I know I haven't been around this year, so I don't mean to burden anyone. Since I posted about Frankie in the Show your dogs thread, i figured I'd close the loop. Frankie died Friday from acute onset encephalitis of unknown etiology. In English: out of nowhere, he developed severe inflammation and swelling in his brain, and we have no idea why. We took him to Cornell, but he did not respond to treatment . . . .
Frankie was a rescue dog that we had adopted July 31st, less than 10 weeks ago. We estimate his age to be about 10 years old, but we really don't know. We know very little about his past. From what we do know, we suspect that he was a puppy mill stud that was dumped on the streets once he outlived his usefulness. We believe he then lived on the streets for several years. He was picked up off the streets in Virginia this summer. His hair was so long, it had turned into dreadlocks encrusted with feces and urine. (pics 1 and 2).
A vet in Virginia shaved, neutered and vaccinated him. He then got shipped to a rescue in the Buffalo area.
He cleaned up pretty good. Here is what he looked like when we took him home (pic 3).
He was underweight; only about 12.5 pounds when he should have been about 15 pounds.
When we got him home, we quickly learned that not only was he not housebroken, but he freely peed in his crate (a common thing for puppy mill dogs kept in crates all day, we were told.) Fortunately, belly bands came to the rescue. He was a very smart dog, and very food motivated, so we were able to get him mostly housebroken with several weeks. We also got him to learn his name (Frankie was a name made up by the rescue agency. Since I didn't have any better ideas, we stuck with it), and to learn how to come when called.
He was extremely curious, and a bit mischievous (he liked to steal the pillows off the couch and walk on furniture (pics 4 and 5).
He was also extremely loyal. He literally followed me around the house like a puppy (pic 6).
Sometimes he'd be sleeping in my office and I would try to sneak out to the kitchen without waking him. Nope, he'd wake up and follow me.
From the few clues we have, we figure that prior to our adopting him, Frankie had a very hard, neglected and probably abused, life. The first night he came home, my wife took him out for a last pee for the night. He went behind the shed we have in the corner of our yard. It's like a 6'x6' Rubbermaid shed on top of a 8'x8' deck, leaving about 1' of deck all the way around. After a few minutes, he wasn't coming out from behind the shed, so she went to go check on him. He had curled himself up in a ball and had gone to sleep on the ledge of the deck. He must of thought we were throwing him out for the night. She carried him back inside the house. The first week we had him, he slept in a crate in our bedroom. He then got upgraded to a doggy bed on a loveseat at the foot of our bed, once we found belly bands.
When we got him, he was missing 5 teeth, and all 4 of his canine teeth were broken. We had our vet give him a dental. When she was done, she had pulled out 15 broken or rotted teeth, including the 4 canines. Once his gums healed from the surgery after a few days, his appetite kicked up another notch. Given the condition of his teeth, our vet told us his teeth had probably been in constant pain.
Despite all the hardships he had endured, he was the most loving, sweetest dog you'd ever meet. He NEVER show any sort of aggression. He rarely even barked. He just wanted to give kisses, and be by your side. Except for food, he never asked for anything. He had no concept of "his". We bought him a bunch of toys, but he wouldn't play tug. If you took his toy, he'd just let you have it. No fetch, either. He did play a little bit with his toys by himself; sometimes, but not much. (pic 7).
We are very saddened by his sudden passing. We are especially sad for him. He finally had a home where he was loved, well fed, and well-cared for. After the horrible life he must have had, we think he deserved it. But it was not meant to be. I look at the short time we had him as a gift to us. As much as we gave him, he gave back even more in love and loyalty. Frankie, little buddy, rest in peace.