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."
“Why did you choose to honor Kodiak in this way?”
A member of the Mesoloft team is a client of mine, and as I cut his hair, he'd talk to me about what it is they do. I knew that Kodi was going to pass soon; so one day I asked him if they could release Kodiak's ashes in this way. It really was serendipity; and it seemed like the perfect way to pay tribute to my remarkable friend: as big as his heart; as big as the love we shared. In the end, it was even more perfect than I could ever imagine."
“How does knowing Kodi’s ashes are traveling the high winds comfort or otherwise affect you?”
"I can't describe how it feels to know he's all around me, falling to earth in far-flung corners of the globe. It's the ultimate way of returning to our source, of becoming 'one' with this beautiful planet. And it gives me a lot of joy to think how each dust mote I see in a ray of sunshine could be my best friend settling back to earth to become something fresh and new."
Those of us with pets understand completely, and would probably agree with Sonya's observation: "If we're lucky, we bond with one pet in a lifetime that none can replace. It was as if, we had actually hung out before in a different or past life. I know it sounds crazy yet, it was just a feeling I always had the first moment I saw him."
"We will hang out again one day...I love you Baby Beast."
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-Written by Kim Stacey