to please us was so strong that he rarely made any mistakes. And when he did, a strong vocal reprimand was all it took to straighten out the problem.

Kodi never complained. He lived for a long time with cancer. And he never complained. He went with Michael into subzero weather and retrieved water fowl and was ready to go again. He got up at 3am or 2pm and was always in a good mood and ready for whatever Michael and I wanted to do. All he wanted, all he asked is "to go with us". . . and we let him.

While Kodi was sick, during my evenings, nights, days spent watching him. We talked ....errr I talked, he listened. And I told him all my secrets. All my fears. Told him that it was going to rip my heart out to have him go but I promised him, knowing the pain I would be in, that he would NEVER experience any pain. And after months of illness and thinking of myself as having had closure (because we knew he was dying, thinking you've got it all figured out)

The hardest part of his passing is something I didn't expect. I didn't expect to look over to find him not there. I didn't' expect to call his name and have him not be there. I didn't expect to fill his bowl to have him not be there. I didn't expect to open the car door to put groceries in the back, to look at his seat, to have him not be there. I never counted on all the areas of my life that he affected to be empty and a void. I didn't realize how much I counted on HIM to be me. How much of him was me. . .

And I know that time is what it takes to make this okay in my heart and in my head. I know that as much as Kodi lived his life to the fullest he would want us to continue on the tradition he started in the Burns household.

As much as he tried to please us with his every waking moment, he would be mad at us if we didn't live and continue living because he spent so much of his ten years teaching us how to live our lives. And he was a very good teacher.

I am sure I'll write more later. . . thanks for reading. Posts are welcome.


Pat Riesenburger said...

Oh sweetie! I saw the first few lines and I almost had to stop reading. I am so sorry for your loss....You know that I "get it." It doesn't seem possible now, but you WILL smile again. I think back to all of the lessons that I learned during Alaska's final illness and I feel blessed that I was chosen as her steward. I imagine that you feel the same way. Please know that you and Michael are in my prayers. Love ya.

Anonymous said...

oh I am so sorry to read about your loss, sitting here with tears...sending lots of love your way...

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