Once upon a time on a cold blizzardy day I drove my Ford Estate thru the horrible storm thru roads pile miles high with snow for hours and hours to a sheep farm to meet a tiny little brindle Cardi pup named Koda. Koda was an only pup and the last one his mommy would have.

As I walked in the door at Marvin and Betty's home, Marvin walked up and tossed that little guy right into my arms. Immediately Koda gave me kisses and started biting my hair. It was instant love... then after driving the miles and miles back home we sat together in our living room until my husband walked in the door and I said, "it's Daddy!", and Koda said, "ruff!"... again it was instant love.

Koda was my birthday present, yet I would often overhear my husband say secretly to Koda, "are you mommy's boy or are you daddy's boy?" And that is the story of how my sweet boy Koda came to live with us. It was a story I often told him while he sat on my lap. In fact it was something I had done with him just a few days before his accident.

Never did I dream that morning in June when I woke up that I would spend the end of my day wishing desperately I was still dreaming... Koda was hit by the parcel delivery truck that came flying down the road just as we were returning from the vet. It happened in such a blur. I no sooner opened the truck door to get him and BellaMae out when the guy came up the road and Koda ran to it. He always went a bit barky whenever the guy drove by. The guy never slowed down until he saw me running and screaming at the top of my lungs. Koda died in my arms as I sat in the street sobbing. Our other 3 corgis all knew what happened to him. They did get to see him and say goodbye and they were all sticking by us as we sobbed. The trip back to the vet I laid in the back of my truck and just held him and told him what a good sweet beautiful brindle boy he was and how much I was already missing him and his silly ways.

Not since my early adulthood when I'd had my Irish Setter Redskin had I known a dog so incredibly intelligent and brave. Back then I thought for certain I would never know a dog like that again. And then along came my cardi boy and he stole our hearts in an instant.

He watched over me during a big illness, gladly sleeping next to me on the couch during the afternoons as we watched TV together. He aced his schooling and rarely had to be taught anything more than once. Always the bright eyed happy wagging tailed boy he watched over his dominion out the bay window or sliding doors to the deck ever watchful for the enemy squirrel, or rabbit or the neighbor's cat that wasn't supposed to be in his yard. Ever gentle the giant hearted boy to all our corgis that came to our world to live. Always the diplomat with our fosters. Always the loudest when I was making their dinner, or peeling a banana. Big and strong was his heart and his love. He taught the others to be right there for us when we lost our son 5 years ago in an accident. He always kissed away my tears and he reminded our beloved corgi clan the importance of them doing the same.

Koda watching over his "flock" after a giant winter storm

We know he thought he was protecting us from the evil brown truck that day, how we wish he didn't think he had to.

Oh how we miss him! The house is just too quiet. Who would ever think a house with 3 corgis in it quiet! I miss him watching TV and barking at any sort of animal he saw. Especially those commercials where the pig is riding the skateboard and shouting, "Wheeeee!" Koda just knew pigs don't ride skateboards.

So many things our corgis have taught us over the years. Koda was the beginning of such a great story. His chapters were just too short. But his love lives on. We are blessed to have him for nine years. It's because of him we have the other three, all of whom we love so dearly.

I used to put my ear on his chest and listen to his heartbeat. At night I would tell him it's time to say our prayers and he would run to his crate and jump into it and lay down. His prayers we recited, "Sweet dreams with the faeries, fly safe with the dragons. Give kisses to our angels in your magic dreams and tell them we miss them and we love them and we will see them again one day"... Sweet dreams with the faeries Koda, I shall see you in the magic dreams...

Koda taught us what it is to be loved by these magical faerie steeds. We are forever grateful he did this. We are better people for it.

The Fijians have a wonderful saying. They don't believe in goodbyes, it's one of the many loving ways of the people of Fiji. The words go like this: SOTA TALE. It's meaning is simply a warm, loving until we see each other again.

When we make the move to Fiji to live full time, his lovely box of ashes will come with and will be buried under his banana tree we planted for him last summer. Each of our other three faerie steeds will be coming with us of course and each will have their own banana tree.

We are reeling still from his loss, but we know the days will get softer in time. We know he watches over us alongside our old Kazmandoo the Ancient Kittyman Who Came from the Land of Oz. Koda and Kaz were old friends, well Kaz was the boss you know, he was there first... I'm sure they are having a fabulous time at the Bridge.

So we bid you Cole's Koda of Caernarvon, SOTA TALE and all our love...

Caroline and Rick Calvin, Illinois
and the gang Elliott (Cardigan), Heidi and BellaMae (Pembrokes)
July 2012