Bringing Frankie Home

Frankie came into my life in a totally different manner than Dane did.  He was a little better planned for than Dane, he is a rescue. Last year I moved in with my grandmother. I thought since she was in her 90’s it was not the best plan to let her live alone any longer. So Dane and I moved in.

Dane’s transition took some time but we did it. Frankie’s story starts six months after Dane and I moved in with grams. By that time I knew Dane had adequately adjusted to life at grams house. However, despite the fact he had acclimated he was lonely. At my parents home, Dane had two other dogs to keep him company. At grams he was the one and only.  So began the quest to find him a companion.

Now, although Dane is a chihuahua (and one I happen to adore) I have developed a deep love for pit bulls. I had been saying for years that my next dog would be a pit. So of course when the idea of bringing a second dog into our lives came about I wanted a pit. What I wanted and what would be best for Dane were two different things. So began the search for another small dog.

I had always heard that chihuahuas were cliquish and seem to prefer the company of other chihuahuas above any other breed of dog. Still, I had one yappy, angry, killer chihuahua already. Adding another to the mix didn’t seem like the most appealing idea ever. I also love Boston Terriers, Shi Tzus, Maltese, etc. (Ok, in all reality I love DOGS!)

At this point I thought I found the perfect compromise. A Boston Terrier/Pit mix. Absolutely adorable! Her name was Penny, she was a gray little pup with a white stripe down her face. It was love. She was going to be at an adoption event the next day, which happened to be my birthday. It had to be a sign!

My parents beat me to the event and were walking Penny around when I got there. She was such a calm dog for being a puppy. She was bigger than I expected but completely mellow and wonderful. She melted in my arms. As much as I wanted her I was torn. Was this really the right thing to do? There were a couple of chihuahua puppies there and something drew me to them.

After half an hour I committed to Penny. I filled out the adoption application and found myself in a queue for adoption interviews. I didn’t know what I got myself into. Turns out Penny would not be coming home with me. The interview went well but we still had to schedule a home visit. Since when was it so difficult to adopt a dog in need of a home? Not to mention, IF I was allowed to adopt Penny I would have to commit to not one but TWO rounds of obedience training. I was starting to see why people get their dogs from pet stores as I had with Dane. Pay the money and go seemed so much easier.

During the adoption interview I felt sick. I got hot, sweaty, and my stomach hurt. Hello inner voice screaming, “THIS IS WRONG!!!” Having learned she was a chow hound, would get up on the kitchen chairs to eat anything left on the kitchen table (which is where we kept Gram’s pills), knowing she would get considerably larger than Dane, and the fact that I really didn’t have time for a puppy I knew I had to decline. With visions of her chewing through Gram’s oxygen hose in my head I let them know I couldn’t adopt Penny. I was heartbroken for a dog I met for a matter of minutes.

I was debating if the idea of a second dog was really in anyone’s best interests. Of course it would benefit the dog whose life I’d be saving but was it the right thing for Dane, for me, for Gram at this time? It was a raging debate that was keeping me awake at night and occupying the back of my mind no matter what I was doing.

Still, I perused in my spare time. Even my mom was busy searching for a friend for Dane. Finally I decided to go to another adoption event at the local pet-store. I was going to see Aurora, a three year old chocolate and tan chihuahua. Ever since I brought Dane into my life I’ve loved chocolate and tan chihuahuas. I thought this would be the perfect fit.

Again, my parents beat me there. Aurora was a sweetheart and had already won my dad over. She was beautiful. I didn’t have that uneasiness this time around. I happily filled out the paperwork and looked forward to our interview. I thought this particular rescue did same day adoption so I was eager to bring Aurora home. The interview went well but I was crestfallen when I learned we still had to go through a home visit. I was in shock. I already had one chihuahua, our interview went well. As much as I LOVE dogs, I felt like their requirements were a little overboard.

The next day a guy from the rescue, the same one who had done my interview, called to schedule our home visit. We worked out a day and time. I asked him if it would be all right if we walked Dane and Aurora together outside before he brought her into the home during our visit. He said that was the perfect  way to introduce two dogs and if anyone wanted to do it any other way, run and do not adopt from them.

A last minute change in plans. The woman who was fostering Aurora ended up being the person doing our home visit, which evidently we failed. She was a half hour late which irked me. Then she attempted to walk immediately into my home with Aurora, which set Dane off, which set Aurora off. She did agree to my request to walk the dogs together but our walk consisted of them both growling at each other and then Aurora taking a dump on my neighbor’s lawn.

After cleaning up the mess we decided to start the yard inspection. My yard was deemed unfit for Aurora. The woman told me to talk to my dad to see if we could come up with a plan to fix the yard though, “I don’t know how you even could.”  She said we’d talk the next morning. I still haven’t heard back from her…

At this point I was so disgusted. I was ready to throw in the towel. I couldn’t imagine that it was going to work out at all for Dane to have a companion. He was doomed to be a lonely dog in a one dog household because we just weren’t fit for adoption. I was being overly dramatic for sure and pouty but I was so dejected. One day, IF I have children in my life I would like to adopt. If I was not fit to adopt a dog who would ever give me a kid?

My mom encouraged me not to give up, so on that fateful Thursday morning I sat at the kitchen table on my laptop once again reading petfinder. Though I had wanted a female dog I was not seeing any that seemed like a good fit. As my search progressed I found myself staring at this picture.

Mouse AKA Frankie

What a goofy little face but also so adorable. His name was Mouse and I had seen him up for adoption for months. He was 7 years old and had no teeth. Well, it wasn’t female and he wasn’t a pit but I thought after months of needing a home, and given his toothless state,perhaps the rescue would be so glad someone wanted him that maybe, just maybe I would be allowed to adopt him. I called the shelter he was at to inquire about their adoption policies.  I was advised to fill out their online form to start the process. After filling out the form I jumped in the car with Dane in tow to meet Mouse. (Bringing along any dogs you already had was a requirement and one I thought was more than reasonable).

I wasn’t going to bring my parents along. I didn’t want to expose them to more heartbreak. Besides it was December 23rd and I knew they had things to do to prepare for Christmas. As I was driving I caved and picked them up. What if I did get to leave with Mouse and what if the boys started fighting in the car on the way home? I decided having someone else along for the ride was wise.

When we got to the shelter they had already run a background check on me. Then they took us back to the laundry room of the facility to meet Mouse. When he was brought in I was in shock as to how small he was! After everything I had been through I considered telling them no thank you and leaving. He was just so small that I wasn’t sure I was comfortable being responsible for him. It freaked me out a little. Something in me made me stay.

They put Mouse on the ground and he met Dane. They sniffed each other and that was it. No growling, no posturing. Just curiosity and then they ignored each other. We talked for awhile as they boys occasionally checked each other out. This was the very rescue my parents had adopted Lucky from when they were first married and I knew a woman who volunteered there.

Finally the adoption counselor said the words I was too scared to ask. “Would you like to take him home today?” I couldn’t believe my ears. After having gone through so many hoops with two other rescues and being rejected by one, here someone was asking me if I wanted to take home this adorable misfit pup. “YES!”

We very quickly wrapped up the financial aspects of it. I paid his adoption fee, the rescue gave me a couple of harnesses and a sweater for him and we were on our way. Dad held him the whole way home and he snuggled into him. When we got to my parents home I took the boys in. Mouse met my parents dogs and it was as if he had always been a part of our family. Two of my three sisters came home so they got to meet him too. Of course they made many jokes about him. Here was this 4lb, toothless, half-hairless dog, with his tongue hanging out of his mouth. He won them over.

I took the boys home, stopping by the vet’s office on the way to pick up heartworm meds for Mouse. When I got home I just walked them both in like it was something we had done a million times before. Gram’s caretaker was already there giving gram a haircut. They both couldn’t get over how small he was. Within hours gram had renamed him Frankie which was my Papa’s name.

That night Frankie crawled into the dog bed I had ready for him in Dane’s old crate. Dane and I got into bed. Frankie saw that and ran out of his crate to join us in bed, which is where he has slept ever since.

I can’t even begin to describe the joy, love, and laughter Frankie has brought into our lives. He was clearly the perfect companion for Dane. Besides the occasional growl when Frankie sits, lays, or walks over Dane they have never had an issue. No food aggression, no fights. They play every once in a while and Frankie wins over everyone he meets.

It was a rocky road to find Frankie but smooth sailing once I did. And I get to proudly say that I made the choice to rescue.

The boys in their favorite chair.

The boys begging at the kitchen table.

Gram and Frankie getting acquainted.


2 thoughts on “Bringing Frankie Home

  1. Absolutely excellent, I love when I can read emotion. Its the kind of gift that separates a great story teller from the author of an Ikea manual, because words on a screen are just words but to be able to read emotions that lie beneath the words, now that is talent!! 🙂

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