Lost a Good Friend

TullyThe last few days have been very rough. Tully, one of our dogs, suddenly became sick on Monday while I was out of town.

On Tuesday, Dana took her to the vet. She continued to get worse. Today, we made the difficult decision to euthanize her.

Like most people, I’m very attached to our dogs. The dogs were the first pets we got as a couple, and the first pets I got as an adult. (Dana had our cat Chopper before we met.)

Dana and I had been talking about getting a dog for quite sometime. But the decision came at the end of the first Daily Show after September 11, 2001. That Daily Show was very moving and cathartic. It ended with the following Moment of Zen:

Dana and I had been in a rut when we saw the show. My grandmother had died shortly before 9/11. Instead of newlywed bliss, we were depressed. Once John Stewart pulled the puppy from under the desk, we looked at each and knew we had to get a dog. It seemed like the perfect way to bring joy back into our lives.

Tully as MunchThe big obstacle was Dana’s allergy to dogs. After that Daily Show, she decided to get allergy tests and see what could be done.

Her allergy tests showed that see was allergic to 23 of the 24 allergens they tested. The one she wasn’t allergic to: dogs.

By the time I got home that night, Dana had seen a person with a puppy, found out where the puppies were being sold, and put a deposit on Tully. When we went to pick up Tully, Sheriff fell asleep on my foot and before we knew it, we came home with two dogs.

We felt it was providence when we found out that they had been born on September 10th.


Both Sheriff and Tully have been a big part of our lives. Before we had Katie, they were our kids in every sense. When we fell in love with the Oregon Coast, it was because we learned how much fun it was to watch our dogs play in the sand. We loved it so much that we eventually bought a house on the coast and made it a pet friendly vacation rental.

Our friends and family loved our dogs, but Tully was considered the real treat. She was the sweetest dog and the hardest for people to get close to at first. Many guests spent evenings trying to coax her into letting them pet her. She was extremely gentle with Katie, and the dogs have made such an impression on Katie that she tries to bark and howl like them.

I remember most the way that Tully would greet me when I came home from work. She’d excitedly follow me into the office, execute a big stretch and then hop around until I petted her and rubbed her belly.

Tully, Sheriff and I spent hours play fighting. She’d come over to me. I’d whisper “get ’em” in her ear, and the game was on. We always tag-teamed on Sheriff, but he never minded the challenge.

Tully was still a fairly young dog. She would have been 7 years old in September. She seemed completely healthy the last time I saw her. It’s quite a shock.

She developed a sudden autoimmune problem. Her immune system was attacking her red blood cells. We did every treatment that we could and none of it was working. We took a few moments today to say goodbye before making one of the toughest decisions we’ve had to make.

I really miss her. I’m so grateful that she was a part of our lives. She was a good friend.

New Adventure

9 thoughts on “Lost a Good Friend”

  1. Thanks for sharing.

    The first time my wife saw me cry (we’d been married just over a year and together for almost 3), was when we put my dog Theo down. It was the Summer of 02 – I just held him as he went limp and sobbed. It was pathetic really.

    I understand – and I’m sorry.

    PS: 9/11/01 was our six month anniversary.

  2. Oh Grigs, we are so sorry. Tully was such a sweet dog, we loved her too.

    This brings back memories of having to put our dog Katie down last November. She was almost twelve, and she predated both me and Ben in Matt’s life. In fact, Matt credits her with luring me in (o:

    We still miss her, but are now at a point where we can remember her and smile. Hang in there.

    Sending you our very best vibes,
    Sandra, Matt, Ben & Carter

  3. So sorry to hear about Tully, Grigs. Brian and I are thinking of you, Dana, Katie and Sheriff–I know we would be heartbroken if we lost Grizzly.

    Thanks for sharing this story of her life and the great photos.

  4. Jason and Dana,

    I’m so sorry to hear about your sudden loss of Tully. She was a wonderful dog. My best memory of her was the last time I was at your house when she finally warmed up to me. She climbed up on me, (knocking my drink into my lap) and gave me a tongue bath that she refused to stop no matter how much Dana implored her. It was great.

  5. I’m so sorry to hear about this. We lost one of our dogs to something very similar — a sudden autoimmune problem. I miss him every day. I feel your loss.

  6. Jason, Dana, Katie and Sheriff,

    Please accept our condolence on the passing of your faithful friend Tully. How fortunate she was to be adopted into such a loving home. It is evident through the photos, video – and especially your heart-touching words, that she was a very special member of your family.

    These friends of the LAFD have been a great help to firefighters and others in their time of need:



    Brian Humphrey
    Public Service Officer
    Los Angeles Fire Department

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