I’ve fostered a few dogs over the last couple of years because it gave me the chance to enjoy having a dog while finding them a home with owners that were willing to give them the right love, attention and structure that they needed. But I always knew that one day a dog would come along that I wouldn’t be able to give up. When I saw the picture of the dogs Save Our Scruff was bringing over from what was being called “The Montreal Hoarders” I couldn’t resist Frankie’s little frightened face. I had this gut feeling that this might be it but I still told myself that it’s about finding the right home which may or may not be mine, so I picked him up the morning after he arrived with the intention to foster him.
Frankie came from hoarders where they had lots of dogs, little human contact and food was scarce. He hadn’t been socialized at all and really didn’t seem to have any dog instincts. He spent his first week with me in the closet and since he had no idea what a leash was or how to use steps I would have to carry him outside. We would practice walking and just sitting on a park bench watching “normal life” happen around us since absolutely everything was terrifying, from leaves blowing to a bike passing by. Even still Frankie was such a brave little guy that by the first week we were able to walk around the block (with lots of trembling, but still, it was a walk). When I got him he had infected ears and worms and all the things that come with dogs like him but he would sit so patiently (and clueless) while I gave him his medication and nursed him through his neutering. So as you can imagine, after our first couple of weeks together he had my whole heart.
The first few months have not been easy, he’s run away twice, he’s had run ins with people that don’t know how to approach him and we have had to work up to him being able to be alone for 2 seconds! To be honest there have been times where I have wondered whether I was strong enough do this. But with all that Frankie has made such amazing progress and those times far outweigh the bad ones – he has stopped hiding when we have people over , he played with a dog for the first time a few weeks ago and even went on his first off-leash walk this weekend! He’s been a quick study with all his basic training but adorably topples over when he has to “shake hands”. He’s a funny little guy who’s so-so about bacon but loves asparagus and carrots – I guess he’s a fancy vegan feral. We still have a really long way to go and it’s taking a village to get him there. We work with a trainer and Tarah, who you have featured before, also watches him from time to time. Family, friends and oddly enough his Instagram community really help keep me sane. Frankie goes to an amazing daycare that not only knows how to socialize him safely but also donates their proceeds to rescue agencies in Ontario. I don’t know what we would do without them.
After years of being plagued with being busy all the time with work and volunteering and a social calendar that never seemed to let up, Frankie came into my life and turned it upside down just like I did his. He’s forced me to slow down and to just enjoy time. I’ve never done anything to hard and so rewarding in my life but when his little face looks up at me with so much unconditional love and trust the tough times are all so irrelevant. Everyone should get to be as lucky as us!