Saying Goodbye To Cody
I remember walking into my house one Saturday afternoon after being at work all day and being welcomed by the cutest puppy I had ever seen. A beautiful yellow lab with oversized feet and an abundance of energy came clamoring to greet me and smother me in kisses – it was love at first sight.
I must admit I was holding out on the whole dog thing because I already had four kiddos and wasn’t sure we were up for the responsibility of a dog. I was afraid after the cuteness wore off I would be the one stuck with all the canine duties. I had reluctantly said yes to my husband taking the kids that day to “look” at the puppies after my son Spencer had written a very long letter pleading his case to be a dog owner. How can you say no to a kid who lists, I have great grades and I love Jesus, as part of his qualifications for being responsible.
We quickly were all about the puppy and he became a part of everything we did. He was an AKC registered dog and so we had to come up with a fitting name… “Sir Cody of the Ranch” was our choice and it fit him well.
The puppy stage really doesn’t last that long and soon we were all in our daily rhythms of taking the dog for a walk, feeding him, and snuggling on the couch. Yes the newness wore off and yes I primarily was in charge of the daily duties but I never really complained because Cody had become my buddy. First to greet me as I walked down the stairs in the morning and last to say goodnight to.
Cody was our protector. After a cancer diagnosis I faced a lot of surgeries and he would personally escort me to the bathroom, wait for me outside the door, and walk alongside me as I shuffled back to bed. He laid at the foot of my bed all day until I recovered and could walk with him outside again. He did the same for the many surgeries that came with having an athletic bunch for human companions. He never missed a slumber party, having to sleep right in the middle of all the kids. I always felt safe and protected when he was around.
He whined at the bedroom door of our sons empty rooms when they left for college and ran out the door to greet them when they returned. I swear he shared my emotions on that. Missing them and rejoicing when they came home. Now we are the ones that are missing him.
Those of us who love dogs, and choose to share our lives with them, must face the unfortunate fact that a dog’s life span is shorter than a human’s. Loss is an inevitable part of the human-dog relationship. There is much research that shows not only do dogs add character to the family but they can also help you relax, ease anxiety, boost self-esteem and can help a child’s social development. Cody was all that and so much more. He was one of us.
The loss of Cody was deep for all of us. I struggle for sure with missing him. For me the loss of our dog also signaled the end of an era. My boys are grown and off to college, my daughter is driving and fully immersed in all things high school. Our family dynamics are changing. Excited for the new adventures ahead and thankful we shared the journey of raising our kids with an incredible furry friend. Cody lived an awesome 15 years. I am thankful God is so creative in his design that He gave us dogs to share our lives with. RIP my sweet Cody B!!
Genesis 1:31a ESV
And God saw everything he made, and behold, it was very good.