Kyle Smith was partnered with military working dog Bodza back in 2012 during his deployment in Kyrgyzstan. The U.S. Air Force soldier worked alongside his beloved German Shepherd Dog until the day Bodza retired. Smith and Bodza immediately formed a special bond when they were partnered together and Smith knew he wanted to take his beloved dog home with him.
Their bond was so obvious that Smith’s superiors surprised him with Bodza’s adoption. “My boss said, ‘Hey, go check your Jeep,'” Smith told InsiderEdition. “They went out and put a bowl, a brand new leash and two collars, and they put [Bodza] at the back of my Jeep. I got to take him home the same day he retired.”
Unfortunately, age caught up to 11-year-old Bodza. Last week, Smith was heartbroken saying his final goodbyes to his greatest friend. Although he tried to hide his emotions from his superiors, he was surprised to see them show up at the veterinarian’s office on the day of Bodza’s euthanasia. His boss immediately requested the American flag to be brought out so they could drape it over the veteran dog’s body. “The worst thing you can do is not to recognize these dogs for what they are,” Smith said. “For these guys to do this for a dog they’ve never even met… he got a good sendoff that day.”
Smith remembers Bodza for the amazing companion that he was. “My favorite thing about him was he didn’t care what you were doing, he just wanted to be there doing it with you… Pretty much my whole career with him was walking around something, or walking to somewhere […] All of us have that dog that is so special to us,”
“I got married with this dog, I got divorced with this dog. I have a son on the way, and the most heartbreaking part is I really wish he was younger, so my son would be able to play with him. He was the nicest dog in the world.”
We certainly want to thank both Smith and Bodza for their service to our country and send our deepest condolences.