One weekend at the end of January, we decided to take advantage of a break in the winter weather. We headed out camping to the Franklin State Forest for some easy, breezy camping and relaxation. What we didn’t know is that we would bring home another family member from this trip, and that she would have such a great impact on our lives.
Immediately after we cooked dinner and ate, this skin and bones pitiful creature came slinking up to our campsite. She was in desperate need of food. I mean desperate! Even in the dark we could tell that this animal was in serious trouble. We could see every rib, every vertebrae. There were sores on the ends of her ears from frostbite. She was terrified, but in such desperate need of food that she was willing to risk it for the chance of food.
So, what did we do? Fed her of course! We had some beef left over and she ate like royalty that night. And then? We worried and brooded all night long. What are we going to do with her? Is it right to pick her up and take her home 90 miles? What if she is just lost? What are we going to do with another dog? How are we going to get her to willingly get into the 4Runner? Then after hours of talking, questioning, and worrying we came up with what seemed like the most simple solution possible. If she was still there in the morning, we would pack up camp and bring her home. We went to sleep knowing that the decision was in the dog’s hands, or paws, at this point.
Know what happens when you feed a starving dog angus beef? She is still there in the morning! Here we go, let’s do this. We break camp, feed her our dog’s morning food, and physically put her in the backseat of the 4runner. Here we go, bringing home a stray. We named her Franklin after the state forest where we had been camped.
Honestly, I thought that with all of our friends and family it would be easy for us to make a connection with someone to give her a great forever home. What both of us failed to realize is just how intimidating adopting a dog so severely underweight and with no known history can be. Of course we already knew her to be sweet and lovable, but to everyone else she looked like a walking giant vet bill. It took us about a week to come to understand that no one else was interested or able to take on this sweet animal. In that week…we fell in love. It was too late anyways, she was ours.
Imagine our surprise to find out that Franklin was totally healthy, other than being severely underweight and having some pretty real anxiety. The vet estimated her age to be right around a year old. It also became pretty obvious to us that she had been abused in her previous life. The only things for us to do were feed her, love on her, and try to show her that most people are good.
Six months later, Franklin (now mostly known as #frankiethetraildog) is a happy, healthy dog. She went from 28 pounds when we brought her home to a very healthy 41 pounds. She has a few things she loves….her memory foam bed, destroying toys, having steady meals, relaxing on the carpet, and getting lots of attention from us.
By far one of her favorite things is to go for an adventure ride in the backseat of the 4Runner. The same 4Runner that was her chariot to a better life.