They say a dog is a man’s best friend and this story is a perfect example of that saying. Kyle Smith, a U.S. Air Force Airman recently lost his pet dog and best friend Bodza. The German Shepherd, a military dog became Kyle’s partner when the two were deployed in Kyrgyzstan in 2012. After their duty was over, it was time for Bodza to retirement but rather than let him go to someone else, Kyle decided to adopt him as the two had grown really close.

Bodza lived the best life with his human Kyle and became everyone’s favorite over the years. The former service dog was quite active for his age but his health deteriorated as he started getting old. By the age of 11, vets confirmed that Bodza was suffering from degenerative myelopathy, an incurable disease that affects the spinal cord. Each day was getting harder and harder for the pup as he was in a lot of pain. 

That’s when Kyle had to take the hardest decision of his life. He decided to relieve Bodza from the pain and gave him a peaceful ending. It was the saddest day for Kyle and he didn’t leave Bodza’s side even for a second.

I held him in my arms the entire time,” Kyle said. “I’ve never cried that much my entire life… I just kept holding him, rubbing and kissing his head, telling him, ‘I’m going to miss you.'”

Kyle didn’t want his superiors to be bothered so he kept Bodza’s passing from them but they found out anyhow. His team and boss arrived to show their support and to give their respects with a surprising gesture. 

My boss immediately said, ‘Where’s your American flag? You should have one in your building. Find it for me now,‘” Kyle shared.

The team draped the American Flag over Bodza’s body and gave him a proper hero goodbye that he truly deserved. 

You will always be remembered Bodza. Rest in peace!

(Source: Little Things)