Tag Archives: Franki

Rescue Dog. Saviour.

Be Gentle

This is my catchphrase to Franki.

Be Gentle…there’s no need to snap the food of my hand.

Be Gentle…that little kid just wants to pat you.

Be Gentle…as the rough and tumble play escalates.

I’m sure Franki has no idea what those words mean. Perhaps it’s the intonation of my voice. An alarm that something isn’t quite right, but an indication to tone the pace, enthusiasm and excitement back (a little).


Curious but gentle

I notice that it’s not only Franki that is learning when and how to be gentle…So am I.

Be Gentle, Deborah….that email doesn’t have to be answered immediately.

Be Gentle, Deborah…it’s not a race to prove you are a strong rider.

Be Gentle, Deborah…there are no prizes for who can hold a boat pose the longest.

As the last 18 months have been trying to show me, I need to learn to be more gentle…with myself, with others.

Living with an AI ravaged bucket, means that if I keep filling the bucket with non-gentle stuff, the bucket overfills rapidly, starts rusting at its seams. It’s unable to do its job…to simply hold. All the good stuff and the bad.

It’s not easy though, and I’ve stumbled several times. When I arrived back home from my honeymoon month in France, my bucket was looked like it had been through the baggage handlers routine. Dents, nicks and gashes I hadn’t recognised. I was indignant.

How did they get there? Who is responsible for this? That’s MY bucket!

When Mr Metamucil completed his 4th Ironman triathlon, I was so happy, relieved and proud. I was also so exhausted, I could feel each bone in my body and could count each and every fibre keeping me together.

It may sound ridiculous, I wasn’t the one who completed a 3.8km swim, 180km bike ride and a 42km run…but for me the adrenalin, the anticipation and the 4:30am start kicks my AI bucket to kingdom come.

And so I have to remind myself, “Be Gentle…Deborah.”

So I pick up my bucket and try to restore it.

Slowly. Carefully. Daily.

I’m learning the fine art of bucket repair…the tools, the method, the manner in which I need to do it.

And I keep adding to it, because it’s only early days.

Because that’s my bucket and I’m here to carry it.


Puppy Love

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.

Uncertainty, boredom and peace....all part of the package
Uncertainty, boredom and peace….all part of the package

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.