The bond between a dog and his owner will be special and they will always be treated like family. There is a reason why they are called the “Man’s Best Friend. ” However, when dogs develop an illness that can threaten their own life, they have to be put down.
This is a heartbreaking moment for every dog owner and no one would ever want to make this decision, nor even witness it. This was something that a military dog owner has to go through.
Airman Kyle Smith was paired with a German shepherd named Bodza when he was deployed in Kyrgyzstan in 2012 and the two immediately bonded. Bodza was a military dog that was smart and very skilled at his job. Even the other soldiers noticed the special bond that these two have even though they just met.
Time flew by too fast and they already have to go home but Kyle new that this is not the end of their story.
When it was time for Bodza to retire, Kyle did everything to be able to adopt Bodza and with little effort, he was able to bring the German shepherd home. They spent many memorable years together but when Bodza turned 11 years old, he suffered from a very serious health problem. Kyle knew that something was wrong because he was always in pain.
He then learned that his dog was suffering from an incurable degenerative disease that will greatly affect his spinal cord.
Spinal cord diseases or Degenerative Myelopathy in dogs is very common but the specific cause is still unidentified. This can affect any breed at any age but older dogs will usually be affected by the disease. This degenerative disease can lead to loss of most of the bodily functions and it can be very painful for a dog.
This disease is usually characterized by different symptoms like muscle atrophy where the dog is unable to maintain a posture, partial or limb paralysis, loss of muscle mass, and exaggerated spinal reflexes.
To end Bodza’s suffering, Kyle decided to bring him to the vet to put him down. This decision broke his heart and he could not stop crying. He cradled Bodza in his arms while they are surrounded by his Air Force brothers and his loved ones.
Kyle cannot contain his sadness as he said goodbye to his loyal dog. Kyle had a moment with Bodza on the floor before putting him on the table and he never left his best friend’s side as he slipped away.
This is when Kyle’s boss ordered someone to find an American flag to drape over Bodzas body. His request left the room in tears while the camera captured this emotional moment with Bodza while he was paid with his final military respect. It was indeed a beautiful send off for Bodza who will always be remembered as the dog who served his country and won’t soon be forgotten.
Military dogs will always be considered as true heroes because of their loyalty and the service that they have given to their country. Like other military dogs, Bodza will always stay in the hearts of those who knew him and will always be special to Kyle Smith and his Air Force brothers.