'Frankie (nee Luna) (nee Twilight) had a bit of a shaky start. She was a stray in Cyprus who was bought over to the UK and adopted by a family with young children. Finding that she had witching hours at 6pm and a bit of a chewer, the family decided to give her back.
I had spent 2 years showing my husband hundreds of photos of dogs that needed adopting in an effort to persuade him that we should get one. He loved dogs but was worried about the commitment it would be and how much it would change our lives. We were on a train in Oslo, heading back to the airport, when I saw Frankie on Instagram. I fell in love - she had the biggest brown eyes and just the most adorable ears. I showed her to Ian who for the first time seemed keen. I replied to the post on Instagram and by the time we had landed had arranged to go straight to where she was to meet her. She seemed perfect. I couldn't imagine why someone gave her back. We went home and spoke about it and after going through all the formalities we got Frankie 6 days after seeing her online.
Getting Frankie was one of the best decisions we ever made. I can not express enough how much joy she has bought us and how ridiculously soppy she has made the pair of us.
Knowing someone has given her back breaks my heart as it is so obvious that Frankie just wants to be part of the pack. We suspect she had been left on her own for much of the day and possibly just let out in the garden to go to the loo rather than taken on a walk. We set a pretty good routine of 3 walks a day, 2 to a park we have nearby and either a longer walk or a run. As a result this witching hour disappeared within days of having her. It was clear to us she just needed to get rid of that excess energy (my husband is pretty much the same so I can just pack them off out for a run together).
There are other bits which were hard work to train her out of. At the start she used to steal food and find places to hide it using her nose to gather up leaves and dirt to cover over food behind plant pots. She would scratch the door of where she slept (in the kitchen) anytime from 3am to tell us she was ready to start the day, and if we sat down to eat a meal she would promptly pee on the floor. With a bit of hard work and patience we have worked through all these. The sleeping part was fixed with a crate and once she got used to that we have now managed to get rid of it. Now she knows her meal times as a result of the routine she is relaxed around her food. She shares her toys with other dogs with no trouble now. Unfortunately she occasionally still likes to steal a trainer to have a nibble but this is few and far between so we are hoping we are getting passed that. We were worried to start with we were never going to get her off lead. But again consistency and routine has meant we even that has come on leaps and bounds and we have managed to brave a 5k run mainly off lead.
To anyone considering getting a dog, I would say think about the amount of work and effort a dog will take. I know so many people that want a dog and say to their other half they promise they would do all the work and this becomes a bone of contention when they don't. We have found it important to be realistic about the change of lifestyle and that way a lot of the stress isn't there for us.
We knew having a dog would mean additional costs but I think it is worth putting some money aside each month to cover the ad hoc expenses we hadn't foreseen - for us multiple trips to vets once the winter set in as Frankie seems to be a fair weather dog - she got a bit of backward sneezing (who knew that was a thing) conjunctivitis and a cold - so a warm coat was advised which touch wood seems to have worked.
It's only fair on the dog that you going into adopting one with realistic expectations on your time, patience and wallet. Certainly for us I cannot imagine life without Frankie in it. She is literally loved by everyone who meets her. Our parents fight over who will look after her when we go away. She is also great with children. We have friends whose children have had a bad experience with dogs, who have asked if they can regularly come and see Frankie as she is building up their confidence with them. She is cheeky and has a real personality. We love her so much and are so grateful to the Wild at Heart Foundation for introducing us to her.'
- Kate Marston