Dusty was all Brittany Spaniel, a purebreed if
there ever was one. They were nothing alike when they met; Dusty was a few months old, Kodi
just a few weeks. Their deaths came within three days of each other.
Kodi (short for "Kodiak", because as a pup he looked like bear) lived with my husband and me.
We got him as a companion, someone to love and have around the house as company. He was all
of that and more; although as a young dog he would hide behind me when he heard a strange
noise outside, he became our protector, our guardian, as well as our friend. He tended to
be overly cautious of strangers and was quick to nip, but he was still my baby. I loved to
bury my face in his long black fur and stroke his ears. He was a smart dog; he loved dog
biscuits and knew full well how to reach and open the box we kept them in. But he never did;
having us give him the treat was, I think, the best part.
Dusty was my father's dog -- Dad got him for bird hunting, but he quickly went from working
dog to companion, from kennel to sleeping in bedroom at night. My step-mom wasn't a big dog
fancier, but Dusty was her exception. Dad would roam over the hills around his house with
Dusty always a few steps ahead; like Kodi, he was very protective. He loved going hiking,
hunting, camping; any outdoor activity made him happy.
Best of all, Kodi and Dusty were great pals. As young dogs they would play so hard that both
would be exhausted when the other went home. One of Dusty's favorite games was to pull Kodi's
long tail -- Dusty's tail was just a short stump and I think he knew Kodi couldn't get even
with him. They both loved the water and Dusty taught Kodi how to swim. When they got older
and slowed down, they would play a bit at first meeting, then lie in the yard in companionable
silence, panting and watching the world go by.
Unfortunately, both dogs developed arthritis. Dusty had it the worst, but they were both
in a lot of pain. This, combined with other health problems, required us all to make the
hardest decision any pet owner has to make -- to have them put down. That their time wound
up being so close to each other was really just coincidence, but in retrospect I think it
was for the best. I just can't imagine how hard it wouldn't have been for either of them to
go to the other dog's house and not had their pal there.
This photo was taken just one week before we had to let them go, both over ten years old. I
like to think that they're together somewhere, and Dusty is still pulling Kodi's tail.
Godspeed, guys; we really loved you both...
posted June 5, 2000