When I met him for the first time in 2005, my daughters Alyssa was in kindergarten and Lauren was in second grade. He had a cute brown face and barely weighed two pounds. I watched how he interacted with people and how everyone loved his personality. Rubbing his ears would get you a new best friend to say the least and feeding him his special treats would make you the Pope.
I knew how unique Frisco was on the day Lauren named him. He looked like a Frisco. It just fit. He liked his name and immediately responded whenever it was called. I watched in amazement when we would let him out in the backyard to take care of his business. He would usually stand at the backdoor looking at us until one of us would let him outside.
For many years this little SHIH-TZU would head north four houses in my addition to Mark and Jodie Cordeiro’s house. He had a little friend (another SHIH-TZU) and the Cordeiro kids – Emily, Rachel and little Mark – who he absolutely loved to go visit. Mark would always tell me that Mr. Frisco would walk to their house, stand at their backdoor and wait until their dog barked so they could let Frisco inside to play.
The Cordeiro kids loved “Mr. Frisco.” After several hours of hanging out at the Cordeiro’s house, Mark would call and say, “I am sending Frisco home-he is on his way.” or “We are all bringing Frisco back home-it’s time to go to sleep!”
I always overfed him throughout the years. He didn’t mind. He would always like to lay by me on the couch with his friends Bella and Sophie. I swear those dogs knew when I was going to be home from the newspaper. Many times, before I left to go to the gym, I would lay down on the couch, tune the television to ESPN and let those three dogs, led by Frisco, get on the couch and lay by me for at least half an hour. Like Kenny Chesney sings, “That’s the good stuff.”
Frisco didn’t like going to the groomer, although he seemed so much happier when he got back home. He always had to wear a small muzzle when he saw the veterinarian for his shots or to have the hair pulled out of his ears. I would have to wear a muzzle too if my ears had to be treated and I know I would chew on someone’s ass if they started pulling out hair!
Frisco had the same collar and retractable leash all of his life. He would sometimes bring that leash to me when he wanted to be walked down to the end of the street so he could mark everyone’s mailbox, tree, flowerbed, COX cable box or whatever else he could find. It was just his nature and I just let him be him and he let me be me.
In April of 2012, I was separated from him by my divorce. He stayed with her and the kids and I started over. I think I missed him as much as I did anything else at that time of my life. When she called me in 2013 and asked me to take the dogs, I quickly accepted and moved them to my new home. Frisco pretty much had his own room in my house! I promoted him to director of security. His compensation package included a yearly stipend of Beggin’ Strips!
Late last year, I noticed my “old man” really struggling with getting up and down the back porch step so he could get to the grass. I would sometimes have to walk out in the yard to pick him up and bring him back inside. I looked out the window into the backyard on Christmas Day and told myself that this would probably be Frisco’s last Christmas. He just seemed to be fading.
From January through March, Frisco’s hearing and eyesight really took a turn for the worse. He also struggled to control his bowels in his pen by the backdoor. I just always talked to him, rubbed his ears and overfed him the treats he liked. I am sure I will get old someday so to me Frisco’s health problems were just a very small part of our lifelong friendship.
Last Saturday morning, Frisco went out into HIS backyard and wondered around for about an hour. He was disoriented and stood in the back corner of the yard for the longest time. He just couldn’t figure out how to get back to the backdoor.
Late Saturday afternoon, I took my dear friend to the same place where we purchased him 15 years ago. The doctor gave me some time with him. I rubbed his ears as he closed his eyes. I told him how much I loved him and that he had been a good boy and a good friend. Frisco then went to Heaven.
For the past 15 years he has always been there for me. He has kept watch over OUR home at night and when I have been gone to work at the newspapers during the days. He is now buried in HIS big backyard. I have gone back to the fence everyday this week to check on him and talk to him.
God Bless “The Great” Frisco Anderson. My pet, my son and my dear friend. Thank You Frisco for being such a big part of my life. I will see you again.
Thanks so much for reading. I will see you next Saturday. Would you like a Progress?