RIP Jimmy (Mr. Velvet)

posted on Facebook/LightmarkArts last February -- my first blog post on this website is in honor of beloved Jimmy.

 Jimmy on KVI beach, Vashon. This became a greeting card with the caption "Beam me up, Scotty!"

Jimmy on KVI beach, Vashon. This became a greeting card with the caption "Beam me up, Scotty!"

I heard the sad news a few days ago that my grandpuppy Jimmy, aka "Mr. Velvet," succumbed last week to a long list of elderly afflictions. His age was unknown; he was a rescue from the streets of Seattle via a young man who noticed that a sad-looking young pitbull had been tied to a fire hydrant for several days. Jimmy eventually came to live with my son, then my daughter after Marcus moved to Europe, and then with Kyra's friend after Kyra did not have the right living situation for a dog. He would come and spend time with me every now and then, which was always a wonderful treat.

I always figured that Jimmy had been abandoned because he could not make the grade as a vicious attack dog; he did not have a mean bone in his body. I called him "Mr. Velvet" because he had fur like a bunny rabbit--incredibly soft. 

The only clue to his past was his intense dislike of young kids on skateboards, which he would voice by barking hysterically if he saw one go by.

He had dignity and he was also a nut. He might have had some Lab in him, because he was bigger than the average Pit and had a Lab tail. He was not a ball-chaser or swimmer though, and he had a weird ritual at the beach: he would wade onto icy Puget Sound and then--perhaps when the chill got to his privates--he would suddenly erupt from the water with an insane look of joy and tear madly around in circles and tight spins on the sand, punctuating his race with several brief, 20-second stops to dig a hole. This ritual would be repeated over and over until he was completely winded.

He had great "chi," (life force energy) and the best sleeps of my life would be after he climbed in bed with me in the morning. I would wake relaxed and amazingly refreshed and peaceful. His tail would be on the pillow, his head down near my feet. We would play hide-and-seek with the covers while his tail thumped enthusiastically on one end and paroxysms of sneezing came from the other.

 In bed with Jimmy, pre-hide and seek. ..

In bed with Jimmy, pre-hide and seek. ..

Memories. . . how I will miss him. Fortunately, I saw him a few days before he died. His eyes were white with cataracts, but his tail was as young as ever.

One of my Lightmark Press greeting cards reads, "When dogs go to heaven, they wait at the top of the stairs." I'll be looking for Jimmy for sure.