I can still hear him lapping up the peanut butter, his long tongue working all the edges of a sticky-gooey spoon. Cody loved peanut butter, so I’d sneak him a spoonful every time we found ourselves alone in the kitchen.
He loved chips, too. And he loved picnics, nosing his way beneath people’s elbows, sniffing at plates full of barbecued chicken, fragrant beans, spicy salsas. Cody was an eater, a true foodie who loved every morsel that touched his bowl (or the floor), and I cringe to think he couldn’t stomach a thing in his last days.
I hope I’m not overstepping the bounds here in posting a remembrance of my brother-in-law’s dog. No, Cody was not my dog, but he was my good friend. I loved the way he wagged his little tail every time we walked through the door. We got to know each other pretty well last year, when Jerry and I invaded Cody’s house for two months as we searched for a place of our own. I know we disrupted his routine and infringed on his territory. Cody had a thing about coughingâ€”it bothered him, and he would leave the roomâ€”but eventually he even learned to accept my asthmatic throat-clearing after I’d return from long runs in the Foothills. Somewhere along the line, in Cody’s mind, I think we evolved from invasive species to fun buddies. When Jerry and I bought our own house, Cody would guard it like his own.
Not that he had any bite behind his bark. Cody was a big dog with the most gentle nature. Anyone who knows the story of my Cambodian dog bite will immediately understand what it means for me to have had such a bond with a dog. It takes me a long time to trust dogs. But I never felt that way with Cody. With Cody, I never felt anything but love. That was his personality. Cody made friends everywhere he wandered.
I get a little blurry-eyed every time I think of him. He was a loyal, loving friend. I miss him.