Monday, October 28, 2013

TJ, the Big Red Dog

I haven't mentioned this before now, because I wasn't sure that I could get through it ... I'm still not sure, but I'm going to dive in and say it and see how this goes ...

Our friends Kim and Andy's greyhound TJ, the dog that I loved as if he were my own, was sent to Heaven on October 1.  Four weeks ago ... it feels like yesterday.  A friend of ours said it best, "the world is a little quieter and the light is not so bright."

TJ was diagnosed with Osteosarcoma and had amputation surgery in July 2010, at the tender age of 8.  In the face of a disease that has a 12-month or less average survival timeline, he defied the odds and lived 39 fantastic months ... showing everyone he met that life on three legs was just fine with him.

Here he is, already up (with a little bit of help) the day after his surgery

Look at that smile, right after his stitches were taken out.

Getting a drink, after working a long day at our GRF benefit in 2011.

I have so many stories I could tell about TJ.  What I remember most is that he loved people, and how he was such a clown

Working with other Therapy Dogs, at the Santa line at the mall.

Gathering toys while at a Greyhounds Rock planning meeting.

TJ, and his friend Oscar, at GRF's event in 2011.

TJ touched thousands of hearts in his time on earth in his work at schools, hospitals, festivals, fairs, and other events ... and so many of our hearts are breaking now that he is gone.

Blessing of the Hounds, 2011

Blessing of the Hounds, 2010

My favorite photo of TJ.

Those of us who love TJ are channeling our grief into energy and working hard on the final details of this weekend's 8th annual "Take a Bite Out of Canine Cancer" benefit.  We are dedicating it to the memory of TJ, and my sweet boy Daniel, and all the other dogs who lost their battles with cancer in 2013.

Fly free on your angel wings, TJ ... your work here is done.


  1. Oh, Connie, I'm so sorry to hear this. My sympathy and condolences to all that are missing this much loved canine and all the lives he touched.

  2. Oh Connie, such sad news! TJ was, and will always be a true inspiration for those fighting to end canine cancer! I hope TJ, Daniel, Kylee, and all the other beloved pets who are no longer with us are all running free and enjoying life without the burden of illness!

    xo Kat

  3. Connie my heart is breaking for you and all that loved TJ. I know you shared his story with us so many times and he was such a special guy. Wishing you a healing heart my dear friend.


  4. Awww...Connie. I didn't think I could tear up again today (bad day) but I did! My heart aches for his owners and all those that loved him best. He is beyond all pain and suffering but that doesn't make it any easier on this side of The Rainbow Bridge- xo Diana

  5. I know how you're feeling--I've had the same thing happen with a friends dog, and you truly feel as if you are losing one of your own. But what a inspirational, brave and courageous soul TJ was, and what a great ambassador as well. Doing the benefit is a wonderful tribute to all of them!

  6. I'm so sorry. I don't know that I can ever be without a greyhound in our house. Take care. mary ann

  7. Ah, I am crying. How blessed you all were to have TJ in your lives.

  8. My dear Connie. Sometimes just diving in and saying it out loud is the best medicine. I am so proud of you for posting this tribute to TJ.

  9. Connie,
    Your story made me cry. What a sweet dog. Thank you for sharing his pictures with us. You are blessed to have had TJ in your life.

  10. Sad to hear this. May he rest in peace. It's so awful that dogs get cancer. I'll update you about Elsa via email.

  11. Connie, I am so sad to hear about TJ. My heart goes out to all those that loved him.

  12. What a nice tribute to TJ. My local friend and blogger Shelley from Bow Street Flowers just lost her dog to cancer yesterday. It's so hard to say goodbye to our furry friends but the alternative is to spend a life without the joy they bring to our lives.

  13. What an angel. What a life affirming smile.

    Two dogs death reported in as many days.

    My heart if filled with grief for you, your friends and Shelley over at Bow Street.

    It's a sad, sad day when a dog leaves us.

    xo Jane

  14. There are no words to comfort, only a big virtual hug! I never met him, but always smiled when I saw pictures of him. His spirit will live a long time, and be such an inspiration in the fight against Canine Cancer. Your Daniel now has his friend again.

  15. So sorry for your friends and your loss.


  16. He's a class on 'acceptance' & moving on with joy, even in pics.

    XO T


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