Monday, October 26, 2020


I couldn't even pet her. This crazy-strong dog—part Blue Heeler, part Mack truck—was too wild for me. Frisco consistently saw my hands as chew toys or chicken nuggets, so anytime I tried to make nice, she jumped up and bit me. I couldn't handle her idea of "playing."

Most of the dogs in my childhood were much smaller and certainly more docile, so at first, I wasn't convinced this stray was such a great fit for our family. But oh, how Brett loved her! He was patient with her, willing to walk and play and wrestle the wildness out of her. He saw her rambunctiousness for what it was: "She just loves too much!" As Brett’s attachment to Frisco grew, my resistance faded. I love him, and he loves her; therefore, I'm a fan.

Frisco made herself at home at our Watauga house. She was especially fond of our pool—not because she wanted to swim, but because she loved hanging out while we did (and licking the pool water from Brett's hair!). Her favorite perch was our patio table because it put her at just the right height for ear scratches.

She also enjoyed the two-story deck that gave her access to our roof. Many a visitor was surprised to find our "guard dog" keeping watch from the shingles.

After we moved, it didn't take long for her to learn the new neighborhood trails, expecting us to take the long way home each time.

In the months after my mom died, we decided our backyard could handle another pooch, so here came my little punkin. When Daisy first joined us, she was just a "hint of a whiff of a puff," tiny compared to Frisco. But our big girl took to sisterhood like a champ, always patient, always sweet, always gentle with the new baby.

It may have also been Frisco's age, but having a puppy around tamed our wild child. What's funny is that once I had a smaller dog that I could walk, Frisco herself was calm enough for me to manage. Brett's the chief dog-walker, but we spent many an evening with his and her pups towing us down sidewalks.

As Daisy grew, so did her diva-hood. (We don't call her the princess for nothin'!) She's the one who scratches the backdoor just seconds after going outside. She's the one who would growl if Frisco even looked at the favored squeaky fox. Daisy's the top dog who expects—nay, demands—first dibs at the treats.

But Frisco? She never growled at the little white doggy-come-lately. Even though Frisco was much stronger, she never bullied or overpowered Daisy. She was certainly jealous when Daisy had Brett's attention, but she was always gentle with the little sister.

Thursday night, it was Daisy's turn to be gentle. Within a 24-hour span, Frisco's demeanor had changed, and we knew our time with her was running out. Daisy seemed to know it, too, snuggling next to her buddy on the back porch, giving her space when she wanted it, and staying extra calm around us, the heartbroken humans.

As we said our goodbyes, loving on Frisco as best we could, we cried and reminisced and laughed and cried some more. Our big girl was tired, and it was her time to go. We each had our moments to scratch her gray forehead, to rub that big ol' belly, to remind her what a good girl she was. It was so, so hard to go to bed that night, to leave her, to scratch those ears for the last time. When we first got her, I couldn’t even pet her, but now that she’d been part of our family for so long, I didn’t know how to stop.

Frisco Dub, 2007(ish)-2020

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