Blinky turned 16 this summer but he is no less interested in the world around him than he’s ever been. Especially when it comes to food: Blinky is always hungry, eats four times a day (only organic food) and if he was human he’d sure be a food critic, says his human Svenja Timme-Bastian
Hi Svenja! Would you like to tell us about you and your dog?
Sure! I am a creative director and jewelry designer and I live in New York. My “baby”’s name is Blinky Palermo, he turned 16 on August 8th 2023.
Do you remember how you met?
Of course I do! We met at a wedding in Sicily. He had just been born in that villa, with four other siblings. His mom was a Cirneco del Etna and his dad a German pointer, two beautiful dogs! The father, sadly, died before Blinky was born.
What is so amazing about Blinky?
Blinky is by breed a double hunter but he doesn’t hunt. He nurtures and saves. When he finds a lost or injured animal he gently guides me towards it, making me understand that they need help. He loves to kiss animals, too.
How would you describe your relationship?
True understanding and love. I try to read his mind and he gives me signs on what his needs are. Its all about understanding those signs, especially now that he is older and partly deaf.
Do you know about his secret passions?
His not so secret passion is food. Just like me! We love good food and we love it often. He eats organic homecooked food and he eats four times a day. He is my true Italian food lover.
How do you “understand” each other?
We look at each other constantly. He communicates through certain expressions and body language.
What makes him listen no matter what?
He just likes me to be closeby, touching his back. Everything is possible from there.
If your dog was a person – who would he be?
He would be a food critic. A good one!
Why do you love him?
I love him because he is the most sensitive, gentle and soulful companion I have ever known. He seems like an ancient soul to me.
What was the weirdest thing your dog ever did?
There are so many. One of the crazier ones happened when he was still a few months old. He was still a puppy and we were on a road trip over Christmas. My husband and I went for dinner and had lots of seafood leftover. I didn’t think about that his stomach couldn’t process this kind of food yet and gave him a portion in the hotel room. In the middle of the night I wake up and Blinky is standing over my husband with his snout and face over my husband who was fast asleep. Lets just say he was very very close to my husbands face and started retching. Luckily I woke up just in time and grabbed him last minute o avoid a catastrophe.
Did your dog ever bring you closer to other people?
Oh yes, we have found our very best friends through Blinky and their dog Jadon’s friendship. We met at Prospect Park in Brooklyn when the dogs were no more than 2 years old. Now both dogs are 16 and old friends – and so are we with the owner.
Where do you leave him when you have to go away for a couple of days?
He is staying with our friend and his Dog Jadon in Brooklyn. As mentioned above we became friends through our furry babies and decided that we will always take care of the other baby and consider them extended family.
Is there anything that annoys you about him?
What are your favourite things to do with him?
I love to cuddle with him. He smells amazing! Snuggling up and enjoying each others company is my favorite.
Any dreams you’d like to come true with your dog?
Blinky had many adventures with us cause we take him anywhere. He flew to Europe with us in the cabin. He went onto many road trips through the United States with us. And I wish for him that his future as an advanced age dog will be easy, pain-free and full of joy regardless of some limitations.
Is your dog part of the family and part of the household? Does he sleep in your bed etc?
Yes Blinky is a family member like everyone else. He is allowed on the couches and in the bed. I would never deny him or me that beautiful closeness that comes with that.
Any advice you would like to give to someone who wants to get a dog but can’t decide?
A dog is a responsibility. Do not think he can be handled on the side. They have feelings and problems and need attention just like a human does. If you travel a lot don’t get a dog. Or get a small one that you can take with you. Make sure you have a good friend or family member that knows your dog as well as you do that when you travel he is comfortable and in good hands. If you finally get a dog keep him healthy. Home cooked meals (or similar products you can get on the market) prolong your dogs life expectancy by about three years. Love is the best remedy. Love your dog the way he loves you. Nothing is better than that.