Image © Joey’s Canine Candids
Frank was the cutest of all our dogs. A little brown fluff ball of a dog but so loving and devoted to us.
He had come to us via a friend at the dog rescue who rang my wife and asked if she’d be interested in taking Frank home, as he was pretty destitute and in need of a home.
My wife was more the dog person than me but Frank won both our hearts.
He was a nervous little dog, timid and had to be coaxed into accepting our home as his. But my wife was persistent and had the most beautiful manner in dealing with him. She spent hours playing with him, training him from the word go and always rewarding and letting him know he was loved.
We discovered he loved to play in the lounge cushions and we took the above photo one afternoon when he thought he was hiding from us.
Frank over time grew to love us and would wait each morning at the back door for one of us to take him outside to potty or to take him on a walk.
He loved his morning walks and would strut along beside us as we made our way to the dog park where he would be let run chasing a ball we threw or playing with the other dogs who frequented the park.
One night we were awakened by Frank’s barking. Frank didn’t bark very often and that he was making racket was a sign that he was agitated by something.
My wife first noticed the smoke, she screamed at me to get up and grab the computers and the diary box, she kept a box of all diaries in the hope that one day she’d write her life story and pass it on to the family.
With my arms full and visibility decreasing, I stumbled my way along the corridor towards the back door. I could hear Frank urging me on, my wife behind me beginning to cough as the smoke thickened.
I told her to get down and crawl towards the back door but it wasn’t long before she wasn’t saying anything.
I made it to the door and threw the stuff in my arms out into the yard praying quietly that I hadn’t smashed anything before turning back into the smoke to find my one great love.
I couldn’t hear Frank either by now.
On my hands and knees I crawled back to where my wife lay gasping, and Frank was there beside her, licking her on the face trying his best to let her know help was at hand.
She wasn’t very conscious at this point so I had to hoist her up onto my shoulder but not before I took in a final gasp of air from the floor level.
It was only a few paces to the back door but it felt like a fifty-meter dash and I crashed through the back door and out onto the lawn my wife falling onto the grass and me gasping for breath.
Before I could get to her I heard her cough, I thanked God she was alive and then thought where was Frank? I thought he had followed me out the door.
I looked around but he wasn’t there.
By now the fire brigade had arrived and were hosing down the house.
I called to the one nearest me telling him that Frank was still inside.
He turned and gave me a look that said it all. Our house was an inferno; there was no going in now.
I slumped to the ground; all energy drained from me and looked at my wife who now with an oxygen mask on had listened to my frantic cries to help Frank.
There was nothing we could do but sit and wait.
They found Frank just inside the back door. He’d made it that far before the fumes overwhelmed him. His little body wasn’t burnt and we were so glad he hadn’t suffered that indignity.
My wife wept for days her grief at losing her Frank but also losing the one who had awoken us to the danger and who had come back to her to make sure I found her and took her to safety.
Frank lives on in our hearts as our favourite dog, a brave and courageous dog who gave his life for our survival.