The Frankie Files: A Little Dog Who Melts My Heart & Drives Me Nuts

If you've been reading this blog for any extended period of time, you're sure to have met Frankie. The odd little dog who melted my "big dog loving only" heart and wiggled his way into my life. The dog who is brilliantly smart, but also a stubborn asshole. But hey, he's my asshole, so I can say that.

And by mine, I mean all mine. He and Brian have a mutual hatred. Not to mention that Frankie rarely lets me out of his sight. For example, the photo above was taken yesterday. As I type this today, he's curled up in exactly the same spot. He is mine, but more than that I am most certainly his.

I figured, since he makes more than a few random cameos on the blog, that it was time I share a bit of Frankie's story. Meanwhile, he's snoring at my feet.

As I mentioned, I'm a big dog person. I grew up with a Golden Retriever and in my five years as a veterinary nurse, I was always pulled toward the big dogs. Give me a Pit Bull, German Shepherd, or Cattle Dog any day of the week. And then Frankie happened. It actually all started with fish food. You see, my mom and I stopped into a independently owned pet shop in my hometown because she was running low on food for her 55 gallon tropical tank. We liked to give them our business because not only are they independently owned, but all of their puppies are papered from breeders and all of there small animals are locally brought in through 4H projects and the like. In 2011, they completely stopped selling puppies and kittens and instead operate as a supply store and rescue center. Pretty cool.

Anyway, as I was walking through the aisles, I happened to walk past the little pens where people could interact with a puppy they were interested in. Frankie (who was then named Sprout) was in a little pen with a mom and her teenaged son. As they were calling him, clapping their hands to their thighs, and doing everything to get his attention, he slowly walked over to the other side of the pen, sat down, and stared at me. I even heard the mom whisper "I think he wants to go home with her instead." Rest assured, I'm not a dog stealer. The family went home very happily with another puppy who seemed just as thrilled with the decision.

So I begged. "Please, Mom!" I pled, as I did my best to use my big green eyes I inherited from my Dad to my advantage. "Look at him, please!" She finally relented, allowing me to "only sit in the pen with him."

I quietly entered the pen and sat cross-legged in the opposite corner. I looked at him, and he looked at me. Then, slowly, he slunk over to me, and put a single front paw on my knee. That was it. I looked up at my mom, and she knew it too. Frankie was mine.

My only concern then was the price. My worries were quickly diminished when I discovered that Frankie was one of their "rotten bananas." Unlike most shops that don't keep dogs past their cute "puppy phase," this one keeps them all until they find their home. Although Frankie had arrived at eight weeks, no one had ever wanted him and he was eight months old the day I took him home. This was reflected on his price tag.

$1,200     $900     $750      $500    $300

He was still a splurge and my biggest impulse buy to date, but he was discounted. He was the reject, but now he was my reject.

Frankie will turn six at the end of September. In the past five plus years, he has helped me through college, through losing my childhood dog, my mom's death, Brian moving away for school, and so many other things. He is the strangest dog I have ever encountered. He snores like a trucker, could care less if people praise and fawn over him, and most of the time acts more like a cat or a monkey than a dog. I swear, sometimes he even thinks he's a human.

I still can't really say what makes me love this dog so darn much. Maybe just because he has always been there, sleeping at my feet or curled up at the other end of the couch while I crochet. He's not a very outwardly loving dog, at least not in the way most dogs are. But every time he comes up to me and silently puts a paw on my knee, my heart melts just a little bit more.