You may have noticed a lot of books and products about pets in the pages of Bas Bleu. Not only do our editors love cats and dogs, but so many of our customers hold a special place in their hearts for furry friends. Today in the Bluestocking Salon, editor AG introduces readers to her beloved dachshund Frankie, Bas Bleu’s unofficial canine mascot (notice his striking “bleu” eyes) and the inspiration behind many of our dachshund-themed offerings.
Having grown up with dachshunds—I named my first Hot Dog at seven years old—I’m especially susceptible to the awkward charm of those long-bodied, short-legged pups. So when I moved from a tiny New York apartment with two roommates to a more spacious and dog-friendly abode in Atlanta, I was delighted to learn about the existence of breed rescues.
I met Frankie (he came with that name, but I like to think it’s a reference to frankfurters as well as a nod to his Sinatra-esque blue peepers) through the wonderful DREAM organization. They’d saved him from a puppy mill that was shut down for cruel, illegal treatment of the animals. The poor little guy had lived in squalid and inhumane conditions for the first three years of his life. The volunteers with DREAM explained that he hadn’t even known how to walk, having spent the majority of his life in a cage. I was already smitten with his unusual piebald coloring from his picture, but when I met him, and he warily climbed into my lap and looked up at me with his big blue eyes, I knew he was the dog for me.
The first day I brought him home he immediately scurried behind the couch, cowering and shaking in fear, with his tail tucked between his legs. After about a week, though, his tail started to wag. He began to trust me, and would follow me everywhere I went, even waiting outside the bathroom door. It’s been about ten years now, and he definitely still has his issues: walking on slippery floors, eating out of a bowl (he prefers to eat off the ground), and getting stuck in the sleeves of sweaters, to name a few. But he’s come a long way.
A decade after his adoption, a lot has changed for Frankie. Our family has grown with the addition of a husband and two little humans. Taking his cue from me, Frankie trusts and adores his expanded family. He’s especially patient with his “brother” and “sister,” who are so delighted with him that they aren’t always gentle—and who love to play doctor with him using our Pet Vet Book and Play Set! Sure, he doesn’t know any tricks, refuses to go outside in the rain, and is sometimes inappropriately amorous in his old age, but he is our little nutball, a cherished and integral part of our family.
Though I’ve been saying Frankie is “about eight” for a few years now, I recently realized he’s at least thirteen. As he ages and I begin to fear the day when he is no longer with us, I take solace in the fact that despite his dismal first few years, he has known love and contentment for the majority of his life. (I can verify the latter because he does a lot of yawning, and, as A Dog-Lover’s Miscellany enlightened me, “When a dog yawns, it is most often an expression of contentment rather that one that signifies tiredness or boredom.”)
What Frankie has taught me and our family about overcoming adversity, learning to trust, and loving unconditionally will never be forgotten. I suppose that’s what sharing your life with a pet is all about: The simple wisdom and miraculous love they impart in their comparatively short lifespans help remind us what is truly important in our own lives. For now, though, Frankie is doing just fine. And every now and then he even gets to sneak into the Bas Bleu offices for lots of petting and a contented snooze in my lap.
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