He Was My Best Friend for Ten Years, We Even Had Matching Haircuts

Don Giannatti
3 min readJun 15, 2024

We called him Dobby… I mean, just look at those ears!


Part Chihuahua, part Dachsund, and a lot of other breeds mixed in for fun, Dobby came into our home about 12 years ago.

(At this point, it must be understood that all the animals in my family are named after Harry Potter characters. I, being the male head of the household, had absolutely no input into this decision.)

I was not on board with adopting a small dog, preferring instead to look for a larger animal; Border Collie, Lab, Austrailian Shepard.

And he wasn’t a pup. He had lived a tough few years with abusive people who, I sincerely hope, face an IRS audit every year for the rest of their lives.

But the wife and child units had already decided on this scruffy, small, lapdog-ish tube of grey fur and huge ears.

He was glued to my daughter and became — for all intents and purposes — her dog. My wife and I were the loving matriarchs, providers of food and warm tummies for naps.

I could list all the ways he was special, if there were any.

He would play catch only a few times before getting bored.
He couldn’t figure out the idea of only going potty outside. Ever.
He wouldn’t sit, roll, or play with his bone.
He never listened. Even before he went deaf.
He would escape the yard and run away, only to return an hour later, acting like he never left.
Many an afternoon was spent in the car cruising the neighborhood at 2 miles an hour looking for “the Dobbs”.

He was like that best friend who always lacked ambition and found a way to screw up almost everything they wanted to do, but you loved him anyway.

Lovable, affable, and totally useless.

He cowered from birds, ran from cats (except our own), and never barked at lurkers.

And even with all that, I loved the little guy. So much.

For the past few weeks, we would sit outside on the porch and just watch the sun come up. He would lay against my feet as though he didn’t want me to leave.

And we would chat. I always talk to my animals, don’t you?

He was getting old, and dementia had taken the funny little guy and made him lethargic, and sleepy all day. His heart was failing, he was mostly blind, deaf, and not at all the young spirit we brought home from the shelter all those years ago.

Yesterday we sat together and watched the sun come up, warming the desert, lighting up the brush, and revealing the bunnies and quail that move in those early morning hours.

He leaned against my leg.

It was a beautiful morning.

We will never sit together again.

Today I sat alone.

And he romped his silly ass off over that glorious rainbow bridge.

See ya, Dobby, old buddy. You be good now.

Hi, I’m Don Giannatti, a photographer and mentor for up-and-coming photographers. You can find me on my website, Don Giannatti, and at my Substack site, where I also publish for creative people. All subscribers to my Substack have access to a free, long-form workshop on the business of commercial and professional photography.



Don Giannatti

Designer. Photographer. Author. Entrepreneur: Loving life at 100MPH. I love designing, making photographs and writing.