A Tribute to Bodie Sanderson: What He Taught Us

A Tribute to Bodie Sanderson:  What He Taught Us

For those of you who frequented our office, you know Bodie was a daily presence there.  Now that he’s gone, Cole will carry on the tradition of official ‘office greeter’ solo, but there is a definite sense something’s just not right.  Cole senses it, as we all do. After 10 years of his constant presence in our office and home, it’s hard not to still see that happy yellow lab shuffling down the hallway just looking for a person to lick or trash to riffle through.

Bodie was one of those dogs that lived life large, nothing timid about him in personality, demeanor or actions.  From the moment we picked him up as a puppy from the kennel, he immediately and very enthusiastically started licking Jeff’s face, as if it was the most delicious face and taste he had ever had.  Those licks continued literally until the day he passed… as I said, Bodie lived life very large.

So, as I remember him (and laugh out loud just about every time I do, aside from a few tears), I will reflect on the lessons he taught me during his very happy and full life.  Thought it might be a fitting tribute to share those lessons:

WAKE UP HAPPY:  TODAY IS THE BEST DAY OF YOUR LIFE!  at least, that was Bodie’s mantra with life.  He had many physical issues, born with genetic dysplasias in all 4 limbs which basically means he had lots of issues with his elbows, knees and hips which required multiple surgeries and recoveries.  He never complained, as he knew we were there to help him be the best he could be.  He would recover from his surgeries and bounce back a better and even happier dog…which leads to his next lesson:  BE GRATEFUL FOR GOOD HEALTH AND EVERY DAY YOU HAVE.

FIND YOUR JOY IN THE SMALLEST OF THINGS. Bodie had a particular fondness for green tree frogs, and believe me we have a zillion at our home.  Bodie would never harm a tree frog but turn his head side to side, smiling at it and studying it for minutes on end.  An occasional paw slap might startle the frog and then there’d be a jumping contest with the frog in front and Bodie following close behind, but it was all in good fun.  Bodie found true joy in watching green tree frogs.

GREET EVERYONE ENTHUSIASTICALLY!  You never know when that next person you meet might be your all time best friend ever.  Bodie loved to come running from the back offices to the front whenever he heard the front door open, never bark but run to whomever had entered and immediately start wagging that tail, smiling and licking.  He was an amazingly optimistic dog and always thought that next person through the door was his new best friend.

YOU NEVER KNOW WHAT’S TO BE DISCOVERED IN WHAT SOMEONE HAS DISCARDED. Bodie loved riffling through the trash cans at our office, to the point we had to either put them up beyond his reach or buy ones with secure tops.  His inclination was to riffle through the can, turn it on its side and look for a gem that someone had thrown away, as the saying goes, one’s man’s trash is another one’s treasure….he was particularly fond of any type of paper AND plastic water bottles (his all time favorite) so that meant lots of trash cans gone through at our office.

IF YOU LOVE SOMEONE SHOW THEM HOW MUCH YOU LOVE THEM EVERYDAY. Bodie didn’t wait to be petted or wait for affection or wait to show affection:  he went after it HARD.  He would make you pet him, make you let him kiss you (whether you wanted a wet kiss at that moment or not), go between your legs, look up at you and make you pet him – that was his favorite trick that Jeff taught him as a young pup.  He sought love and gave love probably harder than he should or was even normal for most dogs…but I wouldn’t change that for the world now.

I will take these lessons learned from my best friend and attempt to emulate his spirit and genuine zest for love and life: 

Live every day to the fullest, embracing those you love and reaching out to those you have yet to know/love, while taking time to enjoy the minutia of life and remembering to be happy today, don’t wait for tomorrow, as  today is the best day of your life!



  1. What a beautiful tribute. I love the images you painted of Bodie. I felt like I was there watching him check out those tree frog and smiling along with him. He was blessed to have you as a Mom!!

    • Janet, thanks so very much for reading and your thoughts!

  2. Lisa and Jeff,

    I know Bodie had gone through yet another surgery but did not realize that he had passed and feel deeply for your loss. I’m sure he held on as long as he could just to be part of your lives. Our four-legged family members let us know when it’s time. I have to tell you that Ashlee is also very fond of any type of paper and love plastic water bottles!


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