Best Friend (Continued)

How many times, as he was growing up, did he have Tootsie on his bed listening to whatever it was he wanted to share? How many times when we had to change plans because something happened with his sibling with diabetes did he hold Tootsie and tell her that things were not fair at that time? How many times did he share his feelings with her? And of course she would always listen and pull on his socks or kiss his nose. She understood.

And here standing in front of us at the vet's office was this boy, now a man, who I have become so fond and so proud of; getting ready to be there for his parents and also for his fuzzy friend one last time. Dedication to a friend who perhaps was there on the occasions we were not for TJ. There to listen to his words, his dreams and perhaps now and again, feel a little boy's tears. There he stood, a big man who was ready to crumble.

"Do you want to come in with us?"

Quietly he answered, "Yes."

He knew.

The vet came out and Jill, who was hugging Tootsie in her arms from the time we left the house, could bear the torment no more and had to leave. Dr. Melanie of Blue Point-Bayport Animal Hospital could not have been sweeter or more understanding. She assured us that Tootsie would be in so much pain and that this decision, although so difficult, was the right choice.

Tootsie lay on the table and TJ kissed her nose, as I'm sure she did for him so many times. I petted her head and said, "Thanks girl, for everything." And in seconds, our friend was gone.

TJ, who is as strong as a definition of a man as I have ever met, had tears running down both of his cheeks. I hugged him and whispered in his ear, "She was always yours son, she was always yours."

I'm a diabetes dad.

Read more of Tom Karlya's Diabetes Dad columns here.

Like Tom's Facebook page.


dLife's Viewpoints columnists are not all medical experts, but everyday people living with diabetes and sharing their personal experiences, most often at a set point in time. While their method of diabetes management may work for them, everyone is different. Please consult with your diabetes care team before acting on anything you read here to find out what will work best for you.

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Last Modified Date: June 13, 2013

All content on is created and reviewed in compliance with our editorial policy.

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by Brenda Bell
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