Updated Thurs., March 2, 2017: Jesse Jane, the faithful canine companion of Jim Power, the East Village’s “Mosaic Man,” died this past week. She was 15.
Until recent years, she was a familiar sight with Power as he went about the neighborhood, and also during times when he was homeless.
Named after the notorious Wild West outlaw Jesse James, she was a mixed breed. She had some pit bull in her, as well as possibly some Rottweiler.
Very well trained, Jesse Jane would snooze calmly on the sidewalk next to Power as he worked on his street lampposts, decorating them with tile, broken plates and glass beads.
“He’s doing very well,” Lorcan Otway, proprietor of Theatre 80 St. Mark’s, said of Power. “He misses her, but is getting on with his work and things…stoic.”
Among her favorite things, Jesse Jane loved it when Ray Alvarez would feed her hot dogs at his Ray’s Candy Store on Avenue A. Times were often tough when they were homeless — before Power got a supportive-housing apartment at The Lee, on E. Houston St. — but Jesse Jane always had a sunny disposition.
“I can also tell you about the time she walked herself to the park in the middle of the night, when they were living in the tent,” Otway recalled. “Jim thought she had been stolen. She came back up the street, carrying her leash in her mouth, because she knew she needed it for the dog run. So she took it with her…brilliant dog.
“Did you ever see her trick with the dollar bill?” Otway continued. “He’d put a dollar on the ground, and she would pretend to guard it from him. He’d reach for it and she’d growl and bare her teeth at him. This would go on while he asked her for it, again and again. Then at last, she’d let him take it.”
Correction: The original version of this article incorrectly said that Jesse Jane was 17.