Just Three Days

Written in memory of Frank the Cocker Spaniel
By Frank’s foster mom Vicki Chen

At first glance, Frank might have passed as just another skinny, stray dog with the odds stacked against him. He was old and blind, his black fur was raggedy and matted, and no one came to claim him after a Good Samaritan turned him in to the Wichita Falls shelter.

But the Cocker Spaniel Rescue of Austin/San Antonio had big plans for Frank.

A dedicated volunteer said, I’ll spring him from the shelter and drive him to Dallas. The first leg to a second chance.

Can anyone drive him from Dallas to Austin?

Oh no, I thought, we are SO BUSY.

I’m on deadline at work with two big investigations airing within one week. Thomas is juggling grad school and applying for jobs. There’s no time for a trip to Austin this weekend.

No time!

But as most dog lovers would attest, emotion reached through a tiny crack in logic and tugged at the heartstrings.

Welllll…next weekend is a liiittle less busy…maybe we could drive him next weekend?

Long story short, that’s how Frank ended up staying with us in Dallas. This stinky and weird, but adorable foster dog in transit became ours to keep for a week.

First things first. We bathed him on arrival.

Still stinky.

So, the next day, we went to Petsmart.

A friendly groomer there helped remove most of his stinky, matted fur and didn’t charge us a dime.

Frank was much cleaner, but it turned out all that fur had been hiding skin and bones… and not much else.

Frank was in worse shape than we first thought. He needed to see a veterinarian in Dallas ASAP.

Without hesitation, the SPCA of Texas stepped in and agreed to help.

I dropped him off at the clinic this morning, fearing the worst, but still hopeful.

After all, without hope, you don’t have much.

Just after lunch, the veterinarian called, confirming our fears.

Frank was very, very sick.

I learned today that “hemangiosarcoma” is a fancy word for an aggressive blood vessel cancer that destroys dogs from the inside.

Even if he made it through surgery, the prognosis was very poor.

He was undoubtedly suffering.

So, just three days after Frank the stinky foster dog landed on our doorstep, my boyfriend and I dropped everything in the middle of the day and drove straight to the SPCA.

We gathered in the small exam room and petted him on the head. We reminded him that he was a good boy.

Just after 1 o’clock, on a pretty and warm autumn day, Frank passed away peacefully, surrounded completely by love.

Not in a scary shelter.

Not on the streets alone.

Just three days isn’t much in the grand scheme of things. After all, so many dogs suffer. You really can’t save them all.

Just three days is a drop in the ocean that is animal rescue.

But in just three days, Frank was very, very loved by many people.

He tried out all three dog beds in our apartment.

He went on walks with his new friend Coco.

He scarfed down a yummy breakfast and dinner every day.

He chased after a squeaky tennis ball and destroyed a stuffed toy.

He wagged his tail when the key turned in the door, and he barked (only once) when he heard Thomas’s voice but couldn’t see him quite yet.

He even ate some cheddar cheese.

Just three days isn’t much.

But just three days is just what Frank needed.

Rest in Peace, Frankie
October 19, 2016

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