Welcome to the memorial page for

Dakota "Kota" Whitfield

Every time I looked into my puppy’s big brown eyes, it brought to mind the poem I have hanging in my hallway.  It explains how God walked the earth and named all the animals while a little creature followed faithfully by his side.  At the end of a long day the little creature said, “Dear Lord, there’s not a name left for me!”  The Father then smiled and said, “I’ve left you till the end.  I’ve turned my own name back to front and called you DOG, my friend.”  I am sorry I do not know the author, but this poem is special to me. 


I lost my faithful companion today:  Dakota – lovingly called “Kota.” 

In his last days, I turned Kota over to God – our great all-knowing Father.  Thank you God for Kota.


Let me share some of my favorite things about Kota:


  • He never met a stranger
  • He nudged my arm for attention
  • He howled at the train - he didn’t care if it was day or night
  • For being the best travel partner ever – he would ride to the end of the earth with me
  • While riding in the car I would point out horses and he would bark - my son did not find great humor in this game
  • Stopping by McDonald’s for burgers – Kota preferred his without pickle!
  • Sleeping by my side - I will miss this most!
  • Doggie kisses
  • Always had his red ball and favorite bone in his mouth or by his side


Yes…I was the crazy “dog lady” and proud of it!


I can’t write this without thanking everyone in the Cardiac Unit at North Carolina State Vet Hospital.  It was obvious they cared about their patients.  Every single person was compassionate, dedicated and professional.  I want to especially thank Dr. Teresa DeFrancesco, Dr. Yamir Reina-Doreste and Petra Vasilik.  Kota and I participated in two of Dr. DeFrancesco’s classes so students could hear and learn about heart failure.  I even received a thank you note from a student – Ms. Tyler C. Perkins.  The truth is I received more from them!  To each of you…thank you for allowing me to cry and for crying with me.  You have forever touched my heart.  It will not be forgotten.


I thank Mount Olive Animal Hospital – Dr. Amy Moye, Jamie, Tracey, Megan, Sherry and all the staff.  They took wonderful care of Dakota for 10 years.  They are part of my family. 


I send a special thank you to my support team at work, my friends outside of work and my loving family.  Thank you for listening to my dog stories, looking at my dog pictures, visits, texts and phone calls.  My life has forever been changed. 


What a privilege it was to rescue this puppy 10 years ago.  In truth, you know he rescued me!


You Are Greatly Missed My Little Love!

Your Mommy, Cindy Whitfield



Note:  When Dakota was diagnosed with congestive heart failure

in October last year, I put a night light with a green bulb just outside my

bedroom door.  I did this so I could keep an eye on Kota during

the night.  When I tried to turn it on tonight, the bulb had

burned out.  I feel certain this was

God’s way

of telling me he would take it from here.




Thank you to Howell Funeral Home & Crematory and for recognizing that our pets are truly a part of the family.


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