Meet The Mutts: Frankie
Jumping right in here. No pre-amble. No teaser. No easing into this. Nope. Meet Frank. Because that’s how Frankie rolls. He comes at you out of the blue. Sideways. When you least suspect him. Boom! You have a Bull Terrier. Then you spend some time not entirely sure how that happened. Then even more time (much time) grappling with all the implications of that decision. It was a decision. Mine, even. One made out of haste. Grief. Panic. Not my best laid plan. Yet here he sits, 45lbs of adolescent Bully. What in the hell was I thinking?
I blame The Husband. After Hugo died, we sorta went off the deep end. Hugo was the next generation. The transition dog. He would be a part of the old pack and the new. Cancer had other plans. So, when he left we were at loose ends. That was still what we wanted. That had always been the plan! Never mind that we had a 4 month old. Never mind that no one wanted to adopt to us. (Seriously, we were turned down for adoption. This made me both laugh and cry.)
Then one morning in my mother of a tiny non-sleeping person state, I stumbled out with my coffee to the laptop. Lo and behold there was a Craiglist ad on the screen. Innocently left there by The Husband. It contained this long diatribe about a Bull Terrier (Free to Good Home!) who’d had far too many un-good homes already and was about to lose his current one. Why? Oh, let me count the ways. Apartments with No-Pet policies, no fences and the close proximity of livestock, a family who apparently had to move away in a hurry, so quickly in fact, that they just had to leave Frankie tied to a tree in the backyard. But, really I didn’t find all this out until later. Until after I sent a quick little inquiry email on the Bull Terrier The Husband had always wanted. Before my coffee could take full effect and I could come to my senses. That resulted in a disjointed phone call in which I learned about his past, ascertained that he this dog was in all kinds of need and immediately sent The Husband to go fetch him. Go. Now. No thinking. Only going.
That’s how we came to be the family of one year and a half old Bull Terrier.
Frankie: Day One. Exhausted. And we’ve only just begun.
Before we continue, let’s give him a proper intro.
Frankie, aka Frank, Franks, Frank and Beans, Beans and Franks, Beans, Franc (when he’s feeling sophisticated) and many a colorful expletive thrown in now and again for good measure. Because, let’s be honest, this was really, really stupid. Monumentally dumb. Ill advised. Not smart. A bad idea. In so many ways.
I realized this right about the time Frankie showed up. It then took me several months to properly understand all the ramifications. Let’s review.
I have a baby. I have 5 other elderly dogs. 3 of them quite elderly. And I bring home a juvenile delinquent, unknown, intact (of course he was!), bully breed. At this point, I was also getting ready to go back to work, and in an extreme state of denial that Abbey, Winnabelle, and Hannah would be leaving us in short order. If we wanted generation II, how could this be the dog?
He was neutered within 48 hours of arrival. I then proceeded to become completely convinced he was going to eat one of my old dogs. I had endangered them by bringing in Frankie. He was managed. From the git go. Tie out and crates and supervised at all times. I’m not saying this made our already complicated lives in any way easier.
See, what I have is lots of dog experience. Generic dog. Old dog. Dalmatians! Spaniels! Pugs! Terriers! Bully Breeds? Nope. When we are at our most busy and compromised emotionally, I bring into the house a dog who’s behavior I can in no way take for granted, that I have no experience training, and that I am genuinely concerned will hurt my other dogs. Why am I so concerned? Its not because Frankie did anything. It’s because when he walked in the door, when I saw his thick bones, and barrel chest, I had a Little Red Riding Hood moment. My what impressive teeth you have. It suddenly clicked – We probably shouldn’t have brought in another dog. (Ya think?) Maybe those people were justified in turning us down for adoption. Maybe I was an arrogant twit who had officially bitten of more than her big mouth could chew.
Yet, here’s your new dog. Hi, I’m Frankie. You named me. You chose me. Ready or not. Now deal.
And deal we have. Sorta. With varying degrees of success. The crash course in Bull Terrier. Frankie will not be compelled to do much of anything. Especially initially, he was interested not one iota in pleasing us. He gives you the Bully Middle Finger on the regular. We’ve had to do months and months of very consistent winning in order to even begin establishing Jedi Mind Control over this fellow. Because you will kennel. And you will move. And you will go out or in. Generally when I say so. Also you will walk on a leash. You will wait. You will not be an asshole. No, you will not use your mouth inappropriately. *sigh* Them’s the rules, Frank.
I’ll admit that I’ve often, often thought of “converting” Frank to a foster. Like from minute 1 of day 1, and again, again throughout his time here. Once seriously enough to actually work with a rescue. That was due to some issues that did need to be worked out with one of my old men. We’ve managed. We’ve adapted. Frank too. In truth, he was saved by the Giant Breed. But, that’s our Chapter II. Because even though we’ve had our doubts, even though we did this stupid thing, Beans is not without his strengths, and he is here to stay.