Monday, July 12, 2010


Today was a sad day in our family. We had to say goodbye to our dog Kojie. I know that it is just a dog and there are others whose pain I hope to never bare, but any loss of something dear to you is difficult and Kojie was dear to us.

Sharla Smetana got Kojie when she was just 5 weeks old, from her roommates sister. That was in April of 1995. I remember taking that little black puppy to Temple in Shar's Ford Probe and watching her dad laugh as she brought it in the garage door.

Taken today before we went to the vet.

Easter 2010 in Temple
Kojie lived back and forth between my college house and Shar's, but mainly stayed with me on E.N. 22 in Abilene. She did not need a leash, and could find her way from the Campus Center, intramural fields and Shar's house on 15th street back to my house. She was a great dog. Everyone loved her.

When we got married and moved in to the little house on E.N. 15 we would take Kojie on walks around campus and we would sometimes stay too long in the Campus Center. If we came out and Kojie was not sitting there then we would walk to my old house on 22nd and she would be on the front porch. Never did she run away.

She loved Temple and felt at home and Shar's parents house and at our place on Pappus Ct. Still no leash. Walks all over the neighborhoods and she would stay with us. Loved to eat pecans and chase squirrels in Ron's backyard.

With Blake and Anna Jo, Kojie was perfect. Never had any aggression toward kids and seemed to love being their pillow or lounge chair. Great a fetching a ball when Blake was learning to through and loved a swim in the lake. One year we even drove her to California and let her run on the beach and in the ocean. She was at home around water.

Early fall of 2007

Spring of 2006 in Temple
When we came home with her from Temple this past Friday she ate a bowl of food that night, and that was her last meal. She did not eat the rest of the weekend. Her bones, joints, ribs and spine were now fully exposed under her skin and her rear legs were barely functional. I gave her some water this afternoon and she could not hold it down. I knew her time was up. I picked her up out of the flower bed where she was keeping cool. Set her in the shade in the grass and began to clean her. Brushed her hair and wiped the mud off her face. Her eyes were tired as she looked at me. My tears sank into her fur.

Shar began to call local vets and I began to dig a grave for her. We gathered the kids into the kitchen and Shar explained Kojie's long life and how it was time for her to go on to heaven. I took the kids outside for some time to be with her.

We loaded into the truck and took her to the vet. Our time in room was nice. Kojie weighed in at 19 pounds, less than half her adult weight. She lay on the table and we held her and touched her. Crying parents cause children to cry. The vet came in and we said our last goodbyes.

Anna wailed in the truck. Blake sat with me on the tailgate and cried softly. They brought Kojie out to us in a neatly folded blanket and we took her home. I carried her around the back and the kids went through the house. The stroked the blanket where Kojie's head was and cried some more. We place her in the ground, prayed and covered her up. And now here I am for the first time in 15 years and I don't have my dog. And I am sad.

Snow day this past winter.

Easter of 2009.

Fall of 2004

Spring of 2004

Taken by Brandon Young in Abilene, 1997.


Jimmy Wilson said...

Hey there, Bundy family-
Jimmy just showed me your post, & I cried my way through it.
The summer after my sophomore year at ACU I adopted my best buddy, Noah, a pug. Jimmy & I started dating that fall, & when my family & I all went skiing together, I left Noah in Jimmy's care. "If anything happens to him, we're through," I teased.
Noah is now 14 years & 3 months old. One of the vets I have taken him to told me he's never seen a pug that lived to 15. Noah has a degenerative nerve disease that has left his back legs virtually useless. He uses a doggie wheelchair to get around, and thankfully, for now, he still 'strides with purpose', as my friend Amy put it. But he is old, and his health is deteriorating, and I know my days with him are very limited now. I cannot imagine not having him around. Before I was anybody's fiancee, wife, mommy, or aunt I was Noah's buddy.
My heart goes out to you guys because I can imagine what it feels like to lose such a good friend. I look at Noah every day and feel the sadness looming. Know that I say a prayer for you today.
Four-legged, two-legged, tail or not, family is family, and Kojie was part of yours. Praying that God heals your hearts quickly-
Seanne (Johnson) Wilson

Kelly said...

I'm so sorry Byron & Sharla! I know how much a dog can mean to you and you don't have to apologize at all for feeling such sadness. So glad you have so many wonderful pictures of Kojie with the kids.

Sherry Caffey said...

Thank you for sharing the life of Kojie. The first time I met you Kojie was in the back of your truck. I couldn't believe what a well trained dog he was.