Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Cody: A Living Tribute

Rather than writing this in the future, when we are grieving a loss as-yet unfelt, I thought I would profile our canine elder statesman Cody.

We have had Cody for all but about 6months of his life.  his life began horribly enough, though perhaps not quite as rough as Charlie's.  Cody was take in into rescue, nearly starved to death.  A dark brindle something mixed with a Rhodesian Ridgeback.  BMC/RR perhaps, or something else, we will never know for sure, but the ridge is a dead giveaway of at least half his heritage.
So handsome!
When we first saw him, TIRR had only had possession of him for 3-4 days, a 6mo old puppy, who was so malnourished you could literally count all his bones, who was so weakened, his toes splayed out, too weak to hold a natural position. 

When introduced to Charlie, then in his prime, Cody was submissive, and in truth he is a Beta-dog. He is not a leader, but a follower, one who only became confused of his role in life as Charlie declined in his last 2-3 years.  Shiloh set Cody back in place, being both a supremely confident Alpha female, and a Diva to boot.
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In their prime.

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They loved to sleep beside each other during the day.
When young, and in his prime, Cody was the fleet-footed dog, racing around the yard at top speed, only to be knocked ass-over-teakettle by Charlie who while slower of foot, was faster at physics calculations and knew just where to run to for an intercept and collision!   He was thought by some to be a scary looking dog, with the dark brindle coat, and the haunting yellow eyes.  It earned him the nickname The Yellow-eyed Hound...perhaps one day I will be able to put onto paper the Halloween tale that name inspires.
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His yellow eyes are growing cloudy with age now.  His once dark face is now almost fully white with age.  A few years ago, he had some petit mal seizures, maybe 2-3 a year that we ever witnessed.  Then they stopped...until a month ago, when they returned with a vengeance.  5-6 times a day, cluster seizures the vet said.  Phenobarb is the prescription, even in dogs, and lucky for Cody, the minimum dosage possible seems to have controlled them.  At least for now.
White faced, and goofy!
PB has some issues, the most common side effects being increased thirst and hunger.  It also comes with a need to periodically monitor his liver function.  It also tends to make him a little more tired.  His time is spent mostly asleep on the dog couch, or on Monkey3's bed.

His health otherwise seems good, according to the vet.  Cody does have a lot of old age lumps, earning him the less than flattering moniker of Mr. Lumpus, but it is said with much affection.  Most of them are benign...some are probably not.

He is an old dog now, 11 years on.  I hope he will be with us for at least a few years more.  Only time will tell on that.  But as the senior dog, he has earned a few creature comforts--peanut butter coated pills, and uninterrupted time on the couch are but two.  He has always been a Good Dog, and our youngest child's dearest love and companion, bed warmer and pillow.
The best pillow ever...
The following poem is by Donna Swajeski, and was reprinted on Glenn Beck's The Blaze.  Take joy in your old dogs, my friends.  I do.
Cody on his end of the dog couch.
Their joys are simple. A soft bed. A scrap fallen from the table that the younger dogs missed. The memory of a treed squirrel. A stormless night.

White whiskered faces and legs crooked as question marks.

Old Dogs…their sweet Buddha bellies hang over crossed legs as they fall asleep in a coveted patch of sun. Dreaming of out-racing their shadows down long, shady lanes.

Once they danced by your side. The very definition of joy unleashed. A perfect poem caught in shining eyes and wagging tails. They have followed you faithfully for years. And would plunge into fires, untamed wildernesses, raging waters if you asked.
Now, they struggle to catch up. Their pace slow but their hearts still valiant.

Their cloudy eyes are starting to dim and go distant, tuning in to some invisible world. Just beyond your reach.

Don’t go you say, as you scratch the tender part between their ears. Stay longer. I can’t imagine a world without your fur pressed close to my cheek. There are still so many roads we haven’t explored.

And they look up at you with a wisdom that just slays you.

Their backs are bent, not from the weight of years, but from the invisible wings they are growing
That will soon take them to a place where once more they are warriors of speed
Drunk with the sights and scents of a thousand meadows.
Able to leap high enough to touch the wing of the tiniest butterfly.

A place where they will now wait for you to catch up.

H/T Donna Swajeski /


  1. Oh they are both so beautiful and you have given them both a good home I can see that they are the lucky ones. Love the poem. May they continue to bless your life. Hug B

  2. Yes, if only pet owners realized what love truly is...he has known it and lived it!...:)JP

  3. Ok, this is tough. I'm still getting over losing m Maxie (9-4-2013). And I know it was tough for you to post it too. I can feel the anguish behind the words. This is twice today I have teared up over someone starting to lose a much beloved pet. I love having dogs but Lordy it's difficult when they age, then leave us. What Donna wrote was well done.

    Our aging Boxer, Lucy, is getting a peanut butter coated cookie with her hip pain pill. It's some kind of Rimadyl. Seems to be working just fine but I can see her aging. I think having The Boys (the new puppies) is helping her hold on. She's the sweetest dog I've ever known.

    Thanks for sharing. This was such a touching post. And I pray the following days are easy on y'all and the dogs.

  4. Such a beautiful tribute, and such a very lucky dog to have the home he has had, with his two and four-legged family members. I hope you have a long time with him.


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