Thursday, March 5, 2009

Goodbye J

Yesterday, March 4th 2009, my best friend, child, and constant companion passed away. After 2 months of fighting cancer, he had given me all he had left to give. In April he would have turned 11 years old.

Here is a picture from happier days at the dog park in Redondo Beach that he loved so much.

Over the last two months we took lots of long walks together. He always wanted to keep going. Getting him to go back to our apartment usually involved a bit of a tug-a-war. We didn't go into the dog park much, since I didn't want him rough-housing like he would usually try to do. However, we did go to the park. Here he is relaxing under a tree with me on one of those walks.

Yesterday I called into work because he had cried all night and I wanted to stay with him. A little after 11AM I took him outside to do his business. I thought we would just go to the front yard as he was having trouble walking, but he wanted to go to the park. Reluctantly, slowly, I let him lead me there.

The dog park was closed for the usual Wednesday morning maintenance. So we snuck in through a side entrance. We plodded around the usual sniffing spots until we reached the end of the park. There he lied down. We sat there for a long while enjoying the warm sun and cool breeze. The small bottom part of the park has a gate which I closed so we could have some privacy as the park had opened and many dogs had showed up. I went to get a water bowl from the watering station as it was quite warm out and he was panting. He just laid there, waiting for me to return.

On my way back a lady that I had not met before stopped me to ask if everything was OK. She wanted to know if he had passed. I said no, but I thought he was close. I thought maybe I would let him pass there in the park, but she convinved me to take him to the vet. Here he is basking in the sun for his last time.

So I carried him to her car, stopping several times to rest. He's kinda heavy and it was several hundred yards to her car. She drove me home where I picked up my keys and stuff and then drove him to the vet. They put down a blanket for him and we laid there for a long time as I agonized over the decision I was being forced to make. Eventually, after a couple phone calls and realizing that he wasn't going to get back up, I told the vet I was ready. The three of us (the lady from the park followed me to vet office) gently pet him as his his breathing relaxed and the light slowly faded from his beautiful brown eyes.

Goodbye J, my best friend, my baby boy, my love.


Gmail said...

Tom...You were a perfect pet parent to J and gave him an amazing life. You are a modern day Noah in how well you cared and provided for J. You have a lifetime of memories of J as well as everyone who knew him. I hope the thought of your good times in him will bless you with joy to over come the grief that you are aswaged with right now. We will all miss J, and even thought I haven't seen him since you both left PETCO, he's still in my memory and thoughts, and he was awesome. God bless you Tom! Eric Rader

Jeni said...

Tom..Jay was such a sweetie..such a J Bird. Thanks for sharing, I know this must be so difficult. Our thoughts are with you, Jeni B.

Jerry said...

I really sorry to hear about J. He was a great dog and such a great part of everyone's daily experience here at PETCO. I will never forget the bond that existed between you and J (you once described it to me as "co-dependancy") and you should find comfort in knowing that thanks to your love and dedication, J had the best life any dog could possibly have. Everyone here at PETCO is thinking about you and we will never forget J.

Veronica said...


I am very sorry about J - I know how important he was to you. But don't be too sad. I think if J were still around, he would not want you to be sad... Take care


nathan said...

Hi Tom,
I feel so sorry to hear about your lose of your best friend, J.
I can imagine how hard for you to handle the sorrow and I know the sorrow gets worse and worse.
But I believe that J. rests now in peace because he knew that you tried your best to fight for him till the end and because he had a wonderful life thanks to you.
I hope you get through this difficult time soon.
- Sylvia

Paul Brown said...


I'm very sorry for your loss of J. He sounds like a sweet and wonderful companion.

Best wishes,


Jenna said...

I'm so very sorry about J brother, I love you and am always here for you if you need to talk

Palm Springs Savant said...

Tom- I understand how important J was to you, and am so sad for you. J was a well loved dog and will remain part of our family. Cherish the many years you shared together, he will always remain with you. Hang in there, the next few weeks will be tough.