I’d like to take a moment to tell you about my friend TJ, Teddy Jackson. I don’t write about dogs. I’m not really a dog person and if you hold that against me that’s your problem. I’m sure that will change as my kids eventually will ask for a puppy and inevitably I will end up caring for it, boom, best friends. For now I am a cat person, hence the only hashtag I’ve ever created, #catsarebetter. I’ve only met a few dogs in my life that have captured my heart. This is about one big dummy that I couldn’t help but love.
Before I started dating my wife I moved in with my cousin David, he was another relationship refugee and happened to have a bedroom available. I already knew TJ but I would get to know him even better in the next months. He was an expressive dog, often making “Scooby doo” style noises and raising eyebrows when asked questions. David would often work nights and that left me and TJ home to bond. We would spend time playing fetch and tug a war with his favorite toys, empty plastic water bottles. There were many nights when I would feel bad about my life and TJ would lay on the couch with me, set his head in my lap and look up with those big stupid eyes as if to say, “everything will be ok bud.”
My life with TJ was minuscule compared to what he meant to David but his impact was greatly felt. He also was involved in two of my favorite life stories. One was when I had way too much to drink and had to be brought home early, while TJ was still at the house party I had to leave, “I’m home before TJ,” will forever be a line in family history. The rest of that story stays in house, this is a PG13 rated blog.
I had only been living with David for a month or so. David and his family were going away for the weekend on a ski trip. David couldn’t find his wallet the day they were leaving. We searched everywhere and were convinced the “oil change” place had stolen it. That night was the Fiesta Bowl, that was the one Boise State pulled a huge upset in. I had just got home from work and was sitting on the couch by myself, my phone, wallet and keys on the coffee table. I went to the bathroom and came back. My phone, keys and a couple dollar bills on the floor…wallet gone. What the hell? Two minutes later, TJ reenters from the doggy door with dirt on his nose and a 1 dollar bill plastered to his saliva soaked lips. Really?!?!?!?!? I grabbed a flashlight and went out back. David had a huge back yard, mostly dirt. I walked around the perimeter and TJ joined me. He seemed to be excited. I quickly realized, he buried a lot of shit out here. I found a fresh mound and dug and voila, wallet….but not mine. I quickly called David and told him I found his wallet. I spent hours in that yard but could not find mine, dammit TJ!!! I replaced everything; bank card, DL, etc… Fast forward one full year. I had moved in with my girlfriend and came back to the house to get some stuff I left in a storage shed. TJ greeted me at the back gate. In jest as I was petting my big friend I said, “where’s my fucking wallet TJ? where is it?” I got my stuff and left. Later that night TJ brought in a present to David’s new roommate, a wallet, covered in dirt. It had been buried in the back yard for an entire year but he knew exactly where it was and that it was mine. All I had to do was ask.
TJ will be greatly missed. He was my friend and he was family. Cheers to a good life lived buddy boy…