28 March 2008

Wave real hard when you see Timmy.


I haven't been telling you much about Timmy lately. See, some of you, my friends, are new friends and you love to hear about agility. And some of you just love me for my Project Runway. But some of you remember back, before the days of agility, when there was Timmy. And he didn't drift along in a fog, and he would likely bark at you and run around in circles and do some tricks.

That seems like it was a long time ago. When you look into his foggy eyes and you see, well, just fog, it's hard to remember the old Timmy. Not for me, but if you were to just see him shuffling along on the street, and then falling off the curb into the gutter and leaping up and starting to fly around on the end of his leash like a jacked up wolverine, you would probably never believe me how he used to be.

Here's the part where you good dog trainers can go tsk-tsk-tsk at the kind of dog trainer I used to be. When I got Timmy, I was in the part of my life where I quit riding horses. I "Lived" in a big warehouse that was also my art studio where you weren't supposed to live. I slept on a futon on top of a packing crate in the corner, and kept some big paintings over my little corner so no one really could tell. Timmy came from the kind of animal shelter that didn't really check on stuff like you don't have a real address. And he was so sad and pathetic and afraid of people, yet high strung and barky at the same time that I think anyone that would take him was one step better than the inevitable euthanization that was just down the road. So Timmy came home with me and learned from an early age that dogs are not allowed to step in paint or eat pieces of motors or plastic flowers. And that was pretty much it for rules from me. He had his own rule that if someone comes in with a motorcycle helmet and their keys on a big fat chain, to run and hide under a table and not come out.

Timmy was a Go Everywhere dog. He went everywhere with me, and a lot of places with his old friend Toby, another dog that sort of "Lived" in the warehouse. If he wasn't with me in my studio, riding around in a milk crate on the back of my bike, or sitting in the front of my truck, he was off with Toby on adventures such as The Time the Dogs Tried to Get on the City Bus By Themselves or The Time The Dogs Crossed the Busy Street to Join a Fraternity By Themselves or The Time The Dogs Discovered That The People That Work In The Kitchen of the Coffee House Will Always Feed Them Muffins When They Show Up in The Kitchen By Themselves. Those are all true stories and Timmy lived through them all.

The only training class he took was once with this old guy, who was The Guy you went to near San Francisco to take dog classes with at the time. He tried to sell me a pinch collar and wanted me to throw a coke can with pennies inside at Timmy. Like so not the me and Timmy vibe. So I just trained him tricks like Dancing Dog and How to Look Like Princess Diana and that was pretty much it. I just took him everywhere with me at a time when I was an artist having art shows and then being a graphic designer that somehow understood What the Kids wanted, because if you were that kind of graphic designer and artist you could get away with bringing your fluffy black dog into all kinds of places. And if no dogs were allowed, say, at a casino in Reno when you were there to see Johnny Cash, well, Timmy fit neatly into a duffle bag and knew when to keep his trap shut. The most agility he ever learned was to do one jump and one tunnel then just get some treats. It wasn't really his thing.


Timmy's been with me for 15 years. Every single day of his life since he was about 6 months old, except for once when Karl took care of him and he thought he was being kidnapped and sat by the door for the whole weekend. Oh yeah, and Camille took care of him one week when I went to Paris and he barfed on her zebra rug and she gave him to Charlie and Brody. I can't really tell how much time I have left with Timmy. Maybe months, maybe years. He had his first ever accident last night. No matter how sick and frail and dementia-y he's been, I've always been able to wake up to know somehow I need to get Timmy out, even if he's not scratching on a wall that he perceives to be a door. I just seem to know. So that freaked me out. Somehow he was lucid enough to know to go pee on the bathroom rug. The only other time I remember peeing in the house was on Halloween at our old house, and the boys came in the living room in rubber Ronald Regan type masks and he peed all over Gary's wall of records, on that old red carpet with the horsehair carpet pad.


I just thought I'd give Timmy a reason to look so surprised. He just looks like that sometimes and then maybe will go crashing through the house and slam into a wall. Also because that's so Juvenile Photoshop 2.1 and guess who was laying there by my side, when I was right there with Photoshop 2.1. Putting extra arms and warts and stuff on the whole art history database when I was supposed to just color correct. Yep. That was a long time ago.

9 comments:

Simba said...

Now you've done it. Got me all choked up at work...yet still managed a good chuckle at the Cameron Diaz photo and reference to Photoshop 2.1....ahhh the good old days! Mac Classic anyone! :o)

Melissa

Anonymous said...

Wave to TImmy for me!!! I remember Timmy very well from before his fog daze. It's hard for me to recognize the white snouted spacey dog in the pics! Ah Timmy, so many stories, so much barking. -Laurel

Pacco de Mongrel said...

can't imagine that timmy is already reaching 15....

Deb said...

Hello, Timmy!

Elf said...

Old dogs. They all age so differently. Never know what's going to start going first. I think it's preparing me for getting old, reminding me that some things just happen they way they happen. Like, will it be arthritis that gets me? Cataracts? Will I be peeing on the bathroom carpet when I'm 80 (see chart on "dog years")?

I sometimes picture how sad it would be to have an old dog who has trouble getting around who used to be an agility champion. But that hasn't happened so far. Cancer got Remington at the age of 9 while he was still in prime shape. Jake was still running CPE at the age of 15. Will I still be doing

Elf said...

[oops] bad front crosses when I'm 64? I only hope that someone loves me and cares for me like you do for Timmy, letting me run in pointless circles if I need to.

-ellen

Anonymous said...

Reminds me of my kitties that I had forever...

Hi Timmy!!!!

Tash

cedarfield said...

Funny how you love them more the older and weirder they get. Works with people, too. Some of the sweetest times I ever had with my mother were after she got like Timmy.

Jen Wood said...

aw poor old Timmy...Hector says hi and remembers him from the medium old times...like when he didn't really have cushings disease and was pretty much just fine...why doesn't karl ewald fix your RSS in his sleep?