The best thing my fiance could have ever given me amongst the dark days of an auto-immune crash, was something I had always wanted and never experienced…to be a puppy parent.
I can hear it already.
You’re crazy…It’s a puppy! It will chew everything.
You have CFS…you can barely make it around the block!?
A rescue dog? You’re insane, it will come with all kind of problems! What are you thinking?
Who exactly were they talking to?
A beacon of eternal health?
Franki Trimbole (true to her Griffith roots) has taught me lessons that no therapist, book or meditation class has. The act of mindfullness.
Franki has basic needs. Feed me, rub my belly, please take me on walks.
Every day, they are the three things she needs and reminds me of as she pleads with those big brown eyes. I often wonder what else she thinks. I wonder if she realises how much peace she has brought to my life. I wonder if she knows that her entrance into my life changed its course.
I was on a slippery slope of despair. I didn’t know how I would get out of it. I couldn’t see how to.
Of course, there have been days where she has driven me crazy. Decided to urinate on the rug or the carpet, as if this is the usual locale. Started barking indoors, not conducive to apartment living. Has been so excited to be off the leash, she sprints in circles as a homage to Olympic sprinters, and then has run off after a seagull, oblivious to my calling.
But overall her unconditional love and affection has squeezed its way into my heart and into Lee’s. I see him hold her with a glint in his eyes and a smile on his face, as he rubs her belly until she’s in a relaxation coma. They walk together down the street, Franki bouncing with those long legs and Lee proud to have such a well behaved and lovely natured best friend.
Every dog owner knows what I am experiencing, but I’m only discovering it. I’ve discovered a joy I have never experienced before. It’s magical. Her excitement when I walk in the door, after a couple of hours or five minutes. Her hello’s are genuine, not because she has to, but because she wants to. And she also makes it clear when she is unhappy with me, sitting with her head down low between her paws, all she needs to do is start tapping her tail, and I know I’m in for it.
I’ve lived in my coastal suburb for 10 years (there’s that magic number again) and I’ve met people I’ve never seen. I’ve had young kids, teenagers, mums and dads, retirees and random people come and greet Franki. And she laps it up, like she’s never received any affection in her life!
Franki has taught me some life lessons. How to be more open to other people. Not to hold back feelings.
One day she’ll also teach me about how to find my personal strength, as her long legs no longer carry her as far as she used to.
She’ll teach me to appreciate the broken heart I will nurse when she’s no longer here.
But in the meantime, I will always hug her, play with her, talk to here and teach her to always stop at a kerb. I’ll try not to be angry with her (for too long) as she chews through yet another lead.
Friendships are all about love and forgiveness, in equal doses.