I used to have a dog named TJ. I named him after a basketball player who I liked – small, but full of attitude. But TJ wasn’t really full of attitude. On the day we picked him up, he was the quiet one, the runt, sitting at the back while the other pups clamoured for our attention. Then, after the others had calmed down and got distracted by other things, TJ made his way over and pushed his nose under my wife’s hand. He was a gentle pup, was attached to us from day one.
It broke my heart when we went to work and left him. He’d be sitting in the yard staring out through the wooden gate, watching me leave, then when I got home, he’d be in the exact same spot, staring out. I don’t know if he ever moved while I was gone. We had to get him a friend, another dog to keep him company. We got Chester about four months in.
He always pulled too hard on the lead, was too enthusiastic when we went on walks. He loved going in the car too, even the long trips from Canberra to Melbourne. But really, he just loved being with us. Always. He’d sleep in our bed whenever we’d let him.
He got sick. He developed a big belly which we put down to him just getting fat, then his fur dried out. There was something wrong. He was diagnosed with a condition that couldn’t be cured when was seven human years old. He didn’t want to walk anymore. Then he didn’t want to eat.
I used to have a dog named TJ. He died early this morning.
He was a good dog. I’ll miss him a lot.
Rest in peace, my boy.