A soldier stayed by his dog`s side until the very end of his life! The two of them were best friends, and loved each other until the end!
A soldier Kyle Smith and his dog Bodza lived through a lot together throughout the years. Both of them were members of the U.S. Air Force, and once spent 189 cold and bitter days in Kyrgyzstan while on a security mission. So, when Bodza, who was an 11-year-old German shepherd, was on his deathbed, Smith could not imagine being anywhere else but by his side holding him while he passes over the rainbow bridge.
Since the year 2006, Bodza worked with the U.S. Air Force as an explosive detection dog, and he helped save plenty human lives by sniffing out bombs in operations in Iraq, Kyrgyzstan and Kuwait too. Smith started working with Bodza in 2012, and the two of them formed a fast and a long lasting friendship.
“I loved working with him because he really taught me a lot, patience as a young handler, and also how to understand that this job is not just about you,” Smith says.
“Bodza was such a goofy and a gentle dog too,” Smith says. “We had some horse stables directly beside our obedience yard and when they were out, there was no obedience . He would run the fence line continuously”.
When the day came for Bodza to retire, Smith did not even think twice about adopting him. “I took him home the same day,” he says. “He was even more loyal and lovely at home,” Smith says. “Bodza would follow me around everywhere. He would also lay his head down flush with the bed and then tell me good night, every night”.
Then in the summer of 2016, Bodza was diagnosed with degenerative myelopathy, a progressive and also incurable disease that was affecting the dog’s spinal cord. “His hind limbs completely lost their use and he could barely stand up anymore, much less walk,” Smith says. “He could not handle the stress on his body and also using the restroom was a big task for him”.
Knowing how hard Bodza’s life has become, Smith made the tough decision no dog lover ever wants to make, to put him down. “I was holding him as he passed,” Smith says. “It was a rush of so many things and it was just so overwhelming”. Despite all the sadness that Smith was feeling, Bodza seemed happy in his last moments. “He had a smile on his face when he was getting put to sleep,” Smith says.