Thank you all for the kind thoughts. I
am soaking them up and hanging on to them. I really am in a sort of
numb robotic state, not sure which way I am turning. I am asking that
instead of flowers, send a donation to Willing Hearts Dal Rescue or
the American Diabetes foundation.
My husband Jim was a very wonderful man. He loved me
without question for 17 years. He gave me confidence, support and friendship.
We did this for each other.
He laughed. He loved to laugh. And in the laughing,
to make others laugh. That was Jim. I have been looking at pictures
and there tons of them of him with a grin on his face.
I leave on this final note. My husband was a superhero.
He loved superman and fantastic four and all the rest. He collected
comics, he had action figures and we went to every He was not a man
of steel, but he was a superman.
Jim became a Dalmatian lover and rescuer by virtue of
marriage. Betsy (his wife) had loved the spotted ones since she read
101 Dalmatians many years ago. Rescuing was a natural because they cared
for animals. Their first Dalmatian was Gryphon and he was a sweetie.
But he just paved the road.
Jim and Betsy started a rescue group called Go Dals
in the Boston area, where there really wasn't any at that time. They
started the rescue with Jake. A Dal that came to them from across the
state and under a veil of secrecy. Jake had been left on his front enclosed
porch for most of July while his owner was on vacation. Food and water
was gone and he was dying. The police took Jake to the animal shelter
and they got him back in shape. They called Go Dals about him and said
he was treated as an abandoned dog. Jim drove across the state of Massachussetts
to get Jake. It was the beginning of a rescue group.
Next there was Lady who was rescued from a New Hampshire shelter and
placed in a home in Mass. where she now rides in the van and helps her
new daddy as he landscapes the neighborhoods. Buster came to foster
with Jim and Betsy. He was in a Rhode Island kill shelter. Again, Jim
went to get Buster. This Dal was a trip. He would leap straight up from
floor to table and grab food. He fostered with Jim and Betsy for a couple
months as they worked training. Jim would walk Buster and try to get
him to listen, but Buster was having none of it. There was also Roy,
Spots, Kelly and Niko. Some of the rescues were right from homes and
some were from shelters. Then tragedy hit, Jim and Betsy's own Dal Gryphon
developed renal failure, and they lost him. Gryphon never minded the
fosters and enjoyed teaching them the rights and wrongs of Dalmatian
It was quiet for a few months. The loss of Gryphon was a hard one. Then
came the phone call. Two Dal puppies in NYC kill shelter needed out
right now. Jim took the call and said "yes, we will pick them up".
Actually it was a transport hand off but Jim and Betsy found a home
for both pups, One in Dedham Mass. and one in their living room. Mercury
is a liver spotted couch potato of a Dal. Their other Dal, Tigger came
from a home where because of owner neglect she lost her right front
leg (but you couldn't tell the difference from the way she moves!) Tigger
had to have her leg amputated and the Dal Pals across America helped
by donating to pay the vet bill. Jim took care of Tigger during recovery
and would sit in the quiet room with her and read or listen to music
and just "be" with her. He was a sweet loving man.
This is a great story about Jim and his patience with Betsy and his
love for Dals. A call came about a Dal in a NJ kill shelter. Penny had
only 24 hours left. Jim was in Baltimore and would be driving home.
Betsy calls Jim and says "hey honey....could you pick up a Dal
for me on the way home?" Well, it was an odd request, but he got
her, drove the rest of the way home with her on his lap (he said she
was scared, we think he just wanted to pet her) and she was fostered
for a couple weeks, moving on to a family with another Dalmatian.
Jazz is a Dalmatian that meant a lot to Jim. She almost became part
of the family. She was left on the porch with a bag of dog food and
a note. Her previous owner had died. She was 12 and had never been socialized
with anyone other than him. She adopted Jim right away and poor Mercury
or Tigger if they got near him. Little by little she grew in her sharing.
And Jim didn't want to give her up. He kept asking if she could stay.
Then there was a call from a family with a son with down's syndrome
they had just lost their GSD. They came to meet Jazz. She and the son
got along right away and we think she transferred her need for a male
onto him. Jim knew it was the right thing for both of them. They still
send Jim pictures of Jazz and Pete on the couch.
There are many more Dals that Jim touched. Asia (recently back from
her adopted family, to be readopted), Laddy, Katie, Niko, Specks and
Jimmie to name a few more. Jim had a heart of gold and was always willing
to help out a dog in need. He spent a summer digging post holes at the
house in Boston so that there could be a yard for the fosters to romp
in. In this yard, there were Dal Pal rescue group picnics where rescued
Dals and new owners would gather and share stories and love for Dalmatians.
Jim would always have room on the couch for a Dal or
a small treat or a good word. He was a Dalmatians friend. He has passed
but it is believed that he is playing with Gryphon and enjoying himself.