Time to review Freddie’s Holiday Gift Guide
8:02 pm | November 12, 2018

Author: Stephanie | Category: Uncategorized | Comments: None


Starting today and for the next 10 days, be looking for all the reasons that Freddie recommends a custom pet portrait as the perfect holiday gift. When you’re ready to order she recommends:

Visitng our website at Jimmydog.com, calling us at 336-201-7475 or emailing us at todd@jimmydog.com. And don’t forget: We also offer gift certificates. They make great gifts, too!

And because you don’t have to worry about your holiday shopping anymore may she suggests you tackle another item on your holiday to-do list, like making dog cookies for your favorite canine pals. (She likes the ones shaped like squirrels!)

And for those who would like to read her complete holiday shopping blog now, go to this link

The holidays are just around the corner and Jimmydog’s Chief Canine Officer Freddie realizes it can be a stressful time for people. Always wanting to help, she’s put together a holiday gift guide that will make your holiday shopping quick, easy and stress free. Even better: The loved ones on your list will receive a thoughtful, meaningful gift they’ll truly cherish.

I don’t buy many gifts because I don’t have anywhere to keep money and haven’t gotten the hang of online shopping. But the holidays are coming up and I know you’ve got plenty of shopping to do. So, I’m offering my services. Think of me as one of Santa’s elves or your personal shopper.

Here’s what I suggest: Commission custom portraits by Todd Belcher for all your loved ones (or at least for your most beloved loved one!). You might be saying, “Of course, Freddie would suggest that.” Yes. Of course, I would suggest that—because a specially commissioned custom portrait of a favorite pet, beloved family member or cherished friend is The Perfect Gift.

This isn’t just my well-considered opinion. It’s a fact. For the next 10 days, I will give you wonderful reasons that a custom portrait is the bestest gift you can give.

1. A custom portrait is unique. At Jimmydog, we work with each client to create a one-of-a-kind portrait. You choose the medium (pencil, colored pencil or acrylics) and the size (from 8×10 to 24×30; custom sizes, too). And using your photos, together we’ll come up with the best composition, color palette and background for your portrait. (I often weigh in on these important decisions because I’ve developed quite an eye for these things!)


A fun day with Teak, Kingston and Esther’s friends beyond the Rainbow Bridge
3:37 pm | October 30, 2018

Author: Stephanie | Category: Uncategorized | Comments: None







Dear Stephanie & Todd,
One night over bones, Joey and I got to talking about how much you seem to like these letters from us – we make sure to tune our TV to channel 740 to watch you open and read each one. And we thought maybe other people would like updates from their pets who’ve crossed the Rainbow Bridge, too.

So, we set out to explore other neighborhoods and see who we could find. On the day of our most recent outing, Joey and I needed to get back to our neighborhood by midafternoon to welcome new arrivals (remember in our last letter we told you about our jobs as ambassadors for the Rainbow Bridge Newcomers Club), so we called a LegLyft. Just give a “woof” and one of the yellow driverless cars shows up. We love LegLyfts – all the windows stay rolled down so we can catch all the smells with our noses. You should see Joey’s ears fly as we speed off!

The first neighborhood we came to looks a lot like ours: little houses for each pack of animals, plenty of streams and woods to explore, a food court in the center, and a grassy park for big meetings and parties.

Those are pretty much standard features for every neighborhood, and then each has its own cool stuff, too, like neighborhoods with lot of cats have ropes courses with climbing towers. (Cats love to scurry up towers and look down on us dogs!)

This new neighborhood we visited had a giant mud pit next to the central park and that’s where we found Teak and his pal Austin, who invited us in to play. We shouldn’t have been surprised, but guess who else we ran into there? Bear the pig, Esther’s friend from Happily Ever Esther Farm Sanctuary

Bear was happier than a pig in, well, you know! Bear was there with his dog friends Shelby and Reuben, who we helped welcome to this side of the Rainbow Bridge last summer, and Alice, their enormous dog friend who had just the briefest stay with Esther and her family before crossing the bridge. Alice is a big beautiful girl who towers over Shelby and Reuben and then giant Bear stands up and she looks tiny! They are all doing great together, playing a lot and, of course, keeping a close on eye on all their many friends back at the sanctuary in Canada. Esther’s pals have made some new friends since they got here and were hanging out that day with Elvis (a cute little guy dog, not the singer) and Elvis’ friends Jordon and Bailey. (I think I spied Elvis and Shelby smooching, but I can’t be sure. Elvis might have been licking off a speck of mud on Shelby’s nose, like any considerate boy would do.)

After we were good and tired, Teak said he was hungry and asked if we wanted to grab a snack. We sure did! We said goodbye to everyone and climbed out of the mud bog, instantly clean and dry. (No baths with those stinky shampoos here — ever! Oh, except for the birds. They love a good splish-splash!) Teak is a white husky so the three of us looked quite handsome together—a trio of shiny, fluffy white dogs trotting over to the food court where we settled down under a table. Joey and I ordered a plate of ribs to share (mostly so we could chew the bones) and Teak got a bowl of chicken soup, a plate of chicken livers, eggs and a pupuccino. That pup can eat!

With our connections on the Newcomers Club, we have access to reports on all the animals’ previous lives. Teak’s mom and all the friends he made through Stepping Stones Canine Rescue took great care of him, but he had serious health problems, spent a lot of time with the special vets and never could put on much weight. Boy, things have changed! He’s definitely husky now (Ha! Another joke!). Like all the animals here, Teak only remembers the love and good times from his other life, none of the bad, and we would never remind him about it. As Newcomers Club members, we took a secrecy oath by peeing on a sacred tree and we take that very seriously.

Teak wanted to show us his house and once we got there, we could see why. He and Austin have the biggest toy box, full of plushies, balls and chewies. Teak dove into the pile, tossing Joey and me his favorites to play with. What a generous guy! Too soon, it was time for us to go.

We said our goodbyes but right as we were woofing for another LegLyft, we saw Teak’s next-door neighbor Kingston heading down the path in his red trailblazer shoes. In his previous life, Kingston had to wear shoes for traction. Now he wears his ruby “Wizard of Oz” footwear as a fashion statement. And although both his ears work great now, he likes to keep the right one folded down like he did before. We were so taken with Kingston’s spiffy look, we almost didn’t see his little buddy Java. We knew they were together though because where you see one you always see the other— truly BFFFs, best fur friends forever. They had late lunch reservations at Che Kibble, Kingston’s favorite fancy restaurant, where they serve tasting bowls of kibble and flights of toilet water from around the world. For dessert, they were planning on stopping by Pancakes Aren’t Just for People, a little stand in the food court that serves pancakes and waffles all day long. They invited us to join them but we had to get going. It had been a long, busy day and we still had work to do in our own ’hood.

On our way home, Joey and I talked about what good lives everyone enjoys here. When Teak and Kingston lived on the other side of the bridge, their people talked a lot about what lucky dogs they were – that was true! And here, that lucky streak continues forever, for all of us!

Tail wags and doggy kisses!

Jimmy (and Joey)

P.S. We can’t figure out how to send letters anywhere other than your house. Maybe you can pass these updates from our friends along to their people through the Googlewebernet or InstaFace – you know what we mean, those computer things that people can’t stop scrolling through. We’ll write more soon!

It’s National Cat Day!
3:48 pm | October 29, 2018

Author: Stephanie | Category: Uncategorized | Comments: None









From the lovely Luna and all of us here at Jimmydog Pet Portraits (even CCO Freddie), Happy National Cat Day.

We believe that every cat should have a forever home where they are safe, warm, loved, cherished and regarded as FAMILY.

We believe that cats are PURfect best friends and are among the funniest animals on the planet.

We believe that life just isn’t the same without a cat in it.

We believe in adoption to help reduce the number of unwanted cats that flood shelters and rescues every day.

We believe in spaying & neutering as a way to end the suffering and overpopulation of cats around the globe.

We believe that no matter where a cat comes from, being a cat parent is a precious gift and a responsibility one should not take lightly. Please make sure you can properly care for a cat before you commit to opening your heart and home.

Holidays are coming
3:18 pm | October 17, 2018

Author: Stephanie | Category: Uncategorized | Comments: None

They are your world and you’d do anything for them. This holiday season, capture your memories with a custom pet portrait for yourself or someone you love. Todd can capture the personality, character and soul of your pet like no one else, but don’t take our word for it. Our happy clients tell it the best.

Time to order!
5:18 pm | October 9, 2018

Author: Stephanie | Category: Uncategorized | Comments: None

Here in NC, it may still feel like summer but the calendar tells us that the holidays will be here before we know it! Capture your memories this season with a hand painted, custom portrait of your best friend. There’s still time to place your order for holiday delivery. It’s the most special gift a pet lover can receive, but don’t take our word for it, listen to what past portrait recipients have to say.


Honoring mom
5:24 pm | October 8, 2018

Author: Stephanie | Category: Uncategorized | Comments: None









Todd’s latest portrait is full of memories. A mother who died too young painted with all the beloved pets she shared with her family. A loving gift from a daughter to her step-father to honor and remember the woman and pack they loved.

Freddie’s soapbox: Adopt, don’t shop!
4:24 pm | September 26, 2018

Author: Stephanie | Category: Uncategorized | Comments: None





Freddie, Jimmydog’s semi-retired chief canine officer, feels strongly about a lot of things, namely that daily walks are mandatory, nighttime chewy bones are delicious, and Stephanie and Todd Belcher are the best people ever. She also believes that #AdoptDon’tShop is more than a hashtag: It’s the ideal way for people to bring a pet into their lives. Here she explains why.

Dear friends,
I want to tell you about my new friend Max. (That’s him pictured on this post.) Max, an Aussie shepherd-border collie mix, spent most his life alone in a small backyard kennel, ignored by his people. He lived like that for eight years. Eight years! Then his people decided to move — and not take him along! To them, Max was an inconvenience, like a bone you’ve chewed all the good stuff out of and forgotten under a bush because a chipmunk ran past and you had to chase it. But a nice woman fostered Max and within a few weeks, he went to live at the loving forever home he always deserved.

And here’s the thing: Max is the best dog! He’s handsome and sweet. (I might have a little crush on him, but I don’t let on because I’m a much older woman.) The vet says he’s in excellent health. And he’s well-behaved, hardly ever barks and never has accidents in the house. Plus, he’s friendly to people (even the little unpredictable ones) and he likes other animals, except squirrels — and no one can blame Max for not liking squirrels. That’s just good sense.

Why am I telling you about Max? Because Max is proof that rescue dogs make the best pets!

I’m getting up on my soapbox here — even though I don’t like soap and don’t have much need for boxes: There’s no reason to buy a dog from a breeder when there are so many in shelters and foster care who need good forever homes! Same thing if you’re looking for a cat or potbellied pig or any other pet for that matter. Adopt, don’t shop!

Need more proof? Look at me! It’s not bragging to say I was an adorable puppy and am now a beautiful mature dog. That’s just facts. Stephanie and Todd Belcher, the best people ever and also the smartest for adopting me, say I’ve always been a good girl — well-mannered and mature. No bad puppy antics for me, even when I was little. And I’ve always been healthy. I’m nearly 16 now so I take a few medications and have slowed down but I still walk every single day and love life! My brothers Joey and Jimmy, who have both crossed the Rainbow Bridge, were rescue dogs, too. And they were the best!

Some people think that by purchasing from a breeder, they will get a dog without health or behavior problems, but no one can know for sure that a dog won’t get sick or turn aggressive.

Other people think that rescue dogs have something wrong with them. That’s not true either. Dogs end up at shelters for all sorts of reasons that aren’t the dogs’ fault: their people don’t have time for them or the dog isn’t as cute all grown up as it was as a puppy. (That last one makes me really mad: No one gets rid of a family member because they don’t turn out to be a cute person!) Sometimes people divorce or die and there’s nowhere for the dog to go; people fall on hard financial times. Or natural disasters separate them. (Honestly, this is all so upsetting to think about!)
However they end up there, rescue dogs have one thing in common: they deserve someone to love them and they want someone to love.

No matter what kind of dog you’re looking for, you can find one at a shelter or rescue. Puppies. Young dogs. Seniors. Big. Small. Athletic and energetic. Cuddly and laid-back. They’ve got ’em all.

I’ve heard some people buy from breeders because they love a certain breed or those designer mixes like maltipoos, puggles and chiweenies. Know what? Shelters and rescues are full of those, too. My friend Max is the cutest collsheppie you’ll ever meet and I myself am an adorable wire-coated Cherrier. Now that’s fancy!

Take a minute and scroll through Todd’s portraits on the Jimmydog Pet Portraits Facebook page. Almost all of them are rescue animals— formerly abandoned dogs, cats, horses and even pigs who were adopted from shelters and rescues. And those animals became not just pets but members of the family, so beloved that their people hang their portraits in places of honor in their homes.

Pets bought from breeders can cost a lot, but a rescue pet is priceless!

Yours in dogness,

Lucy and Zack
4:23 pm |

Author: Stephanie | Category: Uncategorized | Comments: None







Todd’s latest portrait is this adorable pair of best friends, Lucy and Zack. They’re living the good life in Winston-Salem, NC and their portrait joins a growing collection of Todd Belcher originals. They’re fur mom told us that they were getting older and she wanted to make sure and have their portrait painted while they were still feeling great.

Rainbow Bridge new arrivals find everything they could ever want
4:48 pm | September 6, 2018

Author: Stephanie | Category: Uncategorized | Comments: None

Jimmy and Joey welcome an old friend

When we have to say goodbye to our beloved pets at the end of their lives with us, it’s hard to imagine a world without them. Our hearts ache after those goodbyes. But thanks to our own dogs Jimmy and Joey, who crossed the Rainbow Bridge several years ago, we know all the pets who have passed are happy and healthy, playing with friends, having adventures and taking plenty of long naps. We know because our sweet boys occasionally write letters, telling us about their new lives on the other side. In their latest post, we hear about their important new jobs – and a couple of new arrivals.

Dear Stephanie & Todd,
We have some big news! Joey and I have gone back to work. After serving as volunteers with the Rainbow Bridge Newcomers Club, we’ve been promoted to ambassadors, a paid position. You know we loved our jobs as chief canine officers at Jimmydog Pet Portraits, and it feels great to work again.

They gave us cool badges – tags for our collars that say “Newcomers Club Ambassador” – and we get a paycheck of extra bones every Friday. Of course, you can get bones around here anytime you want but these are delivered right to our house. We really like how they do deliveries here. The birds drop off letters and packages – and sometimes, when they are feeling festive, they leave a little “frosting” on them as they fly off. What great days those are! Mail and something smelly to roll in, too! It’s so much better than how mail was delivered in our old lives. We hear that when it is their time to pass, those guys in the white trucks and brown trucks who used to menace us every day cross a very different bridge that takes them in a whole other direction. We’ll never see them again!

But back to the Newcomers Club. It takes over after the Welcoming Committee greets new arrivals and after the Pack Placement Committee decides where everyone will live. Our job is to get everyone settled into their new houses, give tours of the whole place and answer any questions.

Soon after we got our badges, Joey’s good buddy Clooney arrived. Joey tells me he and Clooney go way back – back to when Clooney was just a puppy and you found him wandering in the street all alone. Joey says you helped Clooney find his forever home (where he was given that great name!), but that he’d still visit your house often, so he had two families who loved him. Lucky boy!

Swapping stories about how we found our forever homes is a big activity here. We gather ’round the fire hydrant at night, chewing on sticks and listening as everyone recounts what was always the greatest day of their lives: Forever Home Day. The cats mostly lie around, licking themselves and pretending not to listen. Occasionally, one will chime in with their story, but their stories always end with “…and that was those people’s luckiest day ever.” Cats!

Anyway, Joey tells me that back on the other side of the Rainbow Bridge, he and Clooney bonded over their mutual suspicion of human strangers and their love of watching baseball on TV with Todd.

Because members of Clooney’s former pack are already here, the Pack Placement Committee had an easy job, then we helped him settle into his house with his sister dog Arlo Jean and his sister cats Helen, Gertrude and Phyllis. But Joey insisted we make Clooney a guest room at our place, too, complete with his own twin-size, human-type bed, just like he used to have when he would visit your house. We even put a little dog biscuit on the pillow for him!

Not long after Clooney arrived, we welcomed Blossom, a voluptuous bulldog who has all the dogs’ tails wagging. She’s also got a big family here – Bixby, Georgia, Handsome and Gnarly, all bulldogs like her.

Both Blossom and Clooney were really worried about the packs they’d left behind and were so relieved to discover that their houses here have TVs with special channels so they can watch everything their packs are doing whenever they want (channel 118 at Clooney’s house and channel 2235 at Blossom’s).

After she got situated, Blossom gave us a list of stuff she wanted to see and do. No. 1 was going to a river. I was confused. Maybe she wanted to take a nap on its banks? I’d never seen a bulldog swim, just sunbathe.

Anyway, Clooney, who loves rivers, too, wanted to come along, so we all ran – every dog wants to run a lot after they arrive – to a nice big, wide stream.
Clooney jumped in first, splashing around before finding a shallow spot where he could plop down, only his head and long, fluffy tail sticking out of the water. Blossom dove in right after him. I was barking, “Don’t you need some floaties, Blossom?” but silly me, she’s a great swimmer.

And she taught us the best game: stone diving. Any dog can do it. You just swim down to the bottom and find a good rock and bring it back to the surface. You can play two ways: The dog with the most stones wins or the dog with the best stones wins.

Some nearby cats said they would help judge which rocks were best – and we took them up on it because cats are so good at judging. But then, when Joey shook a tiny bit of water on one of them, they got huffy and left. Cats! After that, we tried to pick the winning rocks ourselves but couldn’t: Just like every dog is the best dog, every stone is the best stone!

After the swimming and stone diving, we took a long nap on the bank. Even if I was wrong about Blossom and swimming, I was right about her liking naps on the bank. But then she was ready to go again. Who knew bulldogs had so much energy? She was hungry, so I took her to the food court. We were there for a long, long time as she worked her way through Forbidden Edibles, Chew All You Want, Legs! Legs! Legs! and the other stands.

Clooney and Joey, not liking big crowds, headed off on their own, saying something about wanting to take a long walk to catch up. I found them later, curled up on our together sofa, watching baseball on TV. They couldn’t have been happier.

Really, that’s true of all of us here. We know how much you miss us, and we miss you, too. But you are the reason we are here – happy and healthy, surrounded by friends. When you kissed us goodbye on our last day with you, your love for us lit the path to the Rainbow Bridge and this magical place beyond.
Tail wags and doggy kisses!

Jimmy (and Joey)

Top Evidence Your Dog is Your Best Friend! (As if we needed any!!!)
7:01 pm | August 20, 2018

Author: Stephanie | Category: Uncategorized | Comments: None

Everyone has that one go-to friend they can always call when they need an understanding ear or a shoulder to cry on. Maybe he or she was a college roommate or perhaps you’ve known each other since kindergarten. It’s a bond you cherish, but the human BFFs of the world are faced with some stiff competition. Two-legged companions just can’t compare to a furry, wagging package of pure loyalty and devotion!

These 10 pieces of evidence prove beyond a resonable doubt that your dog is your REAL bestie!

1. You share everything. Food, furniture, clothing – nothing is off limits between best friends!

2. They know how you’re feeling without you saying a word. Dogs have an uncanny ability to sense our emotions and respond in just the way we need them to. When we are down, they provide a calm, quiet presence and when we are up, they exuberantly join us as we hop around and dance!
3. They make you feel like a celebrity with their joyful greetings. Seriously, has any human ever been as excited to see you as your dog is every single time you show up? Our canine BFFs help keep us humble and grounded, but they also remind us that in their eyes, we are Beyonce! (or Jay-Z as the case may be!)
4. They’ve seen you at your worst – and vice versa!
A best friend is someone who allows you to be comfortable with yourself, warts and all. Our dogs have seen and smelled it all – bedhead, coffee breath, post-workout funk, those 15-year-old slippers – and their love for us never wavers.
5. They remind you to appreciate the little things in life.
When was the last time you hopped in a puddle just to see the splash or caught a snowflake on your tongue? Dogs go through life without ever losing that magical, childlike wonder. Being with them helps us slow down and appreciate the beauty of the world.
6. They inspire you. Best friends don’t just tell you what you want to hear. They are always there to support you, but they also aren’t afraid to let you know when it’s time for an attitude adjustment – or a new hairstyle! Our dogs may not be able to talk, but their pure, honest adoration helps remind us of the people we truly want to be. “Be the person your dog thinks you are!”
7. Anyone who messes with you had better watch out!
Bad breakup? Bully at work? Just let your dog at ’em! Our pups are so deeply devoted to their human besties that they’d happily lay down their lives to protect us. Countless canine heroes have done just that.
8. You have a good time together no matter what you do. Only true BFFs can have a blast doing something as mundane as a Costco run. That’s one of the many fabulous things about dogs. Everything is fun and exciting as long as they are by your side!
9. They are always there when you need a helping paw.
Human friends tend to scatter when it comes to the boring things in life like rides to the airport and moving days. Your pup may not be able to drive or carry your sofa, but you can bet she’ll be there for emotional support. And there’s no better cheerleader to motivate you while you work!
10. You make each other’s worlds a little brighter.
When you come right down to it, we choose our best friends because of the way they make us feel. Dogs enrich our lives by bringing love, laughter and joy to our world because for them, we are their whole world!

Written by Dina Fantegrossi

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The Jimmydog Design Group LLC, 740 Barnsdale Road
Winston-Salem, North Carolina 27106-5530
Office: 336-201-7475  Cell: 336-978-3683