My sweet Goldens Franklin and Morgan will always be indelibly linked to one another. James and I were deep in distress after we lost our boy Morgan, a year ago February. We really didn’t know how to move forward.
Morgan had been unable to walk for the last year and a half of his life. But as everyone knows we were committed to him until the very end. However, if the truth be told, even though we loved Morgan with all our hearts, we now longed to have a dog that could run and fetch and take hikes. I mean summer on Cape Cod is synonymous with Goldens and Labs.
We knew we had to rise above our emotions, at least temporarily, to contact rescue groups. But there were no Goldens to adopt anywhwere. The abandoned dogs coming from Asia were not allowed into the country due to COVID restrictions. That was just another disappointment.
When I shared my feelings with my friend Lisa in Florida, who worked for a foundation that trained Goldens to be service animals, she asked, “What does your gut say?” I told her it was too soon for me. I wasn’t yet ready to move on from Morgan, in the way that James was. After another week passed, on March 2nd, Lisa sent me a photo and said, “Dan, this is Franklin. A six-year-old who needs a forever home.”
We both fell in love with him instantly. We thought he looked so much like Morgan’s old buddy Cody, a cream-colored Golden. I felt like we knew Franklin already. James was immediately on board with adopting him. Me, not so quickly. Even though I felt bad that Franklin did not have a forever home, I didn’t want to forget Morgan. After a few more days, I looked at Franklin’s picture and my heart melted and my resistance along with it. I realized if we didn’t act on Franklin we might lose the opportunity for him.
It was with great expectations when on March 23rd, Lisa pulled her SUV into our driveway with Franklin in the back seat pressing against the window. I admit, we were a little nervous. Would he like us? Franklin jumped out of the SUV and raced inside the house through the side door. It was an instant match. How could we have gotten this beautifully handsome Golden boy named Franklin? It just didn’t seem possible. I remember some of my Facebook friends saying that Morgan had sent him to us. Well, if he did, he did it spectacularly.
It’s been a year now and it feels as though Franklin has always been with us. He loves to swim. He can even beat James in a race for the ball. We’ve taken him on field trips to Boston. He’s become quite cultured, having been to the Institute of Contemporary Art three times. The other day he asked for a black French beret. Then we took him to Provincetown for his first visit. People rushed to pet him as we walked down Commercial Street. With his celebrity status he was given the keys to the city.
One of my favorite things about Franklin is his ability to walk backwards. I’m not kidding. He’s like Michael Jackson doing the moonwalk. I’d never seen a dog do this. The other night we attended our niece’s play. There were eight of us and we all sat in the same row. At intermission everyone got up for some air except my parents. Franklin walked down the narrow row to see them. As my family returned to their seats Franklin wasn’t able to turn around so he just walked backwards all the way to the aisle. I couldn’t believe it. That’s not an easy task to learn. And he does it with such ease. It makes me laugh.
There could be no better antidote for my feeling of loss for Morgan than Franklin’s big goofy smile and his antics. As you can tell I’m quite smitten with Franklin. But I will forever be grateful for the amazing life I had with Morgan and the memories of all our adventures.;