She was our first canine kid. In fact, I often told her she started this whole mess :) The backstory to Kodiak coming to live with us is this:
In 1998, I had gone through everything I could handle to try and conceive a child. We decided to buy a house for the time when the blessed event would occur. We moved into our house in November of 1998. November 15, my doctor phoned to tell me that she couldn't see the reason, but from test results, it appeared as if I would never have children. (A doctor later would tell me she believed it had to do with my father being exposed to Agent Orange while in Vietnam.) I was devastated. My whole life, I wanted to be a mom. Adoption was a pipe dream and way out our way, pay-wise.
In December, my husband came home from work with an idea. What if we got a dog? I hemmed and hawed, not sure that was the answer. Finally, I said, why not? We had a huge backyard and plenty of time. Isn't it funny that a guy the hubby worked with just happened to have brand-new chow mix puppies to give away? *grin*
New Year's Eve 1998, my husband went to work. He had to work until noon (loads of overtime), but he was bringing home a puppy when he returned. Because we were set for a HUGE snowstorm, I had him pick up a collar, leash, puppy food, etc., to get us through. He came home with this little wriggly ball of black fuzz. He handed her to me and I fell in love. He said, "Here's your daughter." I snuggled her and cried. She promptly peed on me :)
For 14 years, we were blessed with Kodiak. Never a day went by that we regretted bringing her home. We loved her with everything we had and spoiled her rotten. (We've done that with all of our canine kids.) She's moved with us from our house to her grandma's house to three different places in Pennsylvania, out to Oklahoma, back to her grandpa's, and here to the U.P.
I miss her so much. There is a Kodiak-size hole in our family. I told my husband last night, "I don't know how to be a mom to 4. We've always had 5."
Farewell, my darling daughter. We love you and will miss you until we meet again at Rainbow Bridge. Kiss your brother and sister when you get there. Tell Dad I love him. We'll see you again.