TRIPAWDS: Home to 22819 Members and 2143 Blogs.

27 Dec 2020

And Then There Were Two…

Author: Paula | Filed under: Uncategorized



My Terrorist Trio has become a duo….it is with a heavy heart that I share that Kodi has joined his brother Nitro in heaven.




It really shouldn’t be that big of a shock, as he was dealing with multiple health issues along with being 3 months shy of 17 years old. He’d been living with Cushing’s Disease for 4+ years now, and handling THAT really well. His kidney values were starting to creep up – but nowhere near as bad as Nitro’s had been. In the wee hours of October 29th, he had a massive seizure (which was the worst way to start off our Anniversary of 32 years). We rushed him to the ER vet because we were scared out of our minds, never having witnessed a seizure before. The post-ictal stage was stressful for us as he paced for 5 hours straight. We took him to our regular vet in the morning, and the opinion was he was in congestive heart failure. His breathing was rapid, and strained, he had fluid in his chest/lungs, his heart was enlarged and he had a heart murmur (which he’d had for some time now). He was started on 3 heart meds, and time went on.


He did well up until about 1-2 weeks ago. Sure, he was quieter, and had a bit more mobility problems, but he was still engaged and alert, still loving car rides and walks in the stroller. This past Monday, he either jumped off of, or fell off our very tall bed. By this time he was stumbling frequently, seemed to be more confused, and started to walk in circles. My uneducated medical guess was brain tumor. He’d never been a good eater – his whole life – and was becoming a worse eater. Planner that I am, and with the long Christmas Holiday weekend approaching, I made “THE” appointment, just in case, for Wednesday afternoon. John was concerned his decreased mobility issues stemmed from the fall off the bed, maybe he was just “out of whack”. I was able to get him a chiropractic appointment Wednesday afternoon, to see if that was the case. While his back was “twisty from the fall”, she noted that he “just seemed tired” and that his heart rate and respirations were alarmingly slow. As the day wore on, and I realized he hadn’t even had one sip of water the entire day, the looming appointment seemed inevitable. We made the best of what would be our last day…we took one last walk – over 4 miles total. He seemed engaged, looking all around, even asking to get out and sniff in the park.




By the time John got home from work, even he had to admit “it was time”. I’d spoken to my vet earlier in the day, asking my many questions…to which she said “the best thing you can do is control the situation, not let it control you”. We spent the rest of the afternoon snuggling together, the four of us.



We brought Grizzly with us, since he was very bonded with Kodi. It took a bit to find a vein, as he was dehydrated, and they noted that his gums were very pale. It was indeed time. We sat on a love seat, with Grizz between us, and John holding Kodi in a blanket on his lap. It was over quickly and very peacefully; our vet stayed and talked to us for almost 45 min afterwards. We laughed some, and cried some, smiled through our tears. I asked for an inked pawprint so I can get a tattoo in remembrance…I also plan to have a diamond made from his ashes/fur/my hair like I did for Nitro – but smaller, for an earring.







As before, it feels like a weight has been lifted from my chest, while at the same time I feel so lost! Bedtime is the worst, as we had QUITE the ritual with all his meds and eye drops. The dynamic of our family/household has changed dramatically – I suspect I’m once again suffering from care-giver burnout.

But, like before, I feel we did it at exactly the right time with him, like we did with Nitro. And while our house (and hearts) will never be the same, life goes on. As we were waiting for the vet to come in, John was talking quietly to Kodi…telling him Nitro was waiting for him. At that exact moment, Kodi raised his head up and looked around the room. Yes, I believe Warrior Angel Nitro was with us, ready to welcome his buddy home.





Fly free, my Little Bear…until we meet again. Be good, mama loves you!

Kodi “Bear” Ehlers…March 15, 2004 – December 23, 2020

16 Responses to “And Then There Were Two…”

  1. Paula Says:

    Thank you Holly for the beautiful words, they were very comforting. You can bet I will be on the lookout for the cardinals!

  2. Purrkins Says:

    Oh, Paula, we are so sorry to read Kodi earned his wings. A special thanks to a member for letting us know. 😘

    Something is in the universe calling all these special souls home. 🎺

    I’m going to hold onto your vet’s sage words, “to control the situation, and you guys did just that. That’s a gift in itself, as your heart is ripping apart. You have given Kodi the most incredible gift and our wish for all our furmily members giving our borrowed angels back peacefully!

    I love the picture and Nitro and Kodi; that is precisely what transpired. I know this brought some comfort and more heartache too. When we lose another member of our furmily or family, it brings up all our losses to the surface.

    The loss of routines and loss of caregiving is a lot to bear!! I ditto Donna; yes, Nitro & Kodi made sure your house would still be full of love and got everyone settled before heading home.

    Kodi had a wonderful long life, but that does not make this part any more comfortable! Seventeen years with Kodi will take 17 years to get used to the idea of Kodi being in his spirit form, just like Warrior Nitro.

    Run & fly Free, Kodi. Try those shiny new wings out and make sure you and Nitro fly in to show Mom and Dad your ok.

    Watch for your two cardinals, Paula. I know they will show up!πŸ’«πŸ’«πŸ•ŠπŸ•Š

    Please accept our heartfelt condolences and virtual virus-free hugs.

    We are keeping you & in our thoughts and prayers!

    Holly, Mark, Purrkins & SaxtonπŸ’πŸ’πŸ’

  3. Andrea Gilson Says:

    Other than missing them so much it hurts, learning to live without them is awful especiallywhen yoir days revolve around them and their needs for so long. As you well know Paula a time will come when the tears you shed when you think of him will turn into smiles and I hope that time comes soon. Although I didnt know him as well as Bear and Thor, I do know he was a great little fella. You and John are in my thoughts.

  4. Murphsmom Says:

    Awww, Paula… This is so sad for your family, but not sad, too, because the two best buds are together once again. I am glad that you were able to bring Grizz along with you to not only ease Kodi through his transition, but to make the loss easier in Grizz. Dogs know. They will search and mourn when they don’t know what happened to their buddies, but the knowing is part of their way to ease their loss. You and John have my deepest sympathy.

  5. benny55 Says:

    All we can see in those photos…love toven and love returned and very happy and content sogs. And we will ALWAYS see the CUTEST eogw evvvveeerrr! Even through the tears, we can still see that.

    Like some of the others, it was such a treat,to meet Kodi, Grizz and Tucker and to see the beautiful tribute area for Wareior Nitro. We could feel his presence with us.

    Kodi is exactly as upi describe him. He’s so chill, so wise and so “whatever” with everything around him. Surely he is the doggy version of The Voice of Reason.

    You know Kodi so well. You knew when to give him whatever he needed to support him on every level as he we t thru his health challenges. You processed who he is and you processed what he would want and where he would draw the line the sand. You gave him every opportunity to live life to the fullest. And as the definition of “living life to the fullest” in his sunset years changed, you adapted with each new normal. Because of you and John and your care and yojr love, Kodi lived out his natural life able to be comfortable and without crisis shattering his last earth days. I stead, he was surrounded by love, by peace and by calm. And he let you know he was excited to go run to Nitro.and that Nitro was definitely calling him home. And even Grizz knew Kodi was at peace and free, that’s why he had such a calm demeanor too. Love was all around that day.

    It did strike me with that first picture of the “two” that there were three sources of light on that pole lamp. Dunno why, but that really strod out to me.

    And the pictures of Grizz looking with Kodi with sich adoration and respect and love….priceless. Kodi is sich a good teacher for him, and for Tucker too….and for you too!!

    Love the pic of Kodi grinning and showing g how teeth. What was the baxkstory?

    And the Packers won their recent football game right before Christmas in honor of Kodi and Nitro!!

    Thank you Kodi. Upu made our earth world brighter and without question, a whole lot cuter.

    .ove to you and John
    Sally and Alumni Happy Hannah and Merry Myrtle and Frankie too

    • dobemom Says:

      As always, you bring comfort with your words Sally. I especially like the comparison of him being a doggy version of the “Voice of Reason”. The back story of the “smile” is that he was NOT amused (at first) to have Grizzly around. There was a lot of teeth nashing for quite awhile.

  6. brownie1201 Says:

    I’M so sorry to hear about Kodi. It is clear how much he is loved! Even though he had a full life of almost 17, I know it’s never long enough. I hope you find comfort knowing that now Nitro will watch over Kodi….

    Sending Hugs.
    Nancy and Angel Brownie

    • dobemom Says:

      Thanks Nancy, you’re right, it’s never long enough. And it does bring comfort knowing the bro’s are together again

  7. dobemom Says:

    Thank you Rene…it was indeed hard, and you’re right – we don’t have any regrets. I’m grateful we were able to cross all our T’s and dot the I’s. Now he is “walking the fence” at the Bridge, something he spent hours doing while in his earthly clothes.

  8. jerry Says:

    Awww Paula, what a beautiful tribute so full of love and strength. My deepest condolences. Even when a life is long-lived, it just seems to go so fast and is never long enough.

    Thank you for allowing us to be part of this journey with your sweet old man. You guys are such amazing parents and the care and love that you put into each dog’s life just speaks volumes about what awesome people you and John are.

    I’m so glad Nitro sent you a sign that he was there and ready for his partner in crime. What a beautiful parting gift for all of you.

    As dog parents we know that this day will come eventually, but we do our best to avoid thinking about it. When it’s time to do so, it’s tough, but you managed to do everything right so that you would not have any regrets. It sure doesn’t sound like it. Be proud of your strength in how you controlled the situation (I love that quote!). Kodi’s transition was exactly as we all hope will happen. You are so awesome.

    Love to all of you, and may your hearts be forever filled with all the good times and joyful feelings that your sweet ol’ man brought into your life.

  9. Michelle Says:

    Beautiful. Brought tears to my eyes again. I am going to miss him. He was such a gentle soul. I loved getting to know him when I stayed with you.
    I know Nitro met him and showed him around.

    Run free Kodi until you meet your mom and dad again.

    hugs and love

    Michelle and the pack plus Angels Sassy, Bosch and Baby Simba

  10. Donna Says:

    Such a beautiful tribute to sweet Kodi bear ❀ I’m glad I’ve gotten to meet him, twice now. Kodi loved his walks, even riding in his stroller. I’m sure he missed his brother & he’s made sure Tucker has settled in well with Grizz before he left. Say hello to all our Angels Kodi!

    • dobemom Says:

      Thanks Donna…I’m glad you got to know him a little too. I like the thought that he made sure the tots were well established before he had to go….

      much love

Leave a Reply