13th March 2006, 01:43 AM
Frank Bank, friend for life and forever
This website is very special--from the memorials of dogs who are gone, to the puppy photo pages, and everything between, the wealth of information about so many subjects, the fun discussions and the serious ones--experiencing this site is one of the precious experiences brought into my life by cavalier dogs.
I would like to create a memorial to my last dog Frank, who died in 1979 at age 13 of pancreatic cancer. Until the cancer, she was as healthy as a dog can be and never aged in her appearance or her energy level or her strength or agility, except when she was pregnant a couple of times.
i first met Frank in 1967, in the Summer of Love, in Haight Ashbury CA, when she was about 4 months old and i was 18. I was more or less transient at the time, between homes, doing things like hitch hiking up and down the California coast, hopping freight trains, hanging out and having adventures, and i was walking down Haight Street one day with no particular place to go, going in the direction of Golden Gate park on a beautiful warm breezy August day, and i saw someone sitting in a doorway, playing with a cute puppy. I stopped to see the puppy, "oh, she's so cute," "Do you want her," he said. "Sure!" So the puppy and i headed for the park. I laid down on the grass and she seemed to know immediately that i was her human for life. there was no leash. She just hung around me. She went off exploring, but always kept her eye on me, and came back to lick me and then go off exploring again. I'd never had a dog like that before, it was like Lassie on TV, she never needed a leash, she knew where she belonged. I'd ride my bike and she'd run along, busy streets included, she knew about cars and i never worried about her, she knew what she was doing. If i went to the market, she'd wait outside by my bike. If i was gone too long, she might come in looking for me, it happened a couple of times. She found me and the store employee started scolding me for having my dog in the store, but i just said i didn't know who that dog was, and i pretended i didn't know her and finished my shopping. when the coast was clear, i told her to go outside and wait, and she did.
Frank and I had many adventures, it would fill a book. At first, as often happens, i didn't know what to name her and she was just called "Puppy" and "Puppy Girl." One day i was walking with my friends and the puppy was running around exploring as we walked along, and we were joking around and laughing about ridiculous stuff, it was so easy to laugh in those days, and we were talking about old TV shows that we used to watch when we were little kids, and talking about the names of the actors who played the characters, and for some reason this really cracked us up, thinking about those peoples' names, and someone remembered that the character of Lumpy on Leave it To Beaver was played by a guy named Frank Bank. We thought that was a hysterical name. And then someone said that would be a good name for the puppy. And so, that's how she came to be called Frank Bank, and just Frank for short.
Frank was very smart, she knew lots of human talk. She was very communicative. She was loyal faithful and true always, and protected our space, she was brave. She was easy going and adaptable, and at the same time, she was intense and high energy. I don't know what breeds went into her mixture, i wish i did. She had some kind of herding dog in her because you could see her run and turn corners leaning almost level with the ground, imagining that she was herding sheep and getting them organized. Some people said she was part sheltie and part terrier. I wish i knew. she was a beautiful and cute dog.
Frank had two litters before i got her spayed. We don't know who the fathers were. Her first litter had nine puppies, there were 4 white ones, 4 black ones and one tri colored one. On Christmas eve they were old enough to go to new homes. We put them all in a shopping cart and stood outside the Fedco store (a big discount department store) and as people came out on their way to the parking lot, they took a puppy home with them, and all the puppies were gone in a short time.
Frank had a lot of heart, a great sense of humor, intelligence, charm, loyalty, and everything anyone could ever want in a friend. when she died, she left a huge empty place, and although i was always a dog lover and a "dog person," always wanting to 'have' a dog since i was a little kid, after Frank died, I didnt' have any urge to get another dog--until i met my daughter's cavalier Belle, last October. Then, all my dog love came rushing back and i was surprised at my feelings. I longed for a dog. Now i have a sweet lovable boy dog, zack, and I am grateful for what he has brought into my life. Frank would love him and he would love her. Sometimes i dream about Frank--my friend says that means i am visiting her "on the other side" when that happens.
thank you to Frank for everything and more than i can say. i will be happy to see you again some day and touch your fur. Until then, i will always remember. I have been forever blessed.