A few years ago, on our way through Tucson, we got the chance to meet up with one of my favorite authors and bloggers, Edie Jarolim, of Will My Dog Hate Me. In some ways, Edie was my mentor – though she didn’t know it. Every time she published a post, I’d pounce on it … reading it once for the story, and then going back two or three more times to study it for the language, rhythm, and style that I hoped would somehow seep into my brain and find it’s way through my synapses and keyboard onto this blog.
Edie was generous beyond belief and invited us to take a break from the Winnebago to spend a few days in her guest house. Being in such close proximity meant we got to know the spritely little terrier mix who’d been Edie’s muse for so many years, Frankie. Back then Frankie was a character, singular in is devotion to Edie, though willing to entertain guests with an enthusiastic game of fetch or a quick scratch behind his delightful, bouncing ears.
I don’t know if the symptoms of Frankie’s Canine Cognitive Dysfunction were already making their appearances back then or not. But I do know that over the next several years, little by little, the disease stole the precious being that used to be Frankie. Like a thief in the night, Edie’s best buddy slipped slowly away, despite the most advanced care and her efforts to hold on to him.
Eventually the time came when the CCD had claimed so much of Frankie that it was time to let the rest of him go, and so in November Edie said her final goodbye. But before she did, she launched Operation: Spoil Frankie … a mission to treat Frankie to all the foods he’d never been allowed in an effort to keep his diabetes at bay, scratch exercise from the agenda so Frankie didn’t have to tolerate the car ride he despised so much, and make time to play or cuddle whenever Frankie was inclined.
To honor Frankie, and and help ensure other dogs get the wonderful sendoff they deserve, Edie has taken on a new mission, Frankie’s Fund: Help Give Every Dog A Great Sendoff. The fund is being administered through the Grey Muzzle Organization and will benefit “Forever Fosters.” These amazing people take in dogs who are near the end of their lives and spend their remaining days, weeks, or months loving them, and spoiling them, until they pass. The hearts of these folks astound and humble me … but my admiration isn’t going to pay the bills. And that’s where Frankie’s Fund comes in …
Frankie’s Fund is devoted to helping relieve these caretakers of their financial burden, of getting dogs in these homes palliative veterinary care — things like pain killers and evaluative exams rather than expensive, extreme life-saving measures — and perhaps in-home euthanasia, if a dog does not pass naturally and a final trip to the vet would be too stressful.
Edie’s goal is to raise $5,000 by Christmas. In this season of giving, it’s a wonderful opportunity to help these dogs who are nearing the end of their time.
Every little bit helps. And, when you’re done making your donation, hug your pets. We all know that eventually we’ll be facing this day, and it will come far too quickly. So use this as a reminder that every day is a gift.