FRANK (St. Bernard)
NEWTON, NC...I rarely post for a dog right after I receive the animal. I wait for the dog to be evaluated by the ER or Speciality Hospital. Only after I feel I have a good understanding of the injuries, what surgeries are required, and if any emotional issues would prevent him from being adopted. Once I have all of this information, I decide if I should post now or later. Long-term medical care or emotional issues require more time to access the dog.
Catawba County Animal Services picked up poor Frank in mid-December. He is a 5-year-old St. Bernard Mix that had been shot in his right rear leg. His femur was shattered with bullet fragments still in the leg. The person that called Catawba County about Frank said he had been shot a couple of years ago and would no longer walk.
All of December, Animal Control had been begging for help with this sweet dog. Lots of rumbling was going around, but no one agreed to take him. Frank would get up for food and then not get up the rest of the day. After looking at Frank's x-rays, I decided it was insanity no one had stepped up for him and agreed to take Frank.
I also find it hard to believe that he ever got up with the injuries Frank had to his femur. His femur was shattered and displaced. His leg needed to be amputated, and he required extensive rehab since he was an 80 lb. dog. No one wanted to do the amputation or the required rehab. We had Frank taken to CVRC in Charleston, SC, to have his leg amputated and rehab begun.
When we brought Frank back to our Rehab Facility, we soon realized he was beyond petrified. It was as if he was hiding from an imaginary gunman. He was on red-alert 24-hours a day. He was afraid of his shadow, and no amount of coaxing would change that. Because of Frank's size, laying down all day was not an option. He had to get up and prepare the other leg to carry the extra weight.
We never give up on a dog. We dig our heels in until we finally get the results we need. It took almost three months for Frank to begin to trust. Every bush was a place for him to hide, and once he was down, you could not budge him. The Staff would have to get down on the ground with him until he decided he was ready to come inside. Walks with Frank became very long time-wise and very short, distance-wise.
Once Frank returned to his run, he would guard it within an inch of his life. There was no chance anyone was sneaking upon him, and even if you had just walked him, he decided you were the enemy all over again. We discovered through all of this that Frank loved small dogs. He was allowed to get out during the Littles' playtime and interact with them. He loved this special time of day.
Eventually, we realized that as long as Frank's kennel door was left open, he would come out and interact with the person in the yard. If he got scared, he would run back to his kennel. That was his safe place, and we adapted to whatever it took to get Frank walking. Eventually, Frank would come out and play and run up to us for hugs and kisses. He would then run past us as if to say he wanted to play chase.
If we had posted for Frank months ago, he would have been considered unadoptable, and no one would have wanted him. No one can pick up an 80 lb. dog when he decides he will not move. The list went on and on, which is why I took so long to post for Frank. Our special boy had lots of swelling and had to stay in the hospital for ten days with drains to remove the excess fluid his amputation caused.
His anxiety level during this time was off the scales. It has cost us thousands of dollars to get Frank well and countless hours of never giving up on our precious boy. There were times when I would walk in front of Frank's kennel to say hello, and this sweet boy would act like Cujo reincarnated. He was scary if you did not know him. The minute the door would open, he was all smiles and kisses.
We are now confident the worst is over for this special boy, and he can go into a loving, supportive home. He still is unsure at the beginning of meeting new people but warms up quickly. He has fully recovered from his amputation and can go for twenty-minute walks several times a day. Life is good for Frank.
Frank endured two years of horrifying pain from his gunshot and now has the rest of his life to be part of a loving Family he can call his own. Because of lack of medical care, Frank's amputation was more extensive and complicated than we had initially anticipated. Please, Donate toward this beautiful dog's medical bills so we can help more dogs like Frank overcome their injuries and learn to Love.
Everyone talked about helping Frank, but no one stepped up to do it until we came along. Every animal deserves a chance at healing in a loving, nurturing environment. I believe that pure love can save the most mangled dog and give them the courage to keep going.