Bye Buddy

My first pic with Kobe

The one thing that I always wanted when I was a kid was a dog.  I remember asking for one for several years for my birthday but my parents just did not believe in having animals in the house.  I always loved animals and knew that one day I would have one.

The day that I signed my first teaching contract, I remember heading straight to the SPCA and was “considering” getting a dog.  As I looked through the pens where they kept the dogs, I will never forget seeing a beautiful “runt” golden lab.  What was interesting was that this dog was abused which led him to being rather aggressive. This would lead to a lot of work with Kobe and he eventually was the friendliest dog ever.  People always loved him.  As I walked into the pen, we connected immediately.  I knew I had found my dog.  I was so excited and was attached immediately.  Kobe slept in my bed for at least a portion of the night, everyday that I was home.

I remember trying to play fetch with him and he would run so excited to get the ball maybe twice.  After the third time he was just “meh”.  He got the game and just had no desire.  That’s how he was with me.  He was very calm and complacent and just liked hanging out.

I am going to miss him not being at the door with my other dog Shaq when I come home.  His tail wagging when I walked in was the best part of my day, and walking out of the house in the morning always sunk my heart.

It was fantastic that we got to spend a lot of time together over the summer.  Both my dogs got use to “summer George” where I would be home a lot of the time and we would just hang out around the house.  Although I love being at school, to me, this was one of the major “perks” of summer.

Today, before I said goodbye, I took Kobe for a drive, rolled the window down, and picked up a McDonald’s Cheeseburger and a Smartie McFlurry.  I wanted him to have one last meal of food that he always tried to sneak a taste of while I was eating.  He loved it and that is a moment I am trying to focus on.

I knew this would be hard, but I am glad that I got to lie on the floor with my buddy one last time, kiss him, and tell how much I love him.  I wrapped him up in a blanket and was glad that he was not struggling anymore.

It is not going to be the same without him in my bed every night.  He was a really special dog.  I love Kobe more than anything.

I am saying again, what I have said to my dog a million times before.

Bye buddy.


  1. Jennifer Dalby

    Friendship like that can never be replaced. Thank you for sharing and inspiring us all to think about the important things in life. Be gentle with yourself.


  2. What a beautiful tribute. He'll love you forever.

    When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight.

    ~Kahlil Gibran

  3. Sara

    Excellent piece. I bawled like a baby. You touched all dog owners with this writing.

    Kobe was lucky to have chosen you.

  4. The truth is, pets make us better people. When they look at us, it is only with love. They don't judge us or care what we are wearing. They only want to be near us and loved by us. We can learn a lot from our pets. They are who we should aspire to be!

  5. Kristy McKinnon

    I remember when you first came to Maple Creek and got Kobe. You two seemed inseparable. I'm so happy to hear that you shared your bed with him. I always let my Kimber sleep with me too. Their time on earth is too short to waste one minute or one cuddle! Kobe was so lucky to have you, especially after what he experienced before he found you. I'm sure that made him appreciate you so much more! I wish I could give you a big hug right now. I'm so sorry about your best bud, and thinking about you!! Take care George.

  6. This was no doubt one of the hardest days ever for you. Kobe was obviously a very loved dog. I had to go through the same with my little guy last month, and I still tear up when I look at photos, or see an unlicked cereal bowl. And your story and video made me cry all over again. I think dogs keep trying to communicate with us even after they're gone. Kobe will still be around to make you smile for a long time.

  7. Reading your post tonight, George, I cried much the same as I did when my dog, Princess, passed away, and when I had to put my dog, Maggie, down. It's clear how much you loved Kobe, and I'm so sorry for your loss! I really am thinking about you during this difficult time.

    What a touching tribute to a very dear friend!


  8. Oh, George. My eyes are full as I write this. My heart breaks for you…I remember the day I had to take my sweet Marti, and I too, was with her and held her, and told her I loved her as I said good bye. You did right by your friend, and I hope you can feel my virtual hug and compassion I feel for you right now.

  9. George, as I said on Twitter, I am so sorry for your loss. Having dogs is a tremendously special thing and they are so good to us. I lost Gizmo 5 years ago and I miss him still. Luckily I have Cappuccino and Bella to keep us company.

    Thanks for sharing with us all here. And don't worry, you will never forget your Buddy.

  10. Louisa

    I read this George and the flood of emotions of losing my animals over the years came rushing back and I sit here in tears thinking about it all. However although they are somewhat sad tears they are happy tears to know that these animals touched my life in such a way that many will never understand and I hope that at some point you feel the same way. I call all my lost animals my "heart" animals. When I lost my heart horse it was horrendous and my "heart" dog was earth shattering. But after the grief and the empty feeling slowly went away there was nothing but happy happy thoughts of the things we did together. I have a canvas screen print of both the dog and the horse in my home and so they still greet me every single day when I get home!!

    So I hope the same feelings happen to you that happened to me George and that in time it will ease and you will be able to smile and think " WOW!!! what a amazing dog he was and what a journey through life we shared together"

    I am so sorry for your loss George I really am

  11. kim

    I'm so sorry George! Kaili says she knows how much you will miss him and she's gonna give you a great big hug in the morning!

  12. George, I'm so sorry for your loss. This post brings tears to my eyes. I can't imagine losing Rosco. He's like my child. We're both sending you the biggest hugs. I'm glad Shaq is there to really comfort you. It's wonderful that you were able to give Kobe the kind of life he deserved after he suffered with previous owners. You were a true blessing in his life.

  13. Melody_ugdsb

    BIG HUG! Our pets are our family members and it's so hard to lose them! You've written a touching tribute, George. I'd say that Kobe was very lucky to have had you in his life. Thanks for sharing.

  14. Pam Franklin

    Kobe was so lucky to have you! I love my dogs, and I know how heavy your heart must be. Hope you find comfort with Shaq.

  15. Greta Sandler

    I am so sorry for your loss George. This is such a beautiful tribute… I'm in tears. This must be a really difficult moment. Shaq will manage to make you feel better. Pets are just amazing. A big hug for you and Shaq!

  16. Janna

    What a touchIng tribute to a true friend. I'm sorry to hear about Kobe. I always enjoy your stories about your dogs. You were both lucky to have each other.

  17. George,

    My sympathies. My wife and I had to put our dog, Dewey down this past spring. It was incredibly hard. We got dewey our first year out of college, well before we had kids, so in many ways he was our connection to our early life as a couple. We had Dewey for about 15 years, so saying goodbye was among the most difficult things we ever did.

    My best to you…

  18. Jennifer

    I'm so sorry for your loss. What a beautiful dog. What a great friend. I cried for you and Kobe tonight.

  19. Teresa Bunner

    I'm sitting here bawling. Isn't it amazing how much these 4 legged beings touch our lives and our hearts? I've had to make the decision twice now to let go of wonderful furry friends. It is such a tough decision, even when you know in your heart it is the right one.

    Just like any loss, it does get easier with time. What a lucky, lucky dog Kobe was to have had you walk into the SPCA that day. You gave him a second chance at life and loved him as he deserved.

    I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers as you move forward. I wish you and Shaq the best as you share the extra space on the bed.

    PS- I'll have to take issue with your name choices at another time says the Sacramento Kings fan:)

  20. Kathy

    Pets are so much a part of our families. Kobe was very loved and very lucky. Your tribute to Kobe has touched many people. It is through others stories that we connect to our own. We have all experienced the pain and sadness of loss, and are with you in thought as you face the days ahead. You and Shaq will need to comfort each other. You've both lost an amazing friend. You know we are all here for you. You are a constant source of guidance to so many. Your experiences and insights have inspired so many great things! Peace, George!

  21. Angelique

    Kobe could not have asked for a better companion than you. Dog people everywhere understand what you are going through.

  22. Tracey

    I am so sorry for your loss. Dudley was that kind of dog, too…My kid before I had kids. They say we go through stages of grief and I don't really think you get to the last one until you are able to be happy for the opportunity to have had the relationship more than you miss the other part. Hang in there.

  23. Cyndie Jacobs

    I just signed in and started following the thread of tributes to you and a soul mate, Kobe. I feel your loss as does anyone who has lost a family member. Pets do, indeed help us to become who we are. Shaq, too, has lost a soul mate. Your life has been enriched by your love of Kobe and his love of you.

  24. Alicia Lopez

    Before I close my tweetdeck for the night, your memorial to Kobe reached many hearts, including mine. Your gift of sharing is truly remarkable. I'm so sorry for your loss. I'm certain Kobe left you with beautiful memories.

  25. Trisha

    Thanks for sharing your precious story…you were Kobe's Hero…tears tonight too for my German Shepard "Todo" miss her…and love her still!…there's a song for that 🙂

  26. Jen Clevette

    I am so sorry for your loss. Your willingness to share never ceases to amaze me, wonderful memories. Take care, Jen

  27. Shawn

    George . . . I know that there are no words that can ease the pain or sorrow that you are feeling. I also know that it will be hard the first few times when you are reminded of Kobe. As you know I made the same difficult choice in January. Many gave their sympathies and thoughts and that is what I shall offer.

    I send to you my deepest sympathies and condolences. I truly think that it is and may be for a long time the hardest decision that one must make. To say goodbye and good night to an amazing friend and companion. Stand strong my friend and if you need, give me a shout I'll come and stand with you. Aside from that all I can offer is that Hopefully Ice was there to meet Kobe and show him around. I am sure that they would have gotten along quite well together. A Golden Lab and a Golden Dane, a pair to behold. Once again, my sincerest sympathies and a prayers for Kobe and for You.

  28. Jerelyne (@jneman)

    What a beautiful tribute to Kobe – You and Kobe were lucky to have each other. Thoughts and prayers are with you tonight.

  29. LCS


    I'm sorry for your loss. But loss is isn't so bad if you keep the best within. That is what brought us here today. What you feel or we would never have noticed it. This isn't an ordinary dog because you cared. 🙂


  30. George,

    Thanks for sharing this emotional story. I am the jerk who was giving you a hard time yesterday for the name Kobe. My thoughts are with you and I am glad that you have such great memories of Kobe.


  31. Sandy Jenkins

    Hey George, I had to put down my first dog in 1994 after having her for nine wonderful years. It was the hardest thing I have ever had to do. All these years later, I still miss her. Your piece brought back the saddness of that day, but also the wonderful memories of her. I have her photograph on my desk, and she is always in my heart. Stay strong. Sandy

  32. Jason

    Hey my Names is Jason Tarpy From Burlington High School. i got this site from my principal Mr Larkin and i wanted to say im sorry for your lose

  33. Lisa Neale

    Hey George,

    Sorry for your loss. Pets are most meaningful in all our lives. I will be taking my Bill & Ted for an extra long walk tonight in honour of you and Kobe.

  34. I am SO sorry for your loss. I truly, truly feel your pain and I wish I had words that would give you immediate peace.

    I can tell you that in March 2008 I had to say goodbye to two dogs, ten days apart. The first one was much like your situation…something we knew was coming. The second was a shock.

    You don't call relatives and friends, you don't put an obit in the paper and there is no formal ceremony for closure. But I can recommend a couple of things that really helped me deal with the grief of losing a furry companion and will also celebrate his life…Flickr & Scrapblog. A couple of Flickr groups to submit photos of Kobe are "I Believe in the Bridge" and "Precious Angels Waiting Bridgeside," "Pet Memorials" and "In Loving Memory of Our Pets." After posting photos, I received SO many helpful and consoling messages from others who had experienced this loss. On Scrapblog, I also made a little tribute on Scrapblog:… .

    I'd love to see more about the fantastic Kobe.

    May you find peace soon.

    Sara Carter

    Tulsa, OK

  35. Alison Ainsworth

    The bond between an animal and their owners can never be fully expressed by words but rather must be seen or experienced to fully appreciate. Its the twinkle in the eye of the child or ..child at heart, as you watch you furry friend play and the pride you experience when together, you accomplish something for the first time. Its the fulfillment you have knowing how truly loved you are when their cold nose graces you in the morning, and their joy explodes at you through with all four paws. Saying good-bye, for now, is bitter sweet, inspiring distant memories while leaving a quiet void. I hope you the love from your family and utter respect there is from your community helps to fill you up.Sorry for your loss.

  36. George, I'm so sorry for your loss. I've been an animal lover since birth and have had to say goodbye to several dear friends (children, really), so I understand your grief.

    What a wonderful send-off you gave him! And how lucky you both were to have had each other.

  37. Looks like everyone has covered nearly all the thoughts and emotions that were going through my head as I read this. What a touching post that brought me to tears.

    I'm so sorry for your loss, but know that those memories of Kobe will stay with you forever.

  38. Wow… you got me. I put this off all day because I did not want to read it. We found out that our "baby" Ozzy (an 8 year-old bullmastiff) has an aggressive form of cancer called a sarcoma. He has had surgery but not sure how long he will be with us. I have been thinking a lot about my days with him and your words have got me bawling. It is amazing what a dog can bring into our lives. Wonderful post but I am truly sorry that Kobe is no longer with you. Thanks for further emphasizing the importance of enjoying all those moments where I have been away for 5 minutes and when I see Ozzy, he acts like I have been away for 5 days. Give Shaq a hug for me (and one from Ozzy for you).

  39. hi George!

    I'm so sorry to hear about your loss. I love my dog as much as you loved yours. Thanks so much for sharing all this with us. Your memories of Kobe will definitely live with you forever.


  40. I have not been online much the last while, so just saw the post. Sorry, to hear man. Pets are special and Kobe was for you. Take care.

  41. George,

    I am just catching up on blog reading and read this post about Kobe. I am so sorry to hear this. I completely understand the heartbreak you are feeling. Dogs can be such an important part of our families. Know that many share your loss.

  42. […] distinctly how so many “strangers” reached out to me approximately a year ago when my first dog Kobe had passed away but it was just validated over the summer.  As much as that was probably one of […]

  43. […] One year ago today, I woke up and knew one of the hardest days in my life was about to happen.  Looking at my dog Kobe and seeing him unable to lay down, yet barely able to stand, I knew I was going to have to say goodbye. […]

  44. lmorhart

    Alec just sent me this link and it made me cry because this is the EXACT way we feel. We had to put our dog down on Saturday and we were not expecting it! Ryot was the BEST dog ever and it is so strange not to have to kick her over in the night! Our other dog is SO lost and keeps looking for her! They were together for 10 years. Thanks for sharing!

  45. […] My first dog Kobe died three years ago today.  To that point, it was the toughest day of my life as I had never lost anything close to me.  Even though I was an adult, I felt I really “grew up” a lot that day.  Sitting by something you love and watching him pass away as you hold him is a tough experience and one that I often wake up remembering. […]

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