TJ is the Retired Assistant Director of the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, after 28 years of service, and a combined 34 years in law enforcement. He continues to work part time for the National Alliance of State Drug Enforcement Agencies. In 2010, TJ started to notice strange sensations in his left leg and hand, but pushed them to the back of his mind. He was able to mask the symptoms for a few years, but in 2012 became determined to find out what was going on. In 2017, after years of doctors telling him it was all in his head, he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease. He experiences dyskinesia, dystonia, balance and stability issues, as well as overall body discomfort. TJ believes having a Service Dog will help with his mobility and physical distress, giving him a sense of independence once again.
When TJ met GARTH, a Golden Retriever, in March 2022, they took to each other immediately! GARTH will assist TJ by bracing to provide stability on uneven terrain, as well as when changing elevations. He will retrieve items that are out of TJ’s reach and will cuddle to help as he is working through difficult moments, and combatting pain. With GARTH’s help, TJ will regain his independence, and allow him to live a full and happy life with his family!