Rescue Journal

stuck in the middle with you...

Carol  ·  Feb. 24, 2013

i like that song...sometimes it is true.

we had a visitor yesterday...a young man with his paraplegic pitbull. frankie had been hit by a car last november and was seriously injured.
surprisingly enough frankie recovered but is now confined to a wheelchair.

frankie's young/single dad did all of the right things..forked over the money for medical care, stood by his dog doing everything that he could to help him survive, purchased the equipment to help his crippled dog mobilize.

so why were they here? i am not sure he knew. maybe looking for hope? looking for clues? looking for a way out from under the burden of loving someone while burnt out from caregiving too?

cuz here is the thing high and mighty rescue...we tell everyone what they SHOULD do. we do not tell them that we might NOT do it too.

i asked him if he had contacted the bully rescues for help, cuz frankie is only four. he said he had but no one could help him because they had too many healthy, unbroken dogs in rescue that they had to support.

i get the thinking behind is a man who has already proven that he will take care of his dog. he did all of the right things right up to the realization that caring for a parapalegic might be a lifelong thing.

for months hope has been floating that frankie would make a full recovery but now hope is starting to fade away. today, may be as good as it may become tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow...forever.

so for anyone reading this and thinking so what? the dog is alive, the dog is loved, the dog is being well cared for. but at what cost?

the biggest cost is not the money..not the 6 or 7 thousand already spent. the biggest cost is the ongoing wear and tear of the responsibility, the emotionality of it all.
imagine coming home tired from a long day of physical labor, 5 days a week..year after year. imagine feeling exhausted and sore and knowing when you got home, frankie was patiently waiting for you to help him get up, help him go out, help him get into his wheelchair so he could move around, have some fun. imagine the guilt you feel because he has been waiting all day...and imagine the resentment you try to bury because you are tired, sore, maybe a bit cranky and just do not want to have to do this again today.

we think if we do all of the right (or god) will reward us. but what if they don't. what if we end up in a place that pushes us farther, demands more of us then we thought we could go?

it sucks.

i sent frankie and his dad away...with some suggestions of support and different therapies. i also said that if he couldn't do this, if he couldn't manage frankie's care any more..he could call and we would try to squeeze him in here at some point down the road.

not everyone needs a black and white answer...sometimes people just need an open escape door. they may or may not walk thru it but somehow it makes it a little bit easier, not so frightenly lonely and locked in forever. if they can just see some kind of hope for something...even release...maybe we feel we actually have some choice.

suffering is a funny thing...harder to bear without any hope. frankie may one day come here and maybe he won't.

all i know is...this particular chapter..this particular verse in the song of frankie and his dad, is not over yet.

hope least for now.



Yes Frankie's dad is a remarkable young man. He has his whole families support and love. Frankie is one happy dog and loves his summer cabin, and the snow at Whistler. He is such a strong dog that when he starts to play everyone has to watch and not get wiped out by his wheelchair. He has been cared and loved for four years, and Frankie shows no sign of slowing down. So we will all support his Dad.


I think Frankie's owner just needs a break now and then. Does anyone live close enough to take Frankie for a day or weekend? (I don't.) A day off can do wonders for a person.


Bless your heart for offering that man compassion instead of a finger wag and "what he SHOULD be doing".

So often when people ask for hope, help or options in the animal world they are shunned, shamed and lectured. This man needed hope, maybe to see some other animals that were being cared for and to know he is not alone.

Thank you for not shutting out the people struggles during your own many struggles. You may have changed his life yesterday. :)

Ellen Nickerson

How I wish that I lived close by so I could help out with Frankie's care. I am sure it would be such a relief to that young man for someone to take over the care while he is working or wanted a night out.I read your blog first thing in the morning and the last thing at night.


I agree with Janet, he sounds like a kind, loving young guy who's feeling overwhelmed at present. Hopefully you've given him some other avenues to pursue, and some much needed moral support. If only all animal caregivers were as devoted as he is.

Carol Ann

I agree that giving him hope may just be what he needed for now. It is hard when you feel all alone with a problem.

janet nicholson

Frankie's Dad must be an exceptional young man - and you have just given them both a lifeline, Carol. Let us hope talking to you helped him - and if not, we KNOW you will find a place for him - just like you did for Fletch and all the other "broken" animals - it is what you do so well. And it is very much appreciated by all!