Last night, it was time for me to say good-bye to Frank, our Trooper, Gladiator, Hero and Teacher. To so many of us he has taught the meaning of life, the purpose of life and to not end something that may look bad on the outside but is not finished on the inside. He even fooled me.
When I got an e mail asking if Frank could stay in the hospice because the rescue volunteers had nowhere to put him, I replied that Frank could stay. They said just 2 weeks and if nobody adopted him, he would be put in a shelter.
When Frank came, my heart bled. I knew this would not be easy, he was in such bad shape. I asked if I could bring him to my veterinarian Dr Damiani and his team. Dr Damiani was also in pain for this dog and said he would do his best. And so he did.
They did a 4 hour surgery and his whole body was so infected, his front leg was so infected they had to amputate it. He was back to the hospice and I had to go in every second day to have his bandage changed. He was in so much pain, but he stuck with life, and slowly got better.
One day he could nearly not stand on his (3) legs his back legs gave out under him. I noticed it was his back spine. I understood he hadn’t pee’d or pooped in many hours, I could feel the pressure in his abdomen.
Martina, Chiara M. and I carried him down in a towel into my SUV and I drove him to Dr Damiani’s clinic.
Tammy and Deb were there with some other dogs and helped me with the stretcher since I knew we were in a hurry to empty the bladder. During my time in Sarajevo, I had seen animals die when their bladder couldn’t empty — something I don’t ever want to see again. And Frank was our client, we fight for our clients and have no time for coffee, we do that afterward when the animal is healed or in good secure hands.
Frank was in a lot of pain, and Tammy suggested an x-ray to see if the spine was hurt, the vet assistant was asked to put a catheter in and empty him.
Afterwards, the x-ray showed he was constipated and that made it difficult for him to squeeze it out. I was told it could be that he didn’t move, and I knew it also had to do with changing food. One day hospice food, another day clinic food. After all, how many of we humans that goes under a big surgery has to take these red pills so we can go to the bathroom easier. Same goes for animals!
After that Friday and he was happy to come back to the hospice, he walked up the stairs, he went out into the yard. His spirit was high again.
It was so bittersweet. I kissed Frank and thanked him for teaching us:
strength, love through pain, joy of life, and to never give up. And the most important thing “no bitterness.” My heart fills with admiration to Frank (and all the other clients.) I know why many people don’t want to see or get to know them: their power and strength is bigger than ours and it only shows how much we still have to learn.
Late last night, I got an email from Chiara B:
“Being home with Frank is wonderful.! I believe that he already understands that this is his home. He is very intelligent. Look at all the movements he made. He comes down to the garden twice to pee, ate, drink and went to the bed I had prepared. Every now and then he comes up to me and my husband to be petted. It ‘s great ……. we are very happy to have him with us. He must have a life like a king. You and Chiara have cried because he is gone …. I cry because he is now with me and that makes me happy … I have no words, just a big thank you and all the special people like you who have made all this possible. Frank is also the king of our home, come visit us whenever you want, we will show you the wonderful soul that has come of your client from casa dell’amore.