My Wonderful Dog Coda!
by Karen Howell
Coda is my third Rottie. I chose him from a litter of nine pups when he was six weeks old. He was the runt of the litter, but he didn't take anything from his siblings. He had an attitude! I played with him, turned him on his back while holding him and he loved it when I scratched his tummy. I knew he was the one I wanted. I finally was able to pick him up when he was 10 weeks old and took him home. On the way, I was trying to choose a name and then it came to me...Coda! I love music and because in music "coda" means a little extra at the end, it seemed very fitting seeing he was the runt.
Coda is now three years old and he has a big brother (a Yellow Lab named Kaboo). Coda loves to play games, especially one I call "may I have it". He will pick up a sock or hat or anything laying around the house and bring it to me. I'll say "may I have it?" and he will open his mouth and let me take it. He will continue playing until I quit. He also likes to "steal" hats and socks and take them to "his" couch where he will guard them. If my husband tries to take it away from him, he growls, but when I tell him "It's mine", he will give it to me.
When we're watching TV and any kind of animal appears on a show, even an animated show, Coda jumps up in front of the TV on his hind legs and barks. When they disappear, he runs to the side to see where they went. When it comes to hunting shows, as soon as he hears whispering, he sits in front of the TV because he knows whispering means that an animal will appear. He especially likes to bark at turkeys.
Coda is an absolute joy in my life. My first Rottie Max, lived to be 13; my second Rottie Boden, lived only to be 16 months. As it turned out, he had mouth cancer. It was a very sad day when we had to put him down. We can't prove it, but we think it was because he chewed on plastic bottles and they are petroleum based.
We live in the country on 54 acres so our dogs have lots of room to roam. We never tie Coda up so he is able to wander but he never goes further than our front horse pasture. We also have a very large chain link fence enclosure in the back yard where the dogs can stay if we're not home, however, our dogs are both house dogs and enjoy being with us. We have to sweep daily. Coda doesn't like the heat, but he enjoys playing outside in the snow.
We had one scare with Coda when he was six months old. He followed Kaboo into the big woods behind our house. I called for the dogs and after a half hour Kaboo came, but not Coda. I called and called, but no Coda. To make a long story short, my husband searched every day for him; we visited all the neighbors and gave them pictures of him; we contacted our local sheriff's department and the Humane Society. Every day we searched and called through five days of over 100 degrees and three thunderstorms. We thought maybe someone picked him up or maybe the coyotes got him. I was feeling so very sad, but I didn't give up hope. On day 11, Coda returned...a little thinner and bearing a few scratches. The only thing that was strange, was that he liked to eat bird seed below our bird feeder! I wish he could talk, I would love to hear about his adventure!