Kyle Smith and Bodza began working together back in 2012 when both were deployed to Kyrgyzstan. As a U.S. Air Force veteran, Smith has completed four deployments in various places, and all the time, Bodza was by his side. The two became truly inseparable after Smith retired from his military service. It was then that he adopted Bodza after training hundreds of other military dogs for service. There was just something special about Smith’s bond with Bodza that connected them for life.
It was later discovered that Bodza was suffering from degenerative myelopathy, a disease of the spinal cord that was causing pain in his old age. Bodza began dragging his paws and showing signs of weakness, and Smith began to understand that Bodza couldn’t make it for long – he knew the 11-year-old German Shepherd would need to be put down. Watch the video of the two together and see how Smith never left his side – not even at the last moment of Bodza’s life.
“I knew it was going to be a roller-coaster of emotions, but I had to be there. I wanted to be there.” Something remarkable came from this experience. Bodza’s whole life was a display of loyalty and service, both to his country, and to his best friend, Smith. Now, Kyle Smith honors this special dog’s life in a striking way. Kyle reported that for all the dogs that gave their lives to loyalty and service, he honors them. The photo that was captured during Bodza’s last moment is a testament to Kyle’s honor, and the loyalty that they both shared. View the amazing photos below!