Kyle Smith first met military working dog Bodza back in 2012 when both were deployed in Kyrgyzstan. The U.S. Air Force soldier worked with Bodza and when Bodza was retired, Kyle was there to adopt him and take him home.
The two spent many heartwarming years together, but at 11 years old, Bodza developed a degenerative illness that affected his spinal cord. Kyle made sure he was with Bodza in his final moments.
Kyle was surprised by his superiors, who upon learning that Bodza was to be put to sleep, showed up at the veterinarian’s office with an American flag, which was brought out so it could be draped over the military dog.
An emotional photo of the moment has since gone viral. Kyle was touched by his friends’ gesture and said, “For these guys to do this for a dog they’ve never even met…he got a good sendoff that day.”
Kyle said that Bodza was the perfect friend. “My favorite thing about him was he didn’t care what you were doing, he just wanted to be there doing it with you,” he told Inside Edition. “All of us have that dog that is so special to us,” Kyle added. “I got married with this dog, I got divorced with this dog. I have a son on the way, and the most heartbreaking part is I really wish he was younger, so my son would be able to play with him. He was the nicest dog in the world.”