Rescue Journal

Defining Francis

Alison  ·  Aug. 9, 2006

Francis passed peacefully today on his blanket out in the grass. I think of him, turning him over and over again inside me. Jean chose a butterfly windchime for his joyous spirit and Leila chose his song, Desperado, by the Eagles for his lonely life that he let go when he came here. Mo named him the cowboy for his swaggering walk that shouted, "I belong here" and we all saw his light. You were many things Francis to many people and you made us all better people than we were. Thank you.



Getting to know Francis was one of the many highlights of my last trip over. Watching Francis run to greet Amber, then slowly sit and await acceptance was both happy and sad for me. Watching Nicole spend so much time curled up with Francis was very heartwarming, the gentle touch, the gentle whispering.
My thoughts are with you all at Saints for loving such a special boy. He is now free of debilitating encumbrances and is running with the angels.

Chris Thomas

Bless you all for giving him some wonderful time where he was loved and a dignified passing. I am sure he is grateful.


I was lucky enough to view the passing of St. Francis from this earth. As a bystander sitting with the smaller dogs, I was able to view some interesting occurrences.

As the vet tended to Francis, I noted Jazz, Andy, Cole and Lexi were also witnesses to this event on the opposite side of. It was such a brief reaction and I don't know if I make things up or I was just lucky to see it. A few seconds before the vet pronounced Francis had gone, Jazz, who was standing against the chain link fence anyway, began to sniff the air in the direction of Francis, Carol, Jean and Colleen. Then Lexi and Cole stood up together and took a few steps forward. Then Andy came running forward to face the same direction. Just that one second before Colleen uttered those final words, the dogs turned back to what they were doing; Lexi and Cole to lie down in the hole dug out along side the house, Andy to the mattress where Moses was laying and Jazz wandered away - maybe back into the house. There was no expression on there faces, no tensing of the bodies. It was just a few brief moves forward and then back. Did I see the dogs communicating to each other or was it nothing?

4 years ago, my mother had to have one of her birds PTS due to ill health. I remember looking at his little body after he had passed. He was dead but it appeared that in death, his health had been miraculously been returned to him. He hadn't looked so good in days. After Francis passed, I and some of the little dogs were left alone with his body. As I gazed down on him, I saw health restored to his once broken body and I knew this was the right time for him to go.

The last thing I was able to witness was Carol wrapping Francis in a blanket - preparing him for his final resting place. As I watched her, I saw a person performing a ritual as she precisely folded and wrapped the blue blanket around and over Francis's body. She carried his body to Colleen’s vehicle on her own and his body was taken away. As I watched her perform this private ceremony, it felt like something Carol needed to do on her own. It was her final act of love to do this for Francis.

Francis may have come to Saints with nothing in the world, but he left today with the whole world in him. Francis profoundly touched the world around him and will be forever remembered.


Francis, you had the softest fur around your neck, the brightest smile of any Saint, the gentlest way of letting me know you were there. I will always cherish the times we spent together.

You spoke to me with your soul, you loved me with your spirit, you taught me with your courage. I shall miss you, sweet boy. Run free.


Desperado, why don't you come to your senses?
You been out ridin' fences for so long now
Oh, you're a hard one
I know that you got your reasons
These things that are pleasin' you
Can hurt you somehow

Don' you draw the queen of diamonds, boy
She'll beat you if she's able
You know the queen of heats is always your best bet

Now it seems to me, some fine things
Have been laid upon your table
But you only want the ones that you can't get

Desperado, oh, you ain't gettin' no youger
Your pain and your hunger, they're drivin' you home
And freedom, oh freedom well, that's just some people talkin'
Your prison is walking through this world all alone

Don't your feet get cold in the winter time?
The sky won't snow and the sun won't shine
It's hard to tell the night time from the day
You're loosin' all your highs and lows
Ain't it funny how the feeling goes away?

Desperado, why don't you come to your senses?
Come down from your fences, open the gate
It may be rainin', but there's a rainbow above you
You better let somebody love you, before it's too late

<b>Francis let somebody love him before it was too late.</b>