As you’re reading this, I’m somewhere between Nashville and Northeast Tennessee, on my way to say a final goodbye to Francis. On Monday, Frannie will cross the Rainbow Bridge. I am devastated, but also incredibly thankful for the gift of being able to tell her goodbye.
This photo was taken September 15, 2014 – my first day as your mom. Chris called me at work from the shelter the week before telling me he’d made a huge mistake; I panicked until he revealed he’d fallen in love with a dog – you. So we went back to meet you together. We asked them to hold you until Monday because we were going out of town to see your dad’s family in Cincinnati that weekend, and we worried all weekend that they would accidentally give you, the dog we knew was meant for us, away. We were relieved to discover on Monday that you were still there waiting for us. We knew right off the bat that there’s no way we could change your name. Even if it was the masculine spelling of the name, it just suited you so perfectly.
Your first night was rough. We’d swore we wouldn’t have a dog that slept in the bed, but after watching you pace all night, we were begging you to come sleep by the end of the night. You took to hiding your toys and treats in very bad, visible hiding spots – like in the middle of the floor then dragging a pillow over it – which when I look back, was pretty fair. You moved in before we could even afford a couch.
But then we hit our groove. We discovered that you needed a harness because you loved nothing more than to bolt. And a crate because you liked to climb on counter tops. And that if a storm was in the forecast, we might as well cancel our plans. But we did it, because you were our best girl, and you always will be. You made us laugh with your one of a kind personality. And you loved on us on our worst days.
When I moved back in with my mom, I was devastated to leave you. I knew in my heart it was the right decision, it would have been so cruel to separate you from your dad, but that didn’t make it any easier. Right before I moved to Nashville, I stopped by the apartment to pick up some mail. You were excited to see me momentarily, but eventually just went and laid in the bedroom. And for some reason, that made me feel okay. Thank you for that. I never asked to see you after that; as much as I wanted to do so, I was afraid it would confuse you. That you’d get used to seeing me and then I’d disappear again. I’m so grateful for the opportunity to give you a big hug that you will 100% hate one last time.
I have so many fond memories of you, Fran dog. There’s a whole section of my blog – Frannie Friday – dedicated to my goober girl. I couldn’t choose a favorite if I tried, but here are some of my favorite photos. (I’m so glad your dad invented Frannie Fridays; it’s really nice to have that to look back on right now.)
You will forever be the absolute queen of resting bitch face & falling asleep on random things like my coat, boxes, etc.
You made every car-bye-bye an adventure.
You loved walks.
You hated when I made you wear clothes, and you hated having your photo taken even more. You never really got the hang of the dog park. But you dealt with all three of those things.
Strangers would stop us to tell us how beautiful you are. And they’re right.
You always let us know what you thought.
You give the best cuddles, and your ability to sleep absolutely anywhere was amazing. No one will ever take over a bed the way that you do.
You were even in my headshot my year as PEAK President!
I love you so much.
Frannie, I will miss you so much. I’ll miss the way you hid food you weren’t supposed to have in the first place, how you hoard t-shirts, and your weird fondness for sleeping in my closet. Your ability to take over a queen sized bed was one-of-a-kind. I’ll always remember the way you cried when strangers walked past the car because you couldn’t understand why they weren’t petting you and your insistence on propping yourself up on the center console in the car while going for a ride.
You loved all people, and you were especially sweet to the homeless folks. Your daily walks downtown with your dad made you a local celebrity. You are just so sweet and quirky and wholesome that it hurts me to think about a world without you in it.
Admittedly, I know nothing about life across the Rainbow Bridge. But I hope there are boats to ride. And snack cakes to steal. Comfy beds to thrash on. And lots of snow to do zoomies in.
If I was given the option to have cancer a third time to save you from it, I would take it in a heartbeat. It’s not fair. I love you so much my sweetheart angel puppy baby child. Thank you for everything.
PS – If you pray, please keep Chris in your prayers. As heartbroken as I am about losing Francis, they spent all day, every day together. She truly was man’s best friend.