By Cristin Ross

Longtime Jacksonville Daily Progress columnist Inky Ching has passed away.

He died Wednesday at his residence in Maydelle. He was about 12 years old.

Forming half of the Inky and John column that runs in the Progress’s Friday editions, Inky was rescued from life as a stray by Maydelle resident John McClosky, who gave the one-eyed Pekinese dog a loving home and a taste of stardom in the newspaper column.

Inky was an avid animal rights spokesdog. Some of Inky’s favorite places were PetSmart, the vet’s office and Taco Bell.

“Inky, although naive, sometimes, is a real smarty-pants who manages to get the upper hand more than John would like,” McClosky said in an earlier interview. “When I became his pal he was in bad shape. He’d been in a fight and lost an eye and was starving.”

Inky is survived by John and Libby McClosky; wife, Robbie; and housemates, Oscar, Pancho, Spots, Rags, Rosie and Little Lou; and yard mates, Mabel, Blondie, Freeway and Sissy.

McClosky has published books based on Inky’s exploits, which include becoming a doggie astronaut who flew a mission to International Space Station, and a compilation of the Inky and John columns.

A note from John McCloskey

Inky passed away suddenly today. He was approximately 12 years old and he went quietly in his sleep. Inky intruded himself into my space in 1998 and my life changed radically. If someone had told me then I would write a children’s book about him I would have recommended them to the nearest psychiatrist. Now, two books and 141 newspaper columns later, I am totally lost without him.

To say he will be missed is an understatement of grandiose proportion, but I know he will be with me always and we will go on. I am taking a couple of weeks off to get my head straight and then the column will return.

Thank you for inviting him into your life.

— John McCloskey

Editor’s note: Readers may contact John McCloskey by email at If you would like to share an Inky story or comment with Inky’s family via the Daily Progress, send an e-mail to or fax to 903-586-0987 or drop a submission by our office at 525 E. Commerce St.