Kyle Smith and his dog Bodza, both members of the U.S. Air Force, had been through a lot together – so the man was there for his dying canine and stayed by his side until his very last breath. Bodza, the 11-year-old German shepherd, had worked as an explosive detection dog. He saved human lives by sniffing for bombs in countries like Iraq, Kyrgyzstan and Kuwait. The pooch started working with Smith in 2012, and the two clicked immediately. “I loved working with him because he taught me a lot — patience as a young handler, and how to understand that this job isn’t just about you,” the man told The Dodo. “He followed me around everywhere… and [told] me good night, every night.”
Then, in the summer of 2016 Bodza, was diagnosed with degenerative myelopathy, an incurable disease that affected his spinal cord. Smith could see Bodza was in pain, and chose to end his suffering.
“He had a smile on his face when he was getting put to sleep,” Smith said. “I was holding Bodza as he passed.” Smith’s nine co-workers were there to support him. They let the man break down and sob. “He was selfless — more than any human I’ve ever known… I miss him every day.”