Go Jimmy GO!
A Bull Terrier Called Jimmy who's paws and love has helped heal his human Rafael Mantesso and turn their life around.
How many of us have heard a story like this? Every day in my world that is all about dogs, I come across a story or someone very lovely writes to me and reminds me how very lucky we are. Each day, I cry tears of joy and also sadly, sorrow, every story touches your heart.
As Rafael Mantesso says
"Dogs come into our lives to teach us about love, they depart to teach us about loss.
A new dog never replaces an old dog, it merely expands the heart"
I first wrote a blog post about the hugely talented visual artist Rafael Mantesso just over 2 years ago, at this point he was carving and creating a new beginning for himself and his only companion Jimmy, the only problem was, Jimmy was a dog and conversation limited. He felt raw, he wanted to express his feelings within his art in the only way he knew how to. I had read about Rafael, I love his work, simple, pure and whimsical and clearly these wonderful images of Jimmy his faithful muse has touched everyone's hearts throughout the world.
Rafael Mantesso’s wife left him on his 30th birthday, when he got home he found that she left him nothing but the couple’s bull terrier Jimmy and a few possesions. He was left sitting alone in an empty white apartment waiting for his humans to come home and was completely confused. Jimmy just did not know what was happening, everything he knew as a pup was gone around him, his warm areas in the sun next to the sofa and the bed gone, the situation was raw, real and depression hit Rafael hard. Rafael has Asperger's syndrome and so he finds it hard to reach out and talk about his problems and so this was a pivotal moment in their lives, it was going to be them from now on and Rafael knew that they would have to get through this together.
Rafael, had to reach out, he began taking pictures of Jimmy and doodling with a black marker on the wall behind him. He started to explore his creative talent and a friend encouraged him to set up Social Media accounts. He encouraged his friends and family to follow him and started what is now one of the most influencing photographers with their dogs on social media. Followers love his work, it is the pure love and joy of human and dog working and living in harmony together, their story is about a new beginning and the joy of love. They talk about every day issues, and everyday conversations as if they were talking to you, some times outspoken and non PC others amusing. But this is what every family discusses at our kitchen tables, they are just talking out loud, very loud!
They love talking about the months and the Star signs and Rafael is convinced that Jimmy born under the Capricorn sign is an a typical Capricorn #zodiacjimmy it is yet another huge subject over our kitchen tables, and they show this is their own humours and creative way.
Fast-forward three years, and the two best friends have over 600,000 Instagram followers and he is now a social media sensation. Rafael's work has been published called A Dog Named Jimmy which has been acclaimed and now a New York Times Best Selling book
In Mantesso's words "3 years ago Jimmy dug me out of the bottomless hole and I began to express myself through him"
Jimmy is an International best seller, the established jeans label Ellas jeans named a clothing range after him through their Deluxe Collection for Kids. The whimsical drawings starring Mantesso’s bull terrier attracted the world’s attention, with the images broadcast across global media. Jimmy Choo’s Creative Director, Sandra Choi was so enchanted by the charming drawings that she approached the artist directly, commissioning him to create a series of fun, tongue-in-cheek illustrations to decorate a selection of Jimmy Choo accessories. The collaboration manifests in a limited edition collection launched in May.
And has his own animated You Tube channel called Go Jimmy Go! from his love of following the sun spots at home to his attempts of chasing the girl dogs and impressing an a beautiful long haired dachsund with his Michael Jackson Moonwalk dance and the dream of his first kiss, which of course never goes quite to plan. A series of wonderful short animation films combining music, dog and human voices, humour and yes Jimmy.
Go Jimmy Go! "Kiss Me"
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Caroline Bate Hugo & Otto