April 10, 2009


Our beloved Franklin died a year ago today. It still smarts right behind the eyes to write that.

He was a wonderful being.

Yesterday, we put his neck chain and "jewelry" in the cabinet along with his ashes and other mementos.

We had kept it out, hanging on the back of a cabinet door, so we could feel it and hold it. For a long time, it smelled like him.

The other night, Booker was lying in Franklin's place outside. Near the spa on the other side of the little wall.

We figured that Franklin was whispering to him again. A way of commenting on the similarities of the two Airedales.

And then there are the differences. Franklin was and is a unique animal to us. And he does smell different. He was flightier in a good way. Always ready to welcome people and to be petted and adored. He was a character. Sometimes baffling and rarely annoying.

He barked a lot. We had complaints from the neighbor. Only one. The one without a dog.

Franklin wanted to be everyone's friend. Human and dog. Not everyone would cooperate. He would persist.

He did have some enemy dogs and he would not hesitate to try to kick their asses.

Emotional. Volatile. Energetic.

When he got sick at the end, it took awhile to figure what was wrong and then it was too late.

We could not have done anything about it. The cancer was not obvious and it moved fast.

We said goodbye in his favorite spot. The vet, his "best friend" (there were many of those) came over and helped us all along through the process.

It is one of the hardest things that I have ever had to go through. Bar none.

Franklin's life compelled us to find an Airedale brother as soon as we could. We missed that unique energy so.

And now we have sedate, powerful, sweet tempered Booker. The gentle giant. He purrs. He "talks" all the time. A low groan not a growl. I have never heard such a thing. Lisa says he is an old soul. He is a looker.

He is not Franklin. He is Booker.

He allows a lot of room in our hearts to mourn and appreciate "the first dog". I think that he knows.

He takes good care of us as we do of him. We have a bargain to make this time together count because, in a way, we thought the time with Franklin would somehow be forever. And it was not. He left early.

Love the ones you are with while they are here. And take their love in return. That is the best Franklin lesson I can think of.

Earl and John



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Airedale Information

The ATCA Rescue & Adoption Committee fulfills the Airedale Terrier Club of America, Inc. ("ATCA") obligation to protect and advance the interests of the breed by providing services to lost, abandoned, abused or unwanted purebred Airedale Terriers.
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