Brad Keselowski’s Checkered Flag Foundation is an awesome foundation. If you haven’t heard of it, stop reading this and google it now, you can come back to this goofy story later. I have met too many amazing people through that event. After meeting Brad and his wife, his crew, and his teammates, my NASCAR “fanmanship” went from a 2.3 to a solid 9.0 (Hockey takes my 10.0 spot)! I am a retired Navy SEAL and “shade-tree” mechanic. If you have never been in the pits of a NASCAR race, stand by to have your mind blown! I don’t envy too-many jobs, but to be on a pit-crew would be pretty damn cool. Honestly, I'd rather sit next to Brad's Crew-Chief on an airplane, than a Navy SEAL. Brad, Paige, and everyone else involved, my appreciation level can’t get any higher… Thank You.
Since receiving Kodi, I have visited Black Paw Canine nine times. Every time I stop-in, I learn more about what I can do for Kodi, how I can help him, better help me. Ben and his staff are excellent teachers and due to my prior interviews, his staff is always honing Kodi’s skills to my changing needs. Sometimes we just stop in for smoked oysters and brewskies.
Over the last 12 months, our families have become great friends. Kodi isn’t just helping me. He knows when Katie had a rough day as well. He’ll nuzzle and cuddle on her until she is smiling and laughing. Same with our boys. He is there for all of us.
Kodi sees and hears things that I can’t, so I can sleep at night. I am not the #1-man in the stack anymore, which relieves a lot of my hypervigilance. He is my swim-buddy, so I am never alone. None of us know that were depressed until its too late, Kodi somehow reads my mind, he knows when to cheer me up, he knows when to take my attention. Sometimes I think Kodi talks more than I do. The feelings and emotions that Kodi brings to my family’s table and to my personal table are unexplainable, but they’re there.
In the last year, Kodi and I have put 40 thousand miles on my truck, his head out the window for 10 thousand of them! I’ve physically seen him run 20 miles in one day, chasing deer and the 4wheeler. It was unknown if Kodi would be a water-dog or not. Well, he has no-issues running after tennis balls off the end of the dock. He loves the beach but hates saltwater, refuses to go in it! He’s a “people watcher”, sits in the driveway all day just watching what everyone’s doing. He’s a nightmare at dog parks. Too many dogs to play with and he’s usually the fastest so they all end up chasing him. He loves taking walks and going on runs with Katie. He likes being brushed and loves beef-jerky. He loves the snow! He’s still trying to figure out how to find Partridge before they scare him, man, you should see him jump! I installed 5 new bird feeders at our Michigan cabin and currently, he’s honing his squirrel hunting skills. His personality is as heavy as he is!
He never leaves my side. I like to tell everyone that Kodi was specifically made for me. Today he is my family’s guardian, my driving navigator, the neighborhood ham, my wife’s cuddle bug, and my best friend.
Thank you Checkered Flag Foundation & Black Paw Canine
-Phil “Sandy” Sandberg