I was scrolling through my Instagram when I saw them: Two adorable, innocent balls of fur. My friend, Courtney, posted the photo to her Stories, along with the message: “Who wants to adopt one of these puppies with me?” Just when I thought I came to Instagram to get a cute puppy fix, I ended up applying for one that same day.
In the months prior, I began poking around rescue groups and online adoption databases searching for a hypoallergenic dog. My husband, Tyler, is allergic to fur; we had to find a dog that wouldn’t make him sneeze and sniffle miserably. Unfortunately, hypoallergenic dogs were rare to come by, and if there was one listed, they were always spoken for by the time I submitted an application.
My fingers flew across the keypad, stumbling to fashion a message to Courtney, only to land on a singular “YES.” My stomach was in my throat, and I could feel my thoughts racing as I waited for her reply. Was she only joking? Did someone adopt these dogs already, beating me to it again? Finally, that little gray bubble popped up to indicate Courtney typing.
Courtney said she would apply to adopt the dogs—one for herself and the other on my behalf, but there were no guarantees. I paced across the room for what felt like an eternity. And just as I began losing hope, Courtney updated me and I let out a huge sigh of relief: her application was approved!
It’s funny how things work out sometimes. If I had been actively looking for a dog, I probably would not have found Lucky the Havapoodle, who I later renamed to Franky. I was saved the trouble of paperwork—a task Courtney took care of—and only had to pick him up. When we arrived, Franky looked like a mop, all curled up. I could see him quivering underneath all that fur.
He, along with his sister, Pucci, had been abandoned by their previous owner. We were warned he was an escape artist, and when separated from his only known sister, would attempt to find his way back to her. Luckily, Pucci and Franky would never have to be apart for long. Pucci, ended up moving in with Courtney, who lived close by, and we were already planning all the puppy dates they would have together.
When he arrived, Franky wasn’t sneaky but shy. He tucked his tail between his legs and didn’t bark or move. The cowering and whimpering lasted a few hours, but then he suddenly began to follow me everywhere. From that day on, Franky decided that I was his human—and he never even tried escaping once.
In the subsequent months, Franky stuck to me like Velcro. It was endearing as it was a sign that he had a severe case of separation anxiety. The first night we left him, we discovered him barking and we feared that had been making a fuss since we stepped out the door. Since then, we’ve asked my family to watch over him when we plan on being out for long periods. And lucky for us, they love having him over.
Most of our days are spent with Franky, but I miss him when his warm body isn’t pressed against mine. We take him on road trips when we can, and like an obedient little traveling companion, he doesn’t mind snuggling up in the backseat on long drives. Seeing him take in the sights, sounds, and smells of the outdoors, tail wagging, feels like seeing it for the first time.
Before Franky, I never thought of myself as a “weird dog person”—the people who are practically joined at the hip with their pets. Now, I’m the very definition of that weird dog person. Franky is special. I saw his easy affection and learned that he preferred treats to toys. He smothers Tyler in kisses whenever he is hungry until he relents and offers Franky a treat. Or how he jumps up on his hind legs whenever we offer one without him asking.
I saw how simple things were precious to him. His bully sticks, those hard strips of beef muscle, and when he’s tired, his doggy bed in our room, a present my parents bought him a long time ago. While neither thrilling nor out of the ordinary, we too have learned to savor Franky’s sweet simplicity, which brought us more joy than what we’ve ever come to expect of a dog.
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