Kodiak's Memorial Page

My dog Kodiak brought love and joy to everyone she met. She was with me for over ten years. She contracted Degenerative Myleopathy in February of 2008. She trudged on with my help until September of 2010. This group is my dedication to her so that she will never be forgotten. I encourage those that met her or knew of her to join the group and share any and all memories or sentiments you may have. I will miss her dearly.

Kodiak is my 9th rescue. Rescued her in 2000 from euthanasia. She had been at the pound over the second 30 day limit and I decided to take her and another dog. I gave the other dog to my nephew.

Anyway, Kodiak was a mess. A foreigner tried to teach her to be a fighting Staffordshire Terrier (pit bull) - but she just doesn't have the nature. After the second time of running away from home and at the dog pound the wife called up and asked the pound to keep the dog - she didn't want her husband to be mean to it anymore (snorting red pepper, caged all the time and beatings etc). The reason I say he was a foreigner was because she did not know English commands - LOL - I had to teach her English first then how to sit.

I lived on a court with 27 kids!! I had none - but Kodiak was out there all the time with those kids running and playing it was so nice - The parents were always freaked until they met her. I bought about 100+ properties in a really bad underserved neighborhood. I moved there to manage the properties and gentrify the neighborhood. I took Kodiak. The type of people that lived there were deathly afraid of dogs - especially black pit bulls. She was so gentle and friendly that all of the kids from like 6 years old on up to the brattier teenagers wanted to walk her – They would come by the office and ask if they could walk her etc. So we lived in a 32 unit building with two floors – 16 units on a floor. Kodiak sat in the office and occasionally wandered down the hallway – Our joke was she was the guard dog. She would go and push with her nose on tenant’s doors until they answered – she would walk in and lay down and ‘hang’ with the tenant’s – We would get a call "Mr. Happe – Kodiak is down here in unit 12 – just so you know – she can stay if you want." – absolutely I would say. So funny – the entire neighborhood loved her. What a character.

I moved to AZ a couple of years ago and noticed she was dragging her left leg ever so slightly – I took her to money grubbing vet, then another one and they both said give her meds and lets giver a $3000 MRI. Well I took her to another vet when it got real bad in the left leg - she indicated it was arthritis – but a visiting vet took an interest in Kodiak (and me) and she took her (and me) down to Phoenix and ran a DNA test (on Kodiak - not me) and had a doctor who knew about the disease look at her. That doctor correctly diagnosed the disease, DNA confirmed Degenerative Myleopathy.

Her right leg started to go about 6 months ago – It took 14 months for the first leg and about 6 months for the right leg. Degenerative Myleopathy is a terminal degenerative disease which causes the nerves to detach from the muscles - leaving her unable to control the limbs that are affected. There is no treatment – it is similar to ALS in humans. She has been battling it for about 30 months. Most dogs die between 6 to 12 months because the owners put them down. According to the U of Missouri that tracks this she is the only Pit Bull to have tested positive for the disease’s gene. There is NO PAIN associated with the disease. And she is a Happy girl albeit handicapped - she brings Joy to all who meet her still. I live in an area with many older people – really old – LOL – and when she comes tooling up on her cart they all marvel and say ‘well if she can do it so can I’ (well not all of them) .

My Aunt Wilma who I care for down her ein AZ is 86 and has cancer for three years now. Her and Kodiak always have girl “sleepovers” when I go camping out of town etc. The two of them are hilarious. Wilma is in one of the videos. She lives around the corner from us. I know Kodiak has helped her and others here. Kodiak is about 12 years old and I have had her for 10 years.

Unfortunately she will continue to experience more paralysis as it moves forward in the body – her bowel and bladder and organs are next then her front legs. The brain never gets hit. So she will be happy and still trying to play with me and in no pain but not be able to move etc. It’s horrible. I have to make the decision when she dies. I have to put her down. It’s not an event I look forward too. When it is time I will do what has to be done.

The time has come. Her front legs are weakening and she is losing bladder control. I could hang on another week or two – but now is the time. She will be missed.