In Memory of Cody

My big yeller huntin dog! He was the type of dog that every man wants to have and that so few ever do have the miracle to experience. He was a man’s dog! He was strong, big, muscular and bold with a bravado that was unsurpassed by any dog that I have known in my life. He was the bravest dog that I have ever known and I admired him for it greatly.

As a puppy — he was a ball of yellow fluff and I first picked him up from underneath his father Chewbacca. He too was a big handsome golden retriever. I purchased him and took him home to my eleven year old daughter. She was ecstatic; and she instantly introduced him to her old Ma’ cat named Kali. Kali proceeded to show him who was boss with a couple of quick cat slaps to his face and his famous sneer appeared in a hateful response. Thus; it was born — his young training as a dat (dog trained by a cat) and the protector of my daughter Bonnie Jean.

As he grew with my children — he learned to jump like a cat, chase his brother cat Sylvester and to stand up to anything that proceeded into his territory. He strengthen his muscles by running around the outside of our house till there was a track path for him and then swim in our pool to the chlorine turned him blonde — all the while loving and protecting his family.

When we moved our family from Georgia to Montana — Cody was the first to go. He rose to adulthood in Montana and became a great fearless hunter with our family. He was always the first to lead the way on all hunts, hikes and family outings. When he was hunting he never would quit or give up — he pushed us all to keep up with him. He even injured himself during hunting by chasing game over a twenty foot cliff. This injury at about three years old caused him to be an epileptic.

He remained on medication till his death, but it never slowed him down. His happiest moment is when we got his beautiful female mate Missy —. He was so happy that he always protected her and loved her to his death — together they were the best hunting dogs that I have ever had.

At approximately nine years of age — Cody reached his hunting peak by attacking a full grown black bear, fighting it, winning and finally chasing it up a mountain. In all of my life, I have never seen a more courageous act of love and protection by any animal. It was his finest moment! The bear was ambling through our pasture towards an apple tree loaded with fruit. We were setting on our front porch enjoying the evening sunset. My daughter Bonnie Jean, my wife Nancy and I witnessed the fight.

Nancy repeatedly called Cody to come, but he heard nothing and ran full speed at the bear. He hit him with a stunning force that rolled him over and the bear came up standing on his hind legs and swatting his massive paws at Cody. Cody snarled and nipped at the bear as the frustrated bear strived to kill his attacker, but Cody’s speed and agility was too much for the bear. The bear whirled about and went to all fours and headed up the mountain as fast as he could with Cody in hot pursuit.

As a couple of minutes passed they disappeared into the timber and we feared for Cody, because bears are known to double back quickly and surprise their attackers — however; we looked up the mountain to a projecting summit and the bear stood on the ledge looking for his tormentor and then we saw our big crazy yeller dog happily trotting back to us confident in his great victory — indeed; I stood speechless in total admiration and awe of this great animal.

As the years passed — our children grew up to become very productive
citizens and Nancy and I became the keepers of the dogs. We had many
more adventures with our dogs like the Bumpass Hounds Thanksgiving,
Cody with Christmas antlers and Cody and Missy at our daughter’s
wedding on the ranch. In their golden years they became our babies and
they were always there to offer a belly to scratch or to steal a piece
of our evening pizza, but late at night as I pondered in solitude and
looked at the brave yeller dog fast asleep at my feet — I once again saw
him young, fearless and full of vinegar — fighting bears, crossing
mountain streams and trotting along endless mountain trails — and that is
the way I will remember my brave boy — our Cody.