War is a harsh reality and a soldier sees many things that we can never imagine. When partners work closely together in this kind of environment, like for this soldier and his German Shepherd, it’s the most difficult thing in the world to part ways.
Kyle Smith and Bodza, the 11-year-old German Shepherd dog, worked as a team for the U.S Air Force. They started out together in 2012 and formed a bond instantly. Kyle Smith and Bodza went through so much together, so nothing could compare to the heartbreak Kyle felt when parting with his companion. By Bodza’s side, he and the soldiers stayed until the brave canine took his last dying breath.
Kyle Smith and Bodza worked side by side in Iraq, Kyrgyzstan, and Kuwait. Bodza worked as an explosive detection dog. He saved lives in war torn countries. He had to sniff out bombs, at great risk to himself.
“I loved working with him because he taught me a lot. Patience, as a young dog handler and how to understand that this job isn’t just about you,” Kyle told the Dodo, ”He followed me around everywhere, and [told] me good night, every night.”
In the summer of 2016 Bodza was diagnosed with degenerative myelopathy, an incurable disease that affects the spinal cord. The terrible moment came when Bodza passed away. It was extremely difficult and painful for Kyle to part with his beloved friend and workmate.
”He was selfless—more that any human I have ever known … I miss him everyday,” Kyle said, ”I was holding Bodza as he passed.”
Bodza the Brave, worked as a bomb detection dog for the U.S. Air Force
”I loved working with him because he taught me so much…”
”He followed me everywhere”
In the summer of 2016 Bodza was diagnosed with degenerative myelopathy, an incurable disease
Bodza the brave passed away peacefully
With full honors, Bodza was laid to rest. ”He was selfless—more than any human I have ever known—I miss him everyday,” says his bereaved owner Kyle Smith.
We can learn so much from animals, they are naturally attuned to goodness.