"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. If you have loved many dogs your heart is very big."
When my friend Matt and I met on Tinder (of all places), it wasn't a love connection, but we had one important thing in common. We both had yellow labs. It breaks my heart to say that we now have another thing in common - we've both had to say goodbye to our labs in the last year.
Around this time last year, I lost my first dog Kirby. I have been thinking of him a lot lately, and remembering how much he loved this time of year. Spending time with Koda helped me through that grieving period. Koda even slept over at my house so I didn't have to spend that first night alone. I couldn't bear the thought of being home without the pitter patter of paws on the floor.
If you follow us on social media, you've probably seen a post or two about Koda and her ailing health. After receiving the best possible care, the vets at the U of M who came to love her as one of their own finally said there was nothing more they could do. Koda is now free to chase squirrels and tennis balls with her friend Kirby.
If I had to describe Koda in one word, it would be happy. When I showed up for her walks, she was waiting for me in the window. If you threw her the ball, she'd be your best friend (as long as you threw it quickly enough). If you needed a snuggle, she was your girl. She was the first dog I met that could balance a treat on her nose, flip it up, and catch it in her mouth. I'll never forget the time we walked in the Pride Parade with Sidewalk Dog and Koda stole the show with her trick of jumping and catching the tennis ball mid-air.
Koda was the very first Modern Dogs client, as this whole journey got started. I remember having her at my side as I hung up flyers in her neighborhood, wondering whether I was crazy for thinking I could start a dog walking business.
Koda, I don't know if Modern Dogs would exist if it weren't for you. You gave me hope that I could make a dream a reality. Thank you for being a part of my world, and thank you for sharing your infectious energy with the Modern Dogs family. You were so special to those who loved you, and you left permanent paw prints on the hearts of many. Things will never be the same around here without you. We love you. xoxo