Dog

A soldier stays by his dying dog until the end. These 7 pictures prove what true love is

A soldier stays by his dying dog until the end. These 7 pictures prove what true love is.

Two brave soldiers, two members of the U.S. Air Force, and two souls bound for life. These words describe Kyle Smith and his military dog, Bozda, who willingly put their lives on the line overseas to protect our country. But when fate caught up with Bozda, Smith had to make the ultimate sacrifice for his best friend.

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Bozda, a German Shepherd, began working for the Air Force in 2006 as an explosive detection dog. He has helped save many lives in Iraq, Kuwait and Kyrgyzstan by finding bombs before they explode. Smith teamed up with Bozda for the first time in 2012, and the two immediately became best friends.

Smith told The Dodo that “I loved working

KYLE SMITH

him because he taught me so much – patience as a young handler, and how to understand that this job is not just about you.”

KYLE SMITH
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When Bozda officially retired, Smith adopted him on the spot. “I brought him home the same day,” he said. “He was even more loyal to the house. He would follow me everywhere. He’d lay his head on the edge of the bed and say good night to me, every night.”

KYLE SMITH

Unfortunately, in the summer of 2016, Bozda was diagnosed with a fatal genetic disease called degenerative myelopathy, which affects the dog’s spinal cord. “His hind limbs lost their usefulness, and he could barely stand, let alone walk,” Smith said. “He couldn’t handle the stress on his body and going to the bathroom was a difficult task.”

KYLE SMITH

After seeing the pain the condition was causing Bozda, Smith made the hardest decision a dog owner has to make. He decided to have Bozda euthanized.

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Accompanied by nine of his fellow soldiers, he took Bozda to the veterinary clinic in Fort Bliss, Texas. Bozda was made comfortable and Mr. Smith sat next to him on the floor until Bozda passed away peacefully. “I was holding Bodza in my arms when he passed away,” Mr. Smith said. “It was a shock of so many things. It was just overwhelming. He had a smile on his face when we put him to sleep.”

KYLE SMITH

Afterward, Smith broke down crying over his loss. “They left me sobbing like a baby. They patted me on the back and let me know everything was going to be okay. My boss immediately went and got a flag, draped it over him and let me have one last moment,” he recalled.

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“It was amazing,” Smith said. “I felt both sadness and peace.”

KYLE SMITH

Smith had Bozda cremated, and he keeps Bozda’s necklace on the rearview mirror of his car. “I’ll never forget how loyal he was,” Smith said. “He was selfless – more so than any human I’ve ever known. He did so much for almost nothing and did it with a smile. I miss him every day.”

“It was amazing,” Smith said. “There was a heartache and a peace all at once that came over me.”

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Smith had Bozda cremated, and he keeps Bozda’s necklace on the rearview mirror of his car. “I’ll never forget how loyal he was,” Smith said. “He was selfless – more so than any human I’ve ever known. He did so much for almost nothing and did it with a smile. I miss him every day.”

KYLE SMITH

Smith made the ultimate sacrifice for his best friend by recognizing when Bozda’s quality of life was too much for him to bear. We recognize the heroic stature of Smith and Bozda and mourn the loss of a great soldier.

RESOURCES THE DODOCANINEGENETICDISEASES.NET, AND BOREDPANDA.COM

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