Antonucci - Kodiak - Edgewood, WA

Rescue Dog: Kobe (renamed Kodiak) B-G#: 95294
Adopted by: Sherri Antonucci
Edgewood, WA

I became foster-Mom to Kobe June 23, 2012, and then I became adopted-Mom to Kodiak January 7, 2013.

Kodiak, formerly Kobe, came to me at the age of seven as a rescue for fostering after he was saved from a very neglectful situation. He was found on the street after escaping his enclosure and close to death from dehydration and severe malnutrition, weighing in at only 43 pounds. He was extremely dirty, matted, and smelled so bad that he left a waft of stench wherever he went.

After several hours of bathing and clipping, he hopped up into the car and we headed home where Kobe got a new “leash” on life, both literally and figuratively!

We spent the following 6 months working on his health issues, housebreaking, and lots of socializing to get him ready for adoption. Because he wasn’t housebroken, and had never been in a crate, Kobe got to come to work with me. Every day, he rode in the car as I went from home to home of my clients/patients. He soon started visiting with some of them as they heard his story and were curious to meet him. I soon realized that he was a natural as a therapy dog.

So after one particularly heartwarming therapy dog visit when Kobe sat patiently for 20 minutes without moving while my patient and his wife sat on either side of him just petting and talking to him, I realized that Kobe’s special talent as a therapy dog needed to be honored. It was then that I decided to adopt him myself to help him utilize his gift to the fullest.

So in January 2013, I officially adopted him. I changed his name from “Kobe” to “Kodiak” (all my canine kids are named after islands) and we welcomed him fully into the family. He has had to learn how to share the human love and attention with two other dogs and a couple of cats, but he manages to always make his bark heard. Sharing the attention at home is probably the hardest thing for him to do as I sense he would prefer to be an only child, but I also think this is what makes him an awesome therapy dog. When he is with a patient, he is front-and-center, revels in that attention, and sits patiently until each person gets their full dose of Kodiak love.

After a year and a half, Kodiak continues to grow and rehabilitate. He still has lots of anxiety and abandonment issues, but we just look at it as a work-in-progress. And he has proven that you can teach an old dog new tricks!