“He’s No Poe”

Ann H Gabhart Ann's Posts, One Writer's Journal 38 Comments

Meet my new dog, Frankie. He’s very cute, isn’t he? I haven’t been without a dog of my own since I was about eight years old. So, when Oscar died of bone cancer in October, I sort of felt lost. What I had done in previous years was to always find a new dog to add to the family before I lost one that was getting older. But Oscar was supposed to live a few more years or at least I certainly wanted him to. But cancer is no respecter of age. Then once I got the hard diagnosis of Oscar’s short time ahead, I couldn’t think about getting another dog. Oscar really didn’t like sharing his space with other dogs. He did endure them when my kids’ dogs came to visit, but you could always tell he was glad when they went home and he had the house to himself again. With him sick, I couldn’t get another dog to upset his last few weeks.

I settled into the no dog life thinking I’d probably wait until after Christmas to hunt a new furry friend. But then my granddaughter started searching the Petfinder site. That has shelter dogs listed. She sent me the picture of a really cute dog named Reuben and then wanted to go with me to meet him. Hard to turn down a granddaughter. So off we went to the Humane Shelter on her first day off school for Thanksgiving break. We met Reuben. He was a very cute dog. I liked him, but he didn’t seem as interested in being my dog, if you know what I mean. He was very energetic and really just wanted to run. Still, I thought he might be my dog, but then I saw a dog the shelter had named Tyson. He looked at me with eyes that said, “How about me?” We took him out for a walk. Not good at all on the leash, but in the little enclosure where I could turn him loose, he kept coming back to me, wanting to be petted, putting his head in my lap. I had found my dog.

I changed his name to Frankie (the shelter had only had him a couple of weeks with the name Tyson) and he’s settling in. But I have found myself thinking now and again that he’s no Oscar. That might sound mean to you. Actually I didn’t want to try to replace Oscar because I couldn’t. Oscar was a very special dog to me. Frankie may end up being the same, but he’ll be different. Right now he’s not as easy as Oscar was. With Oscar, it was like he was a person in a dog’s body. He just knew the things he could do and those he shouldn’t do. Frankie is having some problems with that, but he is learning.

But the real reason I keep thinking that line of he’s no Oscar is because of my Rosey Corner books. In those books, one of my characters, Graham, had a beloved dog named Poe in the first two stories, Angel Sister and Small Town Girl. But Poe was already getting old in those stories, so when four more years passed before the last story, Love Comes Home, Poe had passed on and Graham had a new dog named Chaucer. All through the story, whenever Graham talks about Chaucer he says he’s no Poe. He said it so much that my other characters began saying “It’s no Poe” whenever something didn’t quite measure up to expectations.

Here’s a bit of one of those scenes when Jay, a returning soldier after World War II, first meets Chaucer.

Jay gave the dog a closer look. Its mottled grayish-tan fur looked like it might have been spattered with white paint at one of Graham’s painting jobs. One ear cocked up while the other one drooped, and it held up a stiff back leg. “I’ve seen better looking dogs, but then Poe couldn’t win any beauty contests either.” 

Graham frowned. “You must’ve forgot what Poe looked like. He was a fine figure of a dog. This one, poor thing.” Graham ran his fingers across the white streak on the dog’s head and its tail flapped back and forth as it rolled up its lips to give Graham a toothy grin. “He’s no Poe, but I gotta admit, he’s a dog.” The dog leaned against Graham’s leg.

I’m not that way with Frankie. I know he’s no Oscar, but he’s going to be a very good dog for me. Already listening and trying to please. Already better on the leash. Still chewing on things he shouldn’t. I’ve got to buy him some chew toys and soon! I bought dog food but didn’t think about chew toys. The people at the shelter thought he was two or three, so I thought he would be past the chewing stage. Obviously not.

So yes, he’s no Oscar. Instead he’s a Frankie. And that’s just fine.

As always thanks for reading. So what do you think about Frankie? What kind of adventures do you think I’ll be having with him?

 

Comments 38

  1. Peggy R

    I am so sorry you lost your Oscar, but am so glad that your Granddaughter persuaded you to go out and get Frankie!! He seems as if he’s going to be a lot of fun, and keep all of you on your toes. He’ll also be a sense of comfort for you as you grieve Oscar, for a loss such as that will take time. My Husband and I lost our Bandit suddenly, 6 years ago. We still miss her very much!! She was a dalmatian mix, and was like our child. After she passed, my Husband’s health started to decline. I knew I had to think fast, and an opportunity fell in our laps!! Two semi-feral cats that someone dumped on the property we’re living on, happened to both have kittens. One of the cats actually had her first kitten right on my feet!! My prayers were answered, and having a very patient landlord, we took care of 8 kittens, along with their mamas, until the time arrived to choose 2 of them, then take the rest to a no-kill shelter for adoption. That decision broke my heart, for I wanted to keep them all!! That was 4 years ago, and my dog-loving Husband has gone over the moon for his kitty fur babies!! We also have a new addition that was dumped and has adopted our house, and two more who stay outside, in the house my Husband made for them, away from the elements. Instead of going to the dogs, we have now gone to the cats, and I think that it was God’s plan, or Bandit had this up her sleeve the whole time, and is watching us from up above, although she was raised with 2 cats!! Again, I am sorry for your loss, and it should be a very interesting Christmas, although fun for you, your Family, and especially your Grandkids!! Have a very Merry Christmas and I wish you all the best in the coming New Year!!

  2. Shelia Stovall

    Our latest Labrador Bamboo is so different than and Lab. we’ve ever owned. She’s high-spirited, and even though she’s almost three years old, she still acts like a pup. I suppose I might say, “She’s no Kate.” But I know, some day, she’ll settle down, and if not, she’s still great company on my evening walks, and I love the silly girl. I know you’ll love Franklin, too. I’ll bet you already do.

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      Ann H Gabhart

      I do, Sheila, but today when he took off while we were walking and ran up to stare at the neighbor’s horses and totally ignored me calling him, I wasn’t happy with him. LOL. He’s getting braver when we walk. At first he kept his eyes on me, but now he’s thinking there are plenty of fun things to chase out there. I may have to keep him on a leash for a while again. But once he does all that running, he settles down nicely in the house and he did finally come back to me. Finally.

  3. Rory Lynn Lemond

    I am so happy that you found Frankie Anne. I have always had a dog since I was a baby so I also can never live without a dog. I know how hard it can be as in the years I have been on this earth I have had many dogs…now were ever the same. So I understand exactly what you mean. I am sure that you and your family and Frankie will get used to each other and he will be a friend for many years. Enjoy as no dog is ever the same as another and you will never forget your times with your other dogs…I hope to hear adventures about Frankie as I have missed Oscars adventures with you.

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      Ann H Gabhart

      I wouldn’t be surprised if we do have a few adventures with Frankie, Rory. He has already decided deer are to be chased and birds too. Not sure how he’ll do with cows. Haven’t been brave enough to take him out in the pasture yet. 🙂

      I agree that every dog is different and that’s a good thing. You read about people spending lots of money to clone their pets, but I like having the different personalities of the dogs. Of course, Oscar was nearly perfect. A gift of a dog. But Frankie will be a gift of a dog too even if not quite as perfectly behaved. 🙂

  4. Helen Lynn

    I’m no Ann Gabhart, but I love dogs and have always had one or two or three. Could write stories and have about our dogs. Conversations around the table often turn to our dogs, our children’s dogs.
    Youngest son, Todd, when he was a little boy (45, now) would pick ticks off of stray dogs. He had no fear. Dogs love him.
    I know Frankie will find that special place in your heart .

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      Ann H Gabhart

      Sounds as though you’re a dog lover like me, Helen. That’s so nice about your son wanting to help out stray dogs by getting rid of the ticks on them. I never had any fear of dogs either, but then I did get bitten a few times. Didn’t discourage me from loving dogs though. Frankie is already part of the family.

  5. Wendy Lawton

    He’s so beautiful with his shiny, curly coat and brown boots. The funny thing about names is that so many of us use so many nicknames a pet learns to answer to a myriad of names. One of our kitties is Oliver but I also call him Buddy or Bubba , sometimes Baby Doll or Ollie. He seems to know he’s all of those things.

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      Ann H Gabhart

      I know what you mean about the pet names we have for our pets, Wendy. Sometimes with Frankie, it’s just DOG! But he is a pretty boy and settling in pretty well. Now if I can just get him to take a long nap during the day so I can get some work done.

  6. Karen Jones

    Welcome, Frankie! He’ll never replace Oscar but he will, also, command a very special place in your heart as the many dogs and cats we have had in our 57 years of marriage—not to slight the dogs I had growing up. We just buried our special kittie of 14+ years Friday after Thanksgiving. I still see him in all his special spots and will definitely miss him “helping me carry in the groceries!” Rest In Peace, Dude.

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      Ann H Gabhart

      So sorry for the loss of your kittie, Karen. He must have been a really good cat to help carry in the groceries. Oscar always helped me take out the garbage. 🙂 It remains to be seen what Frankie will want to help with . So far, he hasn’t been much help with sweeping the floor. LOL. He does like to walk, so that’s a plus for me.

  7. Nancy Thompson

    I feel your pain in the loss of your beloved Oscar. We lost our precious Lucky a few years ago , he was a street dog who came into my place of employment whom I adopted…he was the love of my life. The day after his death we went to our local shelter and adopted Molly , a little brown dog who looks and acts nothing like Lucky…I also realized Lucky could never be replaced. A year later we went back to shelter an adopted our little Bella ….both are precious and assigned to us by God. I just read These Healing Hills , it took me back to my roots in Owsley Co Ky on my Grandparents farm where I spent so many wonderful times ! I am also related to the Holbrooks In Lawrence Co.

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      Ann H Gabhart

      What a great name for a street dog that found a home in your heart, Nancy. Lucky was lucky to find you. I would have probably waited until after Christmas to get another dog, but my granddaughter wanted to go check out dogs with me. Then I met Frankie. 🙂 He’s been fun, but very energetic. I’m getting more exercise too!!

      I’m so glad you enjoyed my book, These Healing Hills. I like that it took you back to the mountains and to some good memories for you.

  8. Pegg Thomas

    You and Frankie will do fine. My dogs have been rescues too. I always change their names. It’s good to do that for a fresh start. I even did that with my horse. Off with the old … on with the new.

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      Ann H Gabhart

      Off with the old and on with the new. That’s a great attitude, Pegg. One that could help us through some problems in life for sure. A new name is a good way to get that new started. With horses, they sometimes have a fancy registered name and then a stable name. Animals do adapt and learn to respond to the sound of your voice, I think.

  9. Karen L Chaudoin

    It is hard to tell about a dog or people until you have been with them a while. But I could imagine being a dog and being in a pen and then let out and someone takes me away from a pen I was kind of getting used to. So maybe I would be really really anxious about everything! So if I’m anxious I probably would like a whole whole lot of stuff to do or somebody taking my mind of my anxiety ! Best wishes for Frankie his chew toys and his needs. Best wishes for Frankie’s new mother. Mothers do so much for us don’t they!

    Karen in NC

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      Ann H Gabhart

      Frankie was definitely anxious when we left the shelter, Karen. He wanted to climb in my lap as I drove home. I had to hold him off with one hand and drive with the other. We were both glad when we got home. And I was really glad he didn’t get carsick. 🙂

  10. Connie Lee

    I think Frankie will be a fine dog for you. I’m sure he will do everything he can to please you when he finds out his limits and what might get him a treat! We’re all looking forward to getting to know him. Oh, I hope he doesn’t get in the cow pies!

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      Ann H Gabhart

      I haven’t tested him in the pasture field yet, Connie, but I won’t be surprised if he likes cow pies. He does like deer poop. Again, he’s no Oscar who disdained all that. 🙂 But Frankie’s a good dog and settling in here well. Very lovable if a bit pushy about wanting attention at times.

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      Ann H Gabhart

      Thank you, Melanie. I’m certainly getting more exercise taking him out. He did scratch on the door a while ago when he wanted to go out. So that’s a good sign. He’s a sweet boy.

  11. Edna Mantha

    Ann, my new rescue dog, Ollie, was said to be 2 to 4 years old. I think he is 2 as he is a chewer too. He destroys his toys and in 30 minutes has his large chew treats finished. After the first “no”, he has left baseboards alone. At the rescue, when they brought him to me to visit..he ran to me and stayed. I think our new dogs choose us and that is the way it should be!

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      Ann H Gabhart

      You’re going to be surprised, Edna, but I named my very first dog Ollie. That was after the man who gave me the pup. I thought he would be honored, but he was a little taken aback to have a dog named after him. The name was good though. I bought Frankie a toy today and so far it has survived. I also got him one of those mylar (? – not sure I’ve got that right) bones. He’s not showing any interest in that. We’ll see. He did get one of my shoes a while ago. I thought he had the bone. Not. But the shoe survived with only a few teeth marks. Frankie really liked that.

  12. Loretta Shumpert

    You saved him…and in his own little way…he will save you <3
    I'm like you, I'm never without a dog. The house is so very empty without a dog. When I take my Sonny to be groomed and I come back to the house, it's quiet and empty. Can't hardly stand it!

    So glad you have Frankie!

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      Ann H Gabhart

      Dogs can be a hassle sometimes, Loretta, but they’re worth it. Frankie is sleeping right now. Hope that doesn’t mean he’ll be crazy later. 🙂

  13. Lisa Bragg

    I think you and Frankie will be just fine!!! Looks like you will have a walking companion again. Does Darrell like him?
    I haven’t got to read many blogs lately…been a rough few weeks.
    I’m catching up on them today.

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      Ann H Gabhart

      Sorry to hear you’ve had some rough weeks, Lisa. Hope all is well now. Frankie does love walking. I keep him on the leash on the road and until we get past the neighbor dog that loves to bark at me. Then he gets to be free for at least half the walk. Darrell does like him, but I’m the primary dog person around here.

  14. Sis Sleadd

    It is difficult to “un-compare” but Frankie will offer his own personality over time and be as loveable as any other Oscars you may have owned. I’m so happy for all that he’s found the perfect home.

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      Ann H Gabhart

      Hi, Sis. I intentionally got a dog that didn’t look like Oscar although I do love labs. But I thought I needed to go a little different so that I wouldn’t be comparing. Every dog is different. I like that. I’ve had fun with different furry friends over the years.

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      Ann H Gabhart

      Thanks, Robin. So far he’s done well. He took off this morning when we walked. I guess he saw something I didn’t, but he did come back when I called him. I thought maybe I was going to have to go dog hunting. I haven’t left him out in the yard without being with him yet. But I’m hoping he knows this is home now.

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  15. NICOLE SANTANA

    What a lovely post! I’m sorry for your loss, but so glad you’ve found a new dog to love. We just got a pound puppy in October. His name is Freddie and he is 4 mos old. Same situation…we went in looking at one dog, but it just wasn’t the right fit. Then I landed eyes on Freddie, and the rest is history!

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      Ann H Gabhart

      Glad you found the right puppy for you, Nicole. I decided to go with an older dog and not a puppy. But Frankie has some puppy behavior so I’m wondering about that 2 or 3 year old age the shelter said. But he’s catching on fast except he does want to chew on my computer desk. Gonna get chew toys today. 🙂

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