Kojak, originally "Big Steve", lives in Woodsville, New Hampshire.
Glen Bateman recognizes the animal from previous sightings around town, but does not know his name or who owns him. When the superflu tears through Woodsville, killing all the residents and most of the dogs, Bateman adopts Big Steve. He "took the liberty of rechristening him" — in his whimsical fashion, after the eponymous detective from a 70's cop drama.
Bateman is forever scolding Kojak for normal canine behavior, urging him to exercise self-control, and strive to act like a higher order of animal. Good-natured and friendly, Kojak usually ignores these exhortations and does as he pleases.
After deciding to head west with Stu Redman, Bateman debates the merits of bringing Kojak along, even if they could find a motorcycle with a sidecar. Finally he decides the most humane decision is to abandon the dog, reasoning that he will have no trouble finding forage in post-plague Woodsville. As Kojak later turns up in the Boulder Free Zone anyway — badly injured and emaciated — Batemen is wracked with guilt over his decision; the dog was loyal enough to follow him halfway across the country.
A flashback sequence fills in some details of Kojak's adventures. He had tracked Glen as far as Hemingford Home, Nebraska and been set upon by wolves under the influence of Randall Flagg. Kojak managed to fight them all off, but was nearly disembowelled in the process.
Plans are mentioned to breed Kojak with a young female Irish setter found by Susan Stern in Monument, Colorado. But this is never followed up on in the narrative.
When Stu, Glen, Larry Underwood and Ralph Brentner are ordered westward to stand against Flagg, Kojak accompanies them. After Stu breaks his leg and has to be left behind, Kojak remains with him: hunting small game, fetching firewood, comforting and guarding him.
He returns to Boulder with Stu and Tom Cullen and manages to survive to an extreme old age, living another sixteen years.
|Stuart Redman | Frances Goldsmith | Harold Lauder | Glen Bateman | Kojak|
Perion McCarthy | Mark Braddock | Dayna Jurgens | Susan Stern | Patty Kroger
|Nick Andros | Tom Cullen | Ralph Brentner | Dick Ellis | Gina McCone | Olivia Walker | June Brinkmeyer|
|Larry Underwood | Rita Blakemoor | Nadine Cross | Leo Rockway | Lucy Swann | Judge Farris|
|Lloyd Henreid | Donald Merwin Elbert | Whitney Horgan | Julie Lawry|
Rat Man | Barry Dorgan | Jenny Engstrom | Hector "Heck" Drogan