A DOG groomer’s beloved pet will be the guest of honour at his funeral today.
Michael Rumball, 50, ran Shimmers dog grooming parlour in Edward Street, named after his Alaskan malamute Shimmer.
His ex-partner Ben Thorpe said that Shimmer had been visibly upset since Mr Rumball, of Kemp Town, took his life at Beachy Head on May 13.
Paying tribute to Mr Rumball, who also ran a dog walking company called Walk this Way, Mr Thorpe said: “He was a very loyal person and he loved dogs.
“He adored Shimmer and she’s now being cared for by a very good friend.
“You can absolutely see she’s grieving for him.
“It’s very sad, but at least she’s with someone she knows.”
Mr Rumball’s loyal customers and friends have been leaving flowers and tributes to him outside Shimmers since his death.
Mr Thorpe had been living in Spain when he was told by a mutual friend that Mr Rumball had died.
“It was awful news to hear. He had obviously been having some difficulties but it is such a tragedy.
“He was an amazing person who would help anyone, but obviously it had been a hard time for him.”
Mr Rumball was on police bail at the time of his death having been arrested after an incident in April in which he was suspected of setting fire to his vehicle and holding a knife to his throat.
More friends paid tribute to Mr Rumball on Facebook.
Louise Appleton-Godin said: “RIP Michael. Thinking of his mum and his friends at this tragically sad time.”
Michael Alan Saunders: “A lovely man that will be sadly missed.”
Mr Rumball’s funeral will be held at Woodvale Crematorium South at 2.30pm today and a wake at his favourite restaurant Betty La La’s in Kemp Town afterwards. His friends are welcome and donations will be collected for Brighton’s PDSA Animal Hospital.