Wednesday, October 17, 2012

R.I. P DeltaBluez Kodiak (Aug 23, 2000-Oct 17, 2012)

Today we lost a cherished member of our family. He arrived twelve years ago in October, a fat, wee, polar bear of a puppy. He came from Kerry Woods in Ellensburg. His parents, grandparents and greatgrandparents all worked on a sheep farm. I told Kerry to pick out a good natured pup as I didn't care what color or sex but wanted one that was sweet. She picked Kodiak and the day he arrived, the farm was never the same. He surveyed the farm, settled in with the ewes and soon became part of them. He grew up quite serious but had a fun side to him. He knew his name and would came (most) of the time. If he knew he was getting some meds, he would gleefully gallop out of range. Otherwise, the rest of the time he would come and snuggle. He was good on leash as sometimes I would have to take him to the vet and never fussed. He had a great heart for love and not only took care of his flock but us as well.
If a stranger would drive up, he would bark. If Code Enforcement would show up, he would leap the fence and not let them out of the car. Only one Code Enforcement person (Brenda) was allowed to roam. If friends would show up, he would greet them. Now if my mom would show up, he would leap the fence and follow her to the front door. She would feed him tons of soft meaty treats and he adored her.
He was great at protection. Eagles would try to circle and snag a lamb. On his watch, the eagles decided to leave the farm and try their luck elsewhere. Coyotes soon found that looking at his sheep, meant a full charge and in one case, death to the dominate male coyote. They soon would give a wide berth to the farm. We have bears and cougars and they kept away.
Additionally, the poultry would be safe, One wild mallard would raise her brood and bring her babies near him and he would stand charge while the eagle circled about. After the eagle would leave, she would march her brood back to the pond. She did this several times while the ducklings would mill around his feet.
When the lambs would be born, he would stand guard and if he didn't think mama did a good enough job in cleaning the lamb, he would lick it clean. The ewe would stand there and watch. Most of the ewes have been raised by him and often he would be laying among them, cleaning out their ears and face. Some would sleep with their heads on his side. They knew he was their protector and they would run to him.
He loved the snow.
What he thought of me taking a photo!
 See the wise old eyes.

Nap time.
 One of the lambs he raised. Victoria and Kodi.  (by Bonnie Block)
 Taking care of the lambs

His best friend, Rigby.  They used to play chase all the time and then take a nap together.
He is about 6 in this photo. (by Bonnie Block)
 Quick to check out anything that was new. 

A grand old man.
He would watch us work the dogs. When we would use our whistles. he would sing along. 

He loved the Border Collie puppies too.
In 2006, we had a huge barn fire. The barn was burned down but he took the sheep out of the stalls and saved them He got the LGD AWARD of the year for his bravery. It was all in a day's work for him.
The link to the STORY
Kodi has not been doing well the last few days. Jeff and I had discussed about the farm vet coming out this winter so we could make his passing peacefully. He made the decision for us and was found dead in his beloved pasture.

Kodiak has been buried next to the house pond where he used to lay and watch his farm. We will plant a tree on his grave to honor him.
We will miss him. As I write this, I am crying. He has taken a huge part of our hearts away. He has been part of the farm and with his passing, life will go on, our hearts will heal, but we still miss him and love him.
Good-Bye my dear friend. I love you very much. Rest in Peace and I know your spirit is here still.


Janet Elliott said...

I'm so sorry, Diane. Your tribute made me wish I'd known him in person. He was clearly a very special creature.

Bob brown said...

Great story, good dog good owner, what more could you ask!

Jami said...

I remember meeting Kodi as a pup. He had a big ball tied around his neck as he was a bit rambunctious with the lambs. He grew into such a wonderful guard and beautiful dog. He had a really long life for an LGD. Sorry for the loss.

G. M. Atwater said...

What a beautiful tribute to a beautiful dog. I am so very sorry. I know he will be missed. Dear Lord, please take this Good Dog home to help guard your Heavenly Flock.

BCxFour said...

so very sorry for your loss.

Mary Ann said...

I'm so, so sorry.

Kelpie and Collie said...

Me too Diane. I am so sorry, what an amazing dog.

geonni banner said...

So sorry for your loss. So hard to lose such a valuable friend and co-worker. The pictures and story were lovely.

Sara Mock said...

What a Grand Dog. He lived such a wonderful life, doing his job. He will still be watching over you.

Corinne said...

While I am so sorry for your loss, I am so happy for your time shared with him. I wish I got to know him better - he was a wonderful dog. Thank you for sharing your lovely story and pictures. His spirit will never be far away.

Corinne said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Laura Carson said...

I'm so terribly sorry. :( It's so hard to lose them. It seems like we never have them long enough. He was clearly a special dog.

InJuly said...

My boy Akit looked like your Kodi. He suffered all sorts of skin ailments between the pads of his paws and on his elbow, and in his ears. But when we called him to apply his medicine, he would roll over with a "humpf" and give us his paws one at a time. He was the best patient. We used to say: "Akit, come be a patient" he would walke over to us immediately and turn on his back. He loved to eat. He loved to watch me prepared his bowl, it was such an exciting thing for him. All the German kids in the neighborhood called him an "Ice bear", polar bear in German. He was unaware of his size, and insisted on climbing into our lap. When we had visitors, he immediately climbed on the couch and leaned on them till they let him sit on their lap. Mind you, there was 140 pounds of him, but he managed to get parts of his body on the person's lap. It just had to be! We loved him dearly. My eyes still look for him and so does my heart.