Monday, November 21, 2011


Saturday morning I was awoken at 6am with a call from the vet.  As I was half asleep and prepared to hear how my dog, Kodi was doing, she stunned me by saying, "I'm sorry Mr McGugan, Kodi passed away last night."  As I lay in bed on the phone, Mrs. McGoo, who was getting ready for school, walked in and sat on the bed next to me.  She could tell in my voice and the conversation that the news wasn't good.  I got off the phone and immediately started tearing up.  We embraced and I got up and put on some clothes to go to the vet to see him and speak to the vet.

I had taken Kodi to the vet Thursday, November 10 because I came home from Tulsa and he was limping pretty bad.  They took an X-ray and discovered he had arthritis in his front right leg and it was extremely swollen.  They gave us some medicine to administer and told us to let them know how he was doing at the beginning of the following week.  The next day, Friday, he stopped eating and acted like he was zoned out.  So we stopped giving him the meds and on Sunday, he began to eat and act right again.  I called the vet on Monday to give her an update and she told me to try one and not the other to see if it was the meds that caused it.  So we did and he went back to not eating and acting strange.  The rest of the week was a tough one for him as he didn't eat anything and just didn't quite act like the Kodi I came to know and love.  You could tell something was wrong.  So I took him back to the vet on Friday and they told me he was really dehydrated.  They gave him an IV of fluids and said to stop giving him the meds all together.  When we walked outside to get in to the car, Kodi stumbled quite a bit and had a hard time getting in the car.  When he was in, he looked glazed over and started breathing heavily.  I immediately knew something was up and took him back inside to get a double check.  The vet ran some blood tests on him and discovered he had pancreatic issues.  She suggested that they keep him over night and give him an IV of meds and try and heal his pancreas.  She said it was treatable, but they would know more from him in the next couple of days.

So I sat with Kodi for 45 mins while they did some other things and got a chance to love on him for a while.  It was very evident he wasn't feeling well and I wanted to make sure he knew I was there.  After I got the call the next morning that he had passed, I went up to the vet to talk to her.  She told me that he slept through the night and, because he was still very warm, had just recently passed away.  He looked very peaceful as if he fell into a deep sleep and never woke up.  Later I found out from the autopsy that Kodi had the beginning stages of Liver cancer.  It had dehydrated him, raised the levels of nitrogen in his blood (which led to being spaced out), and was affecting his pancreas.  They told me this type of cancer was called the "Great Pretender" due to the fact that there are no external signs of it.  The only way they can find it is by an biopsy and even then there are no guarantees he can survive it.  So Kodi passed away at a good time.  It was sooner than I was ready for and would have liked, but he wasn't in pain and had lived a full life.  He was simply not feeling well and fell into a forever sleep.  

I got Kodi when he was two weeks old from the animal shelter in late July 1999.  He has been by my side ever since.  I never thought I would feel as bad as I do, but the honest truth is, I'm crushed.  See, Kodi was a dog I didn't have to do much for.  He was well trained, wasn't all in your business, and loved people.  The only thing I had to do for Kodi was open the door for bathroom breaks and fill up his bowl for food.    I didn't need to calm him down when people came in, he'd just sniff them and get to know them better by sitting next to them.  I didn't need to worry about my food around him because he wouldn't touch it.

Kodi loved crawling up in my lap when I sat in my chair.   He would sit there for hours if you let him, so long as you were petting him.  I didn't need a leash to walk him, he'd stay right by my side.  He would sit in the kitchen if you were in there making food.  He would sit in the bathroom if you were in the shower.  He would sit outside the bathroom if you were in there cleaning up.  He slept at the foot of the bed and stayed by the bed if you were sick.

I've had a couple of times in my life where I felt pretty alone in life.  Before I met my incredible wife and before I came back to a relationship with the Lord, I lived by myself.  I had a few years where I was a pretty lonely person and Kodi was who I came home to and played with.  Through it all he was a constant in my house.  Always there to greet me with a wagging tail no matter what kind of a day I had.  I'd put my worries away for the night and have my best friend to spend some time with. 

See a theme?  No matter what it was in life, Kodi was always by my side. 

Although I simply wasn't ready for this day to be here, it makes me feel good that knowing the last few hours of his life were upon him, we were able to sit next to one another for a while.  I pet him and and loved on him, which in turn made him feel well enough to turn and give me a kiss.  In that room, I was able to do something for Kodi that he did for years, for me. 

Sit by his side.

By my side - Helping me capture a lizard

By my side - Making sure I didn't fall in

By her side - Giving "kisses" to Mamma

By my side - Content with a hug

By my side - Not liking the kiss

By my side - Dad, your hat looks dumb. Do I really have to take this picture?
Some people would say they've lost family pets.  I'm here to tell you, we lost a family member.

I miss you buddy.   

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Thankful for Wildcats, the Letter K, & Redemption

In this season of giving thanks, I thought I'd post something I'm thankful for: my hometown, childhood, and current favorite team - The University of Kentucky Wildcats

Sure, I could have grown up in another city where they say that basketball is king, but God knew exactly where he wanted to place me.  He knew where greatness exists and what kind of environment I needed to grow up in. In this day and age of what have you done for me lately, we tend to forget that you have to look at the full body of work for a program and when you do that, Kentucky basketball simply cannot be matched.  That being said, I do remember what we've done lately.  75-65 Win last night.

I am also thankful for the letter K.  The letter K was certainly the main emphasis throughout the night before, during, and after the game last night.  Before it was Kool-ade, which is what I was drinking (and some may argue been drinking for a long time) before the game.  During it was Kentucky.  After it was a butt Kickin'.  Aside from my name, there really wasn't any other K of consequence last night.

I am also thankful for my influence over friends and family.  Had it not been for me, some of my closest family members, who were unfortunately not placed in great locations, would have grown up thinking that other programs where the greatest all time.  Statistics aside (who uses those as a means of proof anyway), I couldn't let them go through life without knowing TRUTH.

Friends.  I am proud to tell you today, we have seen the results of that very truth.  Aside from the fact that statistics prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that UK is the greatest program of all time, we now have other visual proof that even the most stubborn of folks want to hold out on that belief.

Exhibit A: (click link)
Notice the declaration for their new found love of the team.  Notice the asterisk leaving him an out (which is common for anyone with lack of faith aka:haters).  Notice the dates have passed on the pending investigation and nothing found.

Exhibit B: (click link)
See all statements from Exhibit A.

Subject has clearly gone from, what his grandson would call, Delusional, to a fan of the University of Kentucky.  "The Guy" even went so far as going to bed early last night because he knew the game was in hand and a comeback by the other team was a wasted effort.

Sweet dreams UK fans.  Sweet, Redemptive Dreams