How I Found My Dog: Love At First Lick

I found Frances on June 11, 2005. I was setting up a picnic in a park in Queens, N.Y., and my friend started pointing to a creature crawling out of the pond (swamp). “Oh my god, it’s a dog!” I said, as I started running towards him. He ran from me for a minute or two. Then, was so afraid, he peed. Then he kissed me.

He was covered in pond scum and hives, and the pads of his feet were either worn off or burned from running on asphalt. I cleaned him off as best I could with what I had at the park. I was living with a roommate who already had two dogs and a cat, so I could not keep him with me because I did not know his health or behavior status. Luckily, I work in an animal hospital and I brought him there for a few days. We figured out he had many allergies; the biggest one was to chicken. I was lucky enough to find a friend who owns a boarding facility in Whitestone, N.Y. He let me keep Frances there until I found a new place to live. It took me a month to find a sublet in Brooklyn before I got to bring my baby home.

Frances suffers from noise phobias, separation anxiety, allergies and dog aggression. It took a lot of time, patience and love, and with the help of the best vets in the world, friends, and his cat Fu Manchu, Frances has become a healthy, happy boy. I can’t imagine life without him. He still has issues. I moved to a quieter neighborhood, which has helped tremendously. He is still dog aggressive and I dream of a day when I can help him get over this. He must have been used for fighting because of his scars. He is about five years old now and loves to go to Pennsylvania to play in the woods and lay in the sun. I hope to have many years with my lovable knucklehead and his kitties Fu and Wyatt. --Jen Genesi