It’s been 10 days since Franklin left us. I have felt the void since he died, and I’ve been really pretty down, but not as depressed and sad as I thought I would be. That’s probably because he lived such a full life and I really felt like in those final moments, it was his time to go over the Rainbow Bridge.
I hope he was able to find Artemis. I’m fairly certain he was. I think when Artemis passed away about a year ago, I was quite a bit more sad because I knew that they were going to be apart for a time. It’s been somewhat comforting thinking that they might be together again.
I got Franklin 13 1/2 years ago at the age of two years old from a woman who was getting a divorce, moved in with her son, and said that Franklin and the son’s dog weren’t getting along. Which is strange, because I don’t think I ever really knew a dog that Franklin didn’t like, other than the Great Pyrenees dog Wapiti who used to live down the street (even then, I felt like Wapiti was the aggressor).
When I first met franklin, I was going over to a friend’s house to pick up her and her dog to join me and Roxie (my old yellow lab) to go on hikes. Franklin was an overweight, goofy adolescent retriever looking longingly at us as we pulled out of the drive. “What’s the deal with that retriever? Do you think he would want to come with us?” So we took him along hiking with us and he was a perfect gentleman.
I offered to foster Franklin while the woman who owned him figured out her situation. My friend’s house was pretty full of people and dogs and I had more space at my home. And besides, I kind of liked the guy. So I fostered him for a couple of months and after a time I thought to myself, “I’m not sure I can live without this dog.” I still remember one of those first nights: I was washing dishes at the sink and Franklin came up to me and leaned his head on my leg. He looked up at me, longingly, as if to say, “Can’t I just stay with you forever?”
I called his original owner up after a couple of months and left a voice message for her that if she ever needed a permanent home for Franklin, I hoped she would consider me. She called me back a day later and said that she thought I should keep Franklin… permanently. My heart melted.
My heart continued to melt over the past 13 1/2 years. Franklin and I had a very special connection that I can’t even really put into words. We loved each other dearly. I felt he would do anything for me, and I for him.
I’ll miss him beyond explanation.