Thursday, July 03, 2008

Timmy Best Dog


I got Timmy when I was 26 years old. Kurt Cobain and Princess Diana were both alive, and I wished they were my friends. I ended up with Timmy instead. Walked into a dog pound out on some country road identified with only a number, and picked him out. Scrawny and unsocialized and shivery in the back of the cage, I crouched down there and he slowly came forward and sniffed my finger. Was probably wearing paint splattered cut offs with black Converse one stars, same shoes they found Kurt dead in when shot himself in the head a couple years later. Opened the chain link door on the big dog cage holding a little dog, and that was that. Was the kind of dog pound that didn't care I was a grad student without an address, didn't need to know I lived on the sly in an old metal building that was supposed to just be a painting studio. Walked Timmy out of there and never looked back. Who knows you're having a day when you just picked out the best friend you will ever have?


After that, never went anywhere without Timmy. Maybe never really trained him, he just stuck with me. Rode in a crate on the back of my bike, next to me on the seat of my old truck, and if I needed to go somewhere no dogs allowed, just shoved him in a duffle bag and in he came. That's just how it was with me and Timmy.


Was Timmy perfect? Far from it. He would bark with the best of them. Sort of his signature. Bark bark bark bark bark bark bark bark bark bark bark and then some. Could sniff out a rotten burrito in the street a mile away then scurry away with it and could never catch him til it was scarfed down his little garbage swilling gullet. Sometimes walked slower than everyone else just because he wanted to, creeping like a turtle. And had a wandering gene. But pretty minor things and his real name was always Timmy Best Dog.


Timmy didn't go in dog shows, didn't have fancy toys and accessories. Liked to chew on pens and little sticks for a hobby. Once I had to duke it out with an old homeless dude on Market Street who grabbed Timmy up from the sidewalk and started running with him, screaming at me that I stole his dog. I did, man. I pounced on that old guy and grabbed him back into my arms so tight and ran with him running after me, lunatic screaming I was stealing his dog. Ran fast and far away from him. Once was walking him down some other street in San Francisco, late at night, and a drunk got throw right out the door of a bar, right into me. Timmy went shutzhund on him, barking and lunging and biting and all 20 some pounds of him keeping that drunk guy at bay. Guy never knew what hit him. Me and Timmy, we did stuff like that for eachother.


Don't really know what else to tell you. Timmy has been everywhere I have in the last almost 16 years. Been through a slew of careers and back again. Lived in cities and forests and ranches and by the beach. Ate a bunch of pancakes and tacos and burger and fries the last few days. I know he needed to be all done with this life but doesn't make it any easier yet. I hope he finds Princess Di and Kurt and my sister and Anthony whose triple expensive Italian couch he peed on once and they all hang out together sometimes, walking up a long beach somewhere at low tide, watching him run in the water and chase birds, barking like a maniac, waiting til I get there too someday. That's what I need to believe.

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8 Comments:

Blogger Simba said...

oh Laura..what a lovely tribute. I'm so sorry for your loss. It'll be just those memories that will keep him alive in your heart forever.

RIP Timmy Best Dog.

Melissa + Simba

July 3, 2008 7:16 AM  
Blogger Elf said...

Timmy, Cheerleader to Team Small Dog: Go, Timmy, go! Run!

July 3, 2008 8:47 AM  
Blogger Diana said...

Thanks for sharing. Diana

July 3, 2008 3:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing the photos.
I really like these 5 pics of Timmy. It's nice seeing that very first early one...he looks like he was the same Timmy then as in the later photos. Always Timmy.

July 3, 2008 6:56 PM  
Blogger eqjive said...

Laura-

I will always remember the dog who sniffed my feet accusingly and ran his nose over my ear when I picked him (which took my about ten years to get up the courage to do). I imagine he is in a place where there are no loud shoes, a beach that goes on forever, and where perhaps, he can even surf.

Rest in peace, Timothy.

July 3, 2008 9:57 PM  
Blogger eqjive said...

by the way, eqjive=eachan

July 3, 2008 9:58 PM  
Blogger Simba said...

A quote from an essay by Pam Houston about the passing of her Irish Wolfhound Dante.

"Dante taught me that if your paws are too big to fit in your ears, you have to get someone else to do the scratching, and that if you want your hand to be licked, you might have to put it under somebody's nose. he taught me that sitting in the grass together doing nothing isn't really doing nothing at all, and that sometimes, even if you haven't acted perfectly, the good thing happens anyway. He taught me that if you really love somebody, cleaning their bodily excretions off the carpet is no problem, and in the end, the money doesn't really matter a bit. He taught me that loving, in the face of inevitable loss, is the single most important challenge of our lives; that without loss, life isn't worth a hill of beans, and without love, life is nothing more than a series of losses. He taught me that everything is forgivable, that every moment contains eternity, and that loving unconditionally doesn't mean you are a self-annihilating fool. After he died he taught me how to live without him, but also that I didn't have to. He taught me that because we loved each other so completely, a part of him would always be with me."

July 4, 2008 6:50 AM  
Blogger Pacco de Mongrel said...

16 years was a really long journey...

i'm sure timmy is having a great time at the rainbow bridge where he feels young and healthy once again...

July 7, 2008 8:26 AM  

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