Prince Albert of Kodiak
"Next to my son; Kodiak is the 'love of my life'; and a piece of my heart, if not most of it, went with him when he left this realm."
"Such a formal name for a best friend," Sonya observed; "most of the time I just called him Kodiak (Kodi for short), Baby Bear or Baby Beast". A registered Malamute weighing 160 pounds, he was a true gentle giant. Afraid of his own shadow, yet Kodi was loyal as can be. He was quite a "talker" too; but by the age of 13, he had lost his voice. "He would howl at anyone who would mistakenly sit in his huge leather chair," shared Sonya, quietly laughing; "and he wouldn't stop until they realized the error of their ways and got up. Between that, and our private chats each day, his voice slowly faded to a whisper and then was gone altogether." Kodiak also sired a litter of ten puppies.
Sonya and Kodiak shared 15 years together before his death. "He even went on our honeymoon", she confided. There were many days where they'd spent every minute of every day together, and you can hear the gratitude in Sonya's voice when she speaks of his companionship. "I'm really thankful Baby Bear was with me during the darkest days of my life. In truth, I almost lost him from a stroke, right before I was diagnosed with triple negative, aggressive, invasive breast cancer on July 15th 2012."
She went on to confide the diagnosis was just one of many calamities that year. "My husband ended our marriage two weeks later, I was forced to close my 25-year old business in October of that year, and I entered a six-round series of chemotherapy five days before Christmas. Without Kodiak, life would have been very bleak; he stabilized my life and gave me unconditional love–at a time when life was beyond hard.
"The next year was no better; on March 12th, 2013, my only brother, Eric, died suddenly. Eric was a kind and gentle man who always wanted to help the underdog. How I wish he had been at my side during the next few months; when I had a double mastectomy and reconstructive surgery, faced foreclosure, and had to move in with my mother (after being independent since I was 18!) Still I am so very grateful I had Kodiak to see me through it all (not to neglect my son and my parents, they were really supportive too). But there was no way I could have dealt with the life-altering events I've had without Baby Bear by my side."