People who are involved in the animal welfare community are oddly insulated. We tend to think that everyone knows about the importance of adoption, the evils of buying from pet stores. But according to the Humane Society of the United States, “Nationwide, only about 20 percent of dogs in homes come from shelters—the rest come from other sources.”
That’s pretty shocking.
Somehow, many, many people still believe that dogs adopted from shelters or rescue groups are inferior.
Frankie and I are here to tell you otherwise, in a nod to the Animal Planet show featuring Andrea Arden, dog smoocher extraordinaire. This post doesn’t have the production values of the TV Underdog to Wonderdog, but it would be hard to beat Frankie’s success story for dramatic impact.
Frankie is an International Dog of Mystery. At age four or five, he was found wandering the streets of Tucson (I suspect amnesia) where he was noticed by Pima Animal Care Center. He was plucked out of obscurity under the aegis of Arizona Schnauzer Rescue by my friend Rebecca, who sent me his headshot. She clearly had an eye for a diamond in the rough.
The rest, as they say, is history.
After Frankie and I got over a mutual period of adjustment, the creative juices began to flow (well, in his case, it was pee). I wrote about our adventures together for The Bark, Tucson Home, and Your Dog, the Tufts University veterinary school newsletter.
But in spite of his diminutive size, Frankie was too much dog to be contained in a few magazine articles. He needed his own book.
I was responsible for the drudge work part of the promotion, sending out letters, trying in vain to get Oprah’s attention. Frankie got the glamor job, the world book tour.
One video and promotional tour just didn’t cut it for Frankie. Threatening to go on strike and refuse to appear in any additional promos, he presented me with a list of demands, including top billing by name in the header of my blog and a commitment to write about him once a month, minimum. He had me under his little paw.
Blog, shmog, Frankie said next. He had a message to spread and needed a larger national presence. Greeting cards, cocktail napkins, refrigerator magnets… he did it all.
He’s one determined — not to mention photogenic — pup.
Frankie says, Live the life you have imagined. Rescue a dog.
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