Frank the Faux Pug, Part 2

For months I knew it was getting closer and closer to the time we would have to put Frank the Faux Pug down.  I dreaded that day.  I teared up every time I thought about losing him.  You see,  Frank was my constant companion for 16.5 years.  He chose me as his person.  I was his voice to defend him and protect him from ‘those mean people who tried to correct him.’  My rule was no one was allowed to fuss at Frank or correct him.  Yes, he was my spoiled baby and I was his person.

I prepared myself so much that when this day came, I was clinical, I was numb, I was ready to see Frank out of pain.  But obviously, the rest of the family was not clinical, or prepared.  My 12-year old grandson was brave enough to carry Frank in his arms and put him on the table for that final shot.  And then he was shattered.  The tears came in like the mighty Mississippi River overflowing her banks.

I am a puddle of mush when I see someone cry.  I may not know what they are crying about, but I will join in.  So my tears were more for my grandson than for Frank the Faux Pug.  I was clinical and numb to the process by now.

My husband, myself and my grandson arrived back home with our lifeless Frank the Faux Pug.  My son and granddaughter barreled out of the house with tear streaked faces to give Frank a final hug and kiss.  My 10 year old granddaughter was wailing and shaking with grief.  I cried for her and my son (who was supposed to be Frank’s person, but Frank chose me) because I was clinical and numb to the process by now.

The funeral procession marched to the backyard by the blueberry bush, Frank the Faux Pug’s final resting place.  More hugs, final goodbyes and crying.  The family group hug as Frank was being buried brought on more sobs.  I cried for them because I was clinical and numb to the process by now.

I gathered my grandchildren close as we walked back into the house.  They were a sobbing mess and I hurt so bad for them.  They were already feeling the pain of a life without Frank the Faux Pug.  I was okay because I was clinical and numb to the process by now.

By bedtime, I was more weary than everyone else.  But that is nothing unusual.  Frank the Faux Pug and I always retired first.  He would let me get about 6″ of the mattress, then he would perform his ritual of 3 turns and plop against my back.  This was our nightly routine.  I could immediately drop off to sleep once Frank was firmly planted against my back.  Then we would wake up in the morning hugging each other.  We shared a pillow.  I would lay in the darkness of my bedroom petting Frank.  This moment was always my calm before the storm of a new day.

This morning was different.  I awoke hugging a stuffed giraffe.  My husband told me our grandson brought this in after I fell asleep and tucked it up against my back.  My grandson – who is usually a terror – who always writes the word ‘poop’ on the foggy bathroom mirror after his shower – who always sticks his fingers in candle & scentsy wax and messes it up, even after constant admonishment – who poured baby powder in front of a running fan and covered the entire room with powder dust – who took Vaseline and rubbed it over all the faucets in the bathroom – who also has a heart of gold.  My grandson knew that come morning time, I would  not be clinical and numb to the process.

I was clinical and numb to the process of putting Frank the Faux Pug down.  But I am not clinical and numb to life without him.  As I lay in my darkened bedroom this morning, petting a stuffed giraffe, I was having the calm before the storm of a life without Frank my Faux Pug.

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Frank the Faux Pug

Oh how my son wanted a pug to name Frank after seeing Men in Black.  He talked about that constantly.  This was in 1997.  In 2000, we finally relented.  My son was turning 15 and someone had pug puppies for sale in the local paper.  Welcome to the family!  Frank was so tiny.  He would fit in the palm of one hand.

And he was sick. Very sick.  We did not buy him from a true dog breeder.  He was full of fleas and sick.  We almost lost our newest family member.  But thank God for vets.

Then Frank grew a nose.  What?  He was supposed to be a pug!  He had bulgy pug eyes, the curly pug tail, an adorable pug personality.  But where did the nose come from?  Oh well, something else was in the woodpile, but we loved Frank no matter what.  Who cares if our pug was a faux pug.

Like all 15 year old kids, my son’s attention span was everywhere besides Frank.  So Frank decided I was his person.  He was my constant companion, my shadow, my confidante.  If I sat, he had to be touching me.  When we lay down to go to bed he had to be touching me.  I carried Frank everywhere.  A friend jokingly said the little succor had no legs.

One day, as was usual in my house, my children had many friends over.  Three times I found either the front door or back door open and all of our dogs outside.  Three times I fussed at all the teens for leaving the doors open.  They swore up and down they didn’t.  I said, well who did, the Holy Ghost?  Who could have known Frank the Faux Pug was the Holy Ghost.  I walked into the foyer to find Frank standing on two legs and repeatedly hitting the door handle with his two front paws until the door opened – and out ran all the dogs.  Well now this became true entertainment.  Every party we held, Frank the Faux Pug had to show everyone his trick.

Frank had another trick.  I would say ‘catch your tail.’  He would glance backwards to see if his tail was watching.  If he thought it was watching, he quickly turned away.  When he thought the coast was clear, and that his tail had no idea he was coming after it, Frank would start spinning like a top.  He thought he was as sly as a fox, but he never caught that tail.

While recovering from bilateral total knee replacement starting in October 2014, I was on short term disability for 3 months.  My only job was to focus on recovery.  Frank’s only job was to be my constant companion. He cuddled me every time I cried out in pain.  I swear he cheered me on through physical therapy.  He rested when I rested.  Frank did his job well.

We held Frank’s funeral at dusk today.  He crossed the rainbow bridge at 16.5 years of age.  My two oldest grandchildren, 12 and 10, made no attempt at hiding their tears as we walked from the house to Frank’s final resting place by the blueberry bush.  Frank was their best friend.  They knew Frank their entire little lives.  Me, the grands and my son stood in a circle and cried, while Paw Paw buried his little buddy with tears in his eyes.

Frank will rest peacefully on Spooky Hollow ground, along with Furry Murray the Donkey, Precious the Yorkie, and a scattering of chickens.

Rest in peace Frank my Faux Pug.  Your person misses you more than you could ever know.

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