Cody The Superdog, The Sweetest Boy In The World!

I have the best dog on the planet. I know everyone says that about their respective pets. But I am not the only one who thinks that I have the best dog on the planet. Almost everyone who meets him or sees him outside with us says the same thing. They also ask how we trained him, what trick we used etc. It really is hilarious to both me and my guy.

Cody is now a five year old Labrador Retriever. He is a pure bred 90lb love machine with the sweetest disposition, and I looked high and dry for him when I was in the market for a dog. I wanted a Retriever for a few reasons:

1. He would keep me active. They have endless energy and like to run and swim.

2. He would be a BIG dog and I LOVE big dogs!!!

3. They are good natured and trainable once they get past the hyper active stage.

So I looked everywhere. I went to every kennel, dog rescue, SPCA or private dog farm from West Palm Beach to Miami. I called everywhere to see if they had a Lab. No dice. Really? They are so common in every other state! I finally found a breeder in Atlanta who through a third party I got Cody. He was four months old and he was huge for a puppy! And let me tell ya as soon as he got settled into his new digs he was hyper beyond belief! As I said in a previous blog he was crazy to watch and my older cat Jimi was just stunned into disbelief at what this thing was whirling around the house in a blur of red fur. And yes, Cody is not a yellow, chocolate or black Lab… he is oddly red. Just like Jimi. They match. It was completely a fluke. I mean I knew he was reddish when I picked him but until he came into the house I had no idea how weird it was that he matched Jimi perfectly.

This all took place in early October of 2005, about a week before Hurricane Wilma slammed through South Florida and not only knocked power out in my neighborhood for three solid weeks, but also knocked out power to my work. So I had the great pleasure of staying home for three weeks with Cody and really bonding.

Every morning even after we got power back, I go running and then come back and get Cody and take him across the street to an area that was common property. I have no way else to explain this. It is a big stretch of grass between a road and a canal, and on the other side of the canal is another thin stretch of grass between the canal and a fence (the fence of a grade school). And here is where I would throw a tennis ball in this funning thing called a Chuck It. A long plastic stick that holds a tennis ball on the end that you can, hence the name, chuck farther than you could with just your arm. At least farther than I could. Have I mentioned that Cody is obsessive compulsive about tennis balls? I am not exaggerating. If he merely sees one he starts drooling and hopping, yes hopping, like a kangaroo. It is ridiculous.

So every morning rain or shine Cody got worn out running and retrieving the tennis ball. And on the walk home he learned to heel, sit, stay and most of all listen. Being tired he had no crazy energy to distract him and he wanted to listen. We still do this too…

We also swim. When it gets too damn hot in August for the boy to be running even at 7am, we swim and he gets his exercise that way. And he LOVES it! Again with the tennis ball he fetches it in the pool back and forth with the biggest grin on his face. I will never forget the first time I experimented with him and the pool. I had no idea if I could teach him to swim or whether I would be performing CPR on a dog that afternoon, but I got my suit on and took him out there and hoped for the best. I knew he loved the all so I was playing catch with him (he catches great!) and I toss it in the pool. I swear I did not even blink and he was DIVING face first into the pool and swimming over to the ball, grabs it and comes swimming over to me, hops out, shakes and drops the ball at my feet! TEACH him to swim? HA!

When we take Cody across the street to run with the ball now he walks right at my left side heeling the entire time. We get to the street and he sits on command and waits watching for any traffic. When I say OK  we walk together to the other side and although he is now excited he still heels. I unleash him and make him sit at attention which he does effortlessly. And then I throw the ball. I launch it far and he hauls ass over to it bounding to pick it and and bounding back to drop it at my feet. AGAIN! This goes on for about 20 minutes until instead of bounding back to me, he walks. Then sometimes he drops down in the grass after he picks it up and looks around panting and smiling. Then we are done. At this point when I say he’s had enough he either drops the ball at my feet or he carries it home himself. He is so tired he does not need the leash and we walk together back to the house, heeling by my side. This is why all my neighbors are jealous. This is why they ask how we did it as they stand at the driveway with their little scrappy dog pulling and barking at anything that moves not listening at all. Meanwhile Cody just sits at my heels and pants looking at the crazy dog.

So why is Cody the best? He listens. He understands and responds. He is sweet as can be to not only other animals but children and adults. He is protective in that he does not want anything other than to be with us and to please. He catches balls, toys and anything you throw for him. He brings them all right back ready to go again. He is best friends with little Albert our two year old cat who runs the show. He let’s Albert bite and push him around and never is rough with him. And when you talk to Cody he looks you right in the eye and really tries to understand it all. He follows me all over the house and when I talk to him he responds with head tilts and total interest. When I lean down to talk to him he gives me a lil kiss like he knows exactly what I mean. But the very best part is that when it’s time to chill out after a long day, and I settle into the couch and curl up to veg out with a little TV, my big boy loves to come snuggle up right next to me in all his heavy headedness and snore to his heart’s content.

There is nothing like a big warm fuzzy body right next to you to cuddle with. Nothing beats it. And only animal lovers can understand this. My Dad hates animals. I just can’t understand it at all. Not sure what it stems from exactly, he says he is allergic but that is a new thing. It used to be that he just hated when animals touched him or licked him. Regardless, he will never understand that total devotion and love that comes from an animal that you co-habitate with. I totally understand what they mean when people say that animals can reduce stress in people, or make older folks live longer. They are pure joy.

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~ by Michelle Sammartino-Zeto on June 25, 2010.

One Response to “Cody The Superdog, The Sweetest Boy In The World!”

  1. Dogs are the best! We have an English Bulldog and are looking into getting a boxer tomorrow. Should be a neat addition to our family.

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