Koda, a 7 month old Saint Bernedoodle from Michigan, is a bundle of puppy energy. He loves to play tug of war with his three (human) brothers, and practically somersaults with joy when he spots another dog nearby. Koda is very popular with his neighbors, but is not popular with all of their dogs (especially the older ones, who prefer a little peace and quiet). Koda’s family needed a solution to help him exercise that puppy energy while at the same time staying safe in his yard. Enter Derrick and Rachael Woiderski of DogWatch by K9 Keeper Fencing LLC.

Koda’s story was like many they had heard before from their customers, with one big difference. Koda’s father Jason Sotke, a Grand Rapids police officer, was seriously injured in the line of duty last October. During an arrest, Jason was knocked to the ground and suffered a spinal cord injury that left him temporarily paralyzed and required surgery.

Jason’s path to recovery has been difficult, physically and emotionally. Speech therapy and occupational therapy have helped him regain the ability to walk and communicate, but he still has cognitive difficulties as a result of the injury. When Koda joined the family in December 2018, the puppy’s positive spirit proved helpful to Jason and his family during this difficult recovery process.

Dealing with the trauma has also been a challenge. In fact, Jason was surprised that he was able to tell Derrick his story when he spoke with him over the phone when inquiring about a hidden fence for Koda. When the Woiderskis heard Jason’s story, they knew they wanted to do what they could to help. So they did what they do best – keeping the family’s beloved pet safe and happy.

The Woiderskis are the owner-operators of DogWatch by K9 Keeper Fencing LLC and the authorized DogWatch Hidden Fence Dealers serving Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo, Lansing and the surrounding area. They donated a ProFence for Koda, and also provided a BigLeash Remote Trainer and a free training session with Jason and Koda to help with further training needs.

“It was such an honor to provide peace of mind to a community member that laid his life on the line for the well being of others,” said the Woiderskis. “Koda is such a fun, intelligent pup that took to the fence right away and is already enjoying the freedom of leash free walks with Jason.”

“We decided, that as a company, this was one small way for us to give back to someone that risked their own well-being daily to keep the rest of us safe,” they added. “Thank you from all of us here at K9 Keeper Fencing LLC!”

We send our best wishes to Jason as he continues his recovery. We hope Koda enjoys his new freedom, and continues to spread happiness and hope to his very strong, brave and loving family.