Batman has Robin. Green Arrow has Speedy. Captain America has Bucky. I have my puppy Jimmy. This week, my baby boy passed away after making my life so much richer for over ten years. He was my sidekick and my brother and always followed me around, even if he was only looking for a treat or a walk many of those times. Beagles are known not only for their strong sniffers, but for their immense appetites and he was a quintessential beagle. He was always by my side, following me around the house or laying nearby keeping watch (with his expressive eyes looking up at me and around him) or sleeping while I would read or write. He was comforting and I could tell I made him comfortable and safe as well. I loved him and I know that he loved me.
When my dads first brought up the idea of getting a puppy, I was afraid. I knew that by getting close to Jimmy, that he would eventually pass one day. It was the circle of life and inevitable. But that fear went away as time went by and I knew it was irrational and morbid to think this way. I let myself love him instantly when he first entered our home. During one incident, he scared me and I thought I was going to lose him when he was a puppy. I was walking him one day and he got loose from his leash as we were walking near our house. I ran after him faster than I ever ran in my life. I lunged over a hedge as he was going over it and I grabbed him by his little back paws. I held on with all my might, pulled him toward me, and brought him in the house. After the realization of possibly losing my new baby, I bawled like a baby myself. I would sacrifice and do anything for him, even if it meant jumping through hedges. I have some comfort that he left this world without pain and that I was a hero that day to him so that he could enrich me and my family’s lives for many years after that scary incident. I laugh at that brush with the loss of Jimmy that day, knowing the way I always babied him (like always making sure he was breathing when he was sleeping) was only one of the many ways I loved and cared for him.
I’m going to miss the excitement he infused the house with everyday. In the mornings, he would bark for his breakfast. In the evenings, he’d bark for his dinner. He had an internal clock that was set to food and treat time. Every night, I always put a treat in my room so that I could give it to him at 5:30 in the morning after my dads had fed him. I’m going to miss his scratching at my closed door so that he could get that treat in his gullet. When the mailman came, he’d also bark. When dogs passed by, he’d bark. I miss the distinct howl he filled our house with everyday. The house now feels so empty without him. Even though it’s only been a few days, I sometimes think I can hear him breathing or traipsing around the house being his inquisitive self.
On his daily walks, he made some human friends. Although he would have nothing to do with them, I held him next to me so that other people could pet and experience the cuteness that was Jimmy. Everyone loved him and he made them smile. I felt proud, happy, and extremely lucky that I was the one that lived with him. Every dog that I met could not compare to my baby boy. When he met or was forced to be around other puppies (such as my sister’s doggies), he’s grudgingly tolerate them or lay in a corner sighing. I’d always go by him and stroke him, knowing how he felt: he was the king of the roost and these interlopers needed to go.
Jimmy was never a cuddler, but he always gave in while he was lounging on my bed staring out the window. That was his favorite spot. It was his bed just as much as mine. He would spread out and put his head between the pillows I put specifically for him on the bed. He had his own blankets on the bed as well. I don’t want to take them off my bed just yet, because that will mean he’s not going to be there anymore for me to hold onto. I’d lay next to him and hold him close and life would feel better. At least I will always have those memories and those comforting feelings within me, even though I can never hold him again.
My poor baby thought he was human and had such personality. He’d want to sit on chairs when people were in the backyard and we’d let him. Jimmy would even steal food from the table like a stealthy villain, but he would pay for it at times. He once ate a whole stick of butter and had a tummy ache that lasted a few days. But did he learn? Not at all. He stole hot dogs, eggs, and, once, even a plain hot dog bun. You would think he was ruled by his stomach and it sure seemed that way. He was such a comical puppy and I’ll always laugh when I think of him.
Jimmy was my constant companion. He was family. I believe what my dad told me after his passing: “He still lives, just not with us right now.” He’ll always be a part of me and I’ll cherish the amazing memories that will remain after the pain of his physical loss gets a little less painful. My family and I loved him with all of our hearts and we know he felt that love. No other puppy was as lucky as ours and I know he’s running around up in Heaven eating treats to his heart’s content, playing with my grandfather. I know I’ll see him again and I know I was the luckiest person in the world because my baby boy was in my life and always will be. I’ll have countless memories and an immense amount of pictures to remind me of the imprint he left on my life. Jimmy will be in my heart forever and I’ll feel such joy every time I think of him. You’ll always be my sidekick, Jimmy. I love you with all my heart.