The face that launched a thousand– okay, 556 — blog posts and a book

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.

The result: Am I Boring My Dog: And 99 Other Things Every Dog Wishes You Knew.

Book spokesdog

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.

Blog Star

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.

Inspirational icon

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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28 thoughts on “Underdog to Wonderdog: Frankie!”

  1. When you all sum it up like this it is quite impressive what Frankie has achieved. I will not tell this to Viva, she noticed Frankie’s book – and book tour – before and she is annoyed with my lack of initiative. To have it all summed up in one place, she will just throw it in my face: “See!”.

    1. Not to mention that Kenzo’s name is on the blog in larger letters than her name (and that it wasn’t there at all for a while….)

  2. You didn’t share what Frankie thinks about having his blog replaced by a purveyor of meats. Have you told him yet?

    BTW, great way to show the impact of rescuing one little dog.

    1. Shhh. I didn’t tell him. And since his eye sight isn’t what it used to be, I’m hoping he won’t notice. I could always tell him that I’m blogging about meat for his benefit.

      Thanks, Pamela.

  3. Amazing the power our dogs have to change our lives. Frankie is a great spokesperson, or would that be woof -dog, for adoption. I’m going to miss your and Frankie’s blog, but I’m looking forward very much to your new blog. I hope Frankie makes appearances. I can’t imagine he’s going to settle for the sidelines.

    1. Thanks, Deborah. I am definitely planning to include Frankie now and then. You’re right about his not wanting to be sidelined!

  4. That’s quite a portfolio for such a little guy. It’s hard to believe I ever used to look down on small dogs. Frankie is proof that personality is everything.

    Thank you for all you and Frankie have done to spread awareness about dog rescue. And for writing such an unforgettable book!

  5. It is kind of a mind bender to not know what Frankie’s “past” life was. Our “rescue” Star came from one of my Brother’s friends that mistreated her, so we knew a little about her before she came to live with us.

    The little things can cause us to make big leaps. You started a blog and wrote a book, and that’s pretty cool.

    1. Actually, I wrote a book and started a blog to publicize the book but I’m such a marketing genius that I gave the blog a different name, and one starting with “W” rather than “A” — as in Am I Boring… — thus ensuring that my blog would be at the end of every blog roll and no one would ever associate it with the book. Frankie is a far better marketer than I am.

    1. I was the lucky one, Prudence. I didn’t always realize that but I do now. Thanks for coming by!

  6. Sounds like Frankie has a terrier personality. Great spunk.
    Frankie looks very much like BJ. He too looked very scruffy when I adopted him.

    I’m visiting from Raising Rama’s Blog Hop. Come visit me.

  7. Aww, gosh, love re-viewing Frankie’s debut video. I still get a big laugh out of it. Amazing how the little guy launched a thousand blogs – and now on to Freud’s Butcher! Who knew!?!

    My site is still going, visit to see the latest additions, I’ll be heading in a new direction soon too I hope, so thanks for setting sail on a new blog and showing the way!~

  8. I am so glad you shared that video again. I still don’t know how you got him to sit still and pose in all those outits. I know my dogs wouldn’t do it.

    Who’d have thunk it? Frankie rocked the blogger world. He’s an icon now. 🙂

    1. Ha! I was crouching underneath him the bed that doubled as his hot air balloon and holding on to his butt. Believe me, he did not sit still for more than a minute or so at a time. It took quite a while to get those segments shot — and that was by a professional.

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