"Kodi Bear" came into our lives in June 2020. We had lost our sweet 18 year old Beagle mix Rosie in February 2020 ... She was our world and the world around us had literally stopped with her leaving us and the Coronavirus arriving. Rosie was our wedding present to each other many moons ago; she was strong as an ox, at 17 she would still walk 3 miles everyday, she wasn’t blind and generally in good health, just a little deaf in one ear and a few benign lumps and bumps. Rosie collapsed in January 2019 with “Old Dog Vestibular Disease” and subsequently diagnosed with Hemangiosarcoma and lung metastasis....it was a shock given her zest for life...but she was a trooper and bounced back... it was a year of holistic treatments; acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine.
When she did finally pass I said to my sons we were so lucky to have an extra year with her, everyday was a blessing. They told me she had 17 extra years with us given that she came from a high kill shelter in North Virginia.
I had started following “Nana the Cancer Warrior” on Instagram soon after she crossed the rainbow bridge and wanted to pay it forward and share my knowledge, remedies, diets and her leftover medicine with a dog in a similar situation....I got in touch with Lauren, Nana’s mama and soon we became fast friends through the love of dogs.
When “Cody” needed a foster family, we were all craving that physical tactile hug of a furry friend and missing that emotional, unconditional bond between pets and owners. There was a huge void in our lives and fostering we believed would help us heal and save a life...in Corona times, it seemed the most logical thing to do. We were looking to adopt a small to medium pup, so fostering a 48 lb dog would be a great way to experience a larger friend for a short period of time... of course we would never adopt a dog of that size.... I mean we lived in an apartment in Brooklyn...
I guess that was short lived ... 3 days later we gave him his forever home! Cody was known as the Bear from the minute we set eyes on his instagram post! A slight change in spelling to his name and an addition to Kodi... he became Kodi Bear!
Kodi’s first step onto US soil was full of enthusiasm... after a 14 hour flight he walked out of that crate at JFK and didn’t look back. He had been at the shelter for about a year after being rescued from one of the most horrific slaughterhouses in South Korea. You would never have thought this if you met him - always smiling, a calm presence and gracious manners. He arrived at our home and strolled in with familiarity and ease, he was basically house trained after 4 days with his foster family in Korea and took treats out of our hand so gently. He made his way purposefully that day to Rosie’s picture and memorial urn box, disregarded his toys and gently picked up her bear, almost acknowledging her presence.
I have never met a rescue dog that was so calm and entrusting as Kodi...it definitely felt like he had been with us before....we had a daily occurrence of synchronicity; the week leading up to Kodi’s arrival and his first week with us felt somewhat spiritual; ladybugs, dragonflies, white butterflies, bluejays, cardinals, random feathers appearing at our feet on our walks, a deer, hawk and turtle announced their presence in very close proximity... we may have been out in the country but we have never experienced such an abundance of signs in a short intense space of time....perhaps coincidence or serendipity but it was our way of acknowledging that it was time to let in another survivor into our lives. I swear Rosie’s spirit was present in our new boy dog. That evening my son was practicing his cello and within a few seconds Kodi got up from another room and walked over and sat right next to him, a favorite pastime of Rosie’s, she was a permanent music buddy by my son’s side.
We were convinced that she was telling us to keep this one......
Kodi Bear became ours and somehow he knew it. He’s totally blended into our daily life, most days you wouldn’t even notice there was a dog in the house. Kodi feels like an old soul, he still has a few insecurities - that’s to be expected when you commit to a rescue but he’s relaxed and finally able to sleep peacefully knowing he is much loved. He has seeked out his pack leader and enjoys being in the pack; routines have been established quickly as we read up on Jindo blogs. He’s discovered freedom and his prey driven skills are being tempted everyday looking at the squirrels and birds that surround him.
We are around week 3 now - Kodi’s first vet check up was on our wedding anniversary, the first available date... another coincidence maybe but it’s nice to believe in chance encounters (remember I mentioned Rosie was our wedding gift!)
We can honestly say we are smitten with this sweet boy of a bear. He is up for trail walks but will only walk 3 laps around the garden before putting his butt firmly on the ground, he has figured out the stairs and refuses to go up the last leg of a 4th floor walk up... we are working on that! He knows what he wants and his character is blooming. Kodi will “sit” and give his “paw” at the sight of a treat. Belly rubs have been his thing from the start and he is learning to walk with a harness (the only thing that seems to cause some stress).
Kodi is the 3rd child now. Maybe we will still adopt one more, maybe a girl - but for now it's all boys! Chance, luck, synchronicity, coincidence....call it what you may, all I know is that all these things brought us together at the most stressful time of our lives. So grateful to be part of this very special dog community. Thank you so much Lauren and Annie from We Act for bringing Kodi to us.
“Dogs come into our lives to teach us about love, they depart to teach us about loss. A new dog never replaces an old dog, it merely expands the heart." Quote from Erica Jong