Caring for Frankie – A Labor of Love

Frankie taught me what “labor of love” means. I’ve always known the phrase but never experienced it to the degree it became over the last 14 months. I get it now.

Caring for Frankie day-to-day was a tremendous job; he was honestly the most high-maintenance dog we have ever known. In a constant effort to keep him happy and comfortable we were always offering him food (we tried absolutely everything, toward the end it was spaghetti that he preferred), begging him to take his meds, trying to understand the little noises he made and what they all meant, massaging his head (he really liked that), always trying to figure out why he was barking, clipping one toenail (per day), cleaning up his many messes, washing his belly and legs (because he was incontinent), dealing with his strange schedule (he liked to eat in the middle of the night), taking him outside whenever he walked toward the door (even though he didn’t know what to do once he was outside), taking him to soooo many doctor appointments, putting him up on the sofa with his sisters though he didn’t care much for them (just for him to bark until we put him back down on the floor), constantly doing “Frankie laundry”,  holding him while sitting at the computer, while eating dinner, while at work, while just about all the time, and this list could go on and on. Our lives revolved around Cranky Frankie Long-Legs … and we wouldn’t have changed a thing. We dearly miss that silly, demanding, noisy, but sweet little guy more than words can say.

Truly, I’m not complaining at all – I hope it doesn’t sound that way. I would do it all over again, and then some. He was so worth it. There was so much personality in that tiny boy. He had us wrapped around his little paw. He knew exactly what he was doing, and we were his willing servants. To see the joyful way in which he embraced his second chance at life and love … the way he soaked it up and asked for more … the way he came back from the brink of death and truly began to live again … it was amazing. We were so lucky to be Frankie’s forever family.

I miss caring for little Frankie. In looking back, I’m rather incredulous thinking about all that was required, but in a good way. I am so grateful that we were able to give him that and to let him know what love really is. What a special soul he was.

Anyway, those are my thoughts for today. I’m just missing my little Cranky Frankie.

Love, Rudi

PS: These photos were taken in the morning, on the last day of Frankie’s life.


  1. Oh sweet little Frankie, you will truly be missed, but you knew you were loved to the core and treasured. Run free now little one – spread the message of love.

  2. Oh Rudi & Dan. You are angels on earth.. Cranky Franky long legs would tell you that. We all already knew it. Hugs

    Sent from my iPhone


  3. Frankie, you inspired us all – in so many ways! As a middle school kid, I was always teased for my long legs – being taller than even the boys. I felt I had something in common with a sweet little rescue dog. I know the Taylor Family loved you to pieces and cared for you so very specially. You touched many hearts, near and far. I hope you’re running free with Harley, Winston and Nando! Missing you much little one <3.

  4. It is so sad he could not stay. It is so wonderful you cared for him and gave him a lifetime of love in such a short period of time. Godspeed, Frankie. Gentle hugs to Rudi and Dan.

  5. I’m so sorry yet feel so much love for you and all you did. Frankie was one very lucky pup!

  6. Rudi & Dan, Frankie did require a lot a care. You were probably some of the few in the world willing to do it. He had a rough road before making it to you!! I’m grateful & so is Frankie that if only for a short while you let him know his life Mattered!! 😥💔❤️❤️❤️

  7. Rudi and Dan you both have such big hearts and lots of love to give. Frankie was a little tuff one, but you open up your heart and let him in . Frankie show you just how much he appreciated all you did for him by loving you back 100 times over.❤

  8. Thank you for taking care of Cranky Frankie. My own Jax is a hard case rescue. He wasn’t a broken, old man when we adopted him, but he didn’t make it easy to love him. Hearing all of Frankie’s little idiosyncrasies made me appreciate him more. Made me able to approach his behavior with a sense of humor and more patience than I knew I possessed. Thank you for sharing him with us. REST IN PEACE Frankie🌈 ❤️🙏🐾☮️
    Prayers and hugs to you and Dan🙏❤️

  9. Your experience in taking care of Frankie long legs should teach us all of how little we have to do and how much we should do, if need be, to love our animals!

  10. Cranky Frankie was loved more in those 14 months than far too many dogs experience in their entire lives. Not too many people would have catered to Frankie’s needs and desires like you did.

    You and Dan are angels on earth. God bless you and your mission. Thanks for sharing Frankie with us. 🐾🐾❤️🌈

  11. You are both truly amazing. To take on the challenges that you have to give these sweet souls another chance at life, knowing that you will lose them all too soon. It’s wonderful and heartbreaking all at the same time. Thank you for all that you do.

  12. My heart is with you and you are all in my prayers. Prayers that you can continue to care for these precious souls. Prayers for strength and energy to continue the labor or love needed. Prayers for funding to continue this mission. And most of all prayers of thankfulness for you and what you do each and every day.

  13. Little Frankie Long-Legs obviously needed a lot of care, thank God you were there to give him all the care and love he had always deserved! God Bless!

  14. Awww Rudi. So sorry for your loss. I just lost my little stray to cancer. It leaves a hole in your heart. May God comfort you and Dan during this sad time.

  15. My condolences to you and your family on your loss. No more Cranky Frankie since he’s made it pass the Rainbow Bridge. He has been seen by the Greatest Dr in the universe and received a clean bill of health. Frankie has also told Him that he had the Best of the Best Forever Human family. Thank you for all the love and attention your family gave Frankie and God bless you.

  16. Rudi and Dan, You both have given so much to these little guys and they left this world knowing unconditional love, green grass, medical care and happiness. We lost 3 dogs in 3 months, we get through the heartbreak and remember all the good times, love, laughter and loyalty. We had our Harley(pit/lab) for 12 yrs, Sheba Diva for 8 yrs and our foster Daisy Mae for 3 months. They do leave paw prints on our hearts and in death encourage us to continue rescuing those that need it, continue giving love to those unloved and healing to those in need of it. In doing that we also heal our broken hearts. God has blessed you with a mission that your Harley started you on, know that he’s looking down from Heaven wagging his little tail because in losing him you found a new mission in Harley’s House of Hope. I love you both for what you do, for the love you give not only to these little guys but to all of us that follow you and share your mission. God bless.
    Connie Griggs

  17. Thank you Rudi & Dan for all you do!!! I´m sure Frankie knew what love is at the end. And not only Frankie, all the ones you care for.

  18. Thank you for all you do caring loving and mama role to these fur babies God holds a special place for you and having Harley Fernando and Frankie cranky waiting for you you are a blessing to us to have someone like you Rudi and Dan in this world. Thank you

  19. My heart breaks for you, Frankie and myself. I know what a high maintenance dog needs. We had several with diabetes, kidney failure, cancer etc. We did all we could (Home IVs, paw sticks for diabetes, hand feeding etc) until they stopped eating completely-a sure sign of no quality of life remaining. Its still hard. One of my dogs died in my arms, she had kidney failure and heart failure a hard combination to control. Most needed euthanasia when it was obvious they were in pain and nothing more could be done. Just remember “its better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.” Take comfort in knowing you gave Frankie and all you angel babies happiness never known to them before. Thanks so much.

  20. Rudi & Dan, do we know what “Labor of love” means also! We had the most wonderful Cairn Terrier mix Carmel, who was thrown in the pound after his owner died. It was predicted that he was about 10 years old. I knew he was ours when I saw his sweet face on the internet. It was as if he was calling to me. We had him for 7 years. He had spinal stenosis and had a slow decline in the ability to walk. I told him I was in as long as he was. He decided he was done on Valentines Day 2017. I woke in the morning to a terribly wheezy dog who was in congestive heart failure. He knew what he was doing with choosing that day to say goodbye! It wouldn’t matter what day he chose, he would never be forgotten, but that day had so much more meaning!!! I miss him so, and know how it is to give so much love, time, effort to an elder baby in need. My heart is with you both in the coming days. Frankie had a wonderful life, as did Carmel! LOVE TO YOU!!!

  21. Love Frankie’s last photo with you. I can feel the warmth and love that you gave that little guy.

  22. I will miss you very much Cranky Frankie!!! Your mom was such a wonderful mom to you. I wish we had more dog lovers like her. I am so honored that your mom shared your story with us. Iam just so sorry you had a rough life to start out. Fly free Franke! Love and miss you. ❤️😘

  23. Frankie, you were the smartest dog of all! You realized immediately that in the short time you had left, you needed to make up for all those many years of misery. Luckily God put you into the loving arms of people who would be willing and able to meet all your needs/whims, whether they were true needs or just thought up on the spur of the moment. You played your hand to the nth degree and it worked beautifully for you til the very end. Rest in peace sweet Frankie, knowing you ended up with the best parents and best life ever imagined by any dog.

  24. So glad that he had such big-hearted people to look after him at the end. I really loved hearing about this plucky little guy. I’m happy that he had comfort and love at the close of his life. Thank you.

  25. By looking at your picture…I know EXACTLY how you felt at that moment. I went through that with my Susie. It’s the face of a broken heart but a heart full of love and gratitude. You both are angels to have given Frankie this chance at happiness and a life of love that he deserved and got because of you. It’s so refreshing to know that there ARE people out there like you. Know that my love and prayers are with you and your family always. Never feel alone or hopeless. Thank you for being who you are!!! Xoxo

  26. Always in our thoughts and heart with all our forever love ❤ ❤ always ❤ 💘

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