I’m coming to getcha. Right in the heart.

Reminiscing about when we first got Frankie.  He’s still the most awesome dog ever.

June 14, 2010

One of the things Steve and I agreed on years ago was no dog until we buy a house or live in an apartment/condo that allows us to have one.  And definitely not one in Korea because of the traveling around we’ll be doing.  We just couldn’t do that to a dog.  Leave him, pick him up, leave him, pick him up, etc.

Obviously, that’s changed.  Living here and witnessing the unfortunate mistreatment of dogs along with the sheer amount of strays has given me a new perspective.  Instead of thinking about the lack of stability in our life for a dog, I started wondering if what we could provide would ultimately be better than what they already have living on the streets or in shelters.  And the answer was yes.  Sure, we may move around some more and there will be times apart, but it’s better than the certain fate that most of them meet here.

It wasn’t actually Frankie that changed our minds.  It was a cute little puppy tied with rope to a tin can out in the middle of the country.  A well-meaning friend convinced me he would eventually be sold for food, which is not a stereotype but an actual fact of life here.  Turns out he was being raised as a guard dog, but that one night changed everything.  We could have very easily walked off with that puppy, cleaned him up, and called him our own.  But we are not here to be waygookin dognappers.  So we decided to do a more deliberate search.

I joined a foreign-run rescue website, mostly with hundreds of pictures of animals looking for homes from the shelters in Seoul and Daegu.  There was one lone dog from Mokpo, and you’re looking at him above.  He was found by another English teacher at Yudalsan, a nearby mountain, and walked right up to her.  He was a bit scrawny and had caught ticks but was otherwise healthy.  It’s obvious he was a house pet at one point in time.  He had been groomed, was semi-housebroken, and had a docked tail (I will never understand why people do this to dogs).  A poster effort to find a possible owner proved futile.  It’s more than likely he was left there on purpose, which is the unfortunate case that many animal rescuers here continue to find.

At first glance, with his skinny frame and wonky way of sitting I thought he had the kind of face only a mother could love…and he just might be for us.  We took him for a trial night, but just as with my precious Sweetie 14 years ago, I knew he was never leaving.

Now that his hair has grown in and he’s got a little extra weight, he is one of the cutest things I’ve ever seen.  We think that he’s still in late puppy phase, and he’s eager to learn and do tricks.  He came with the name Frankie, which we decided fits him well.  So we call him Frankie Fasthands, the boxing nickname given to Danny Devito’s character on It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia in the episode Hundred Dollar Baby.  Pretty appropriate for us.  We’ve also become that cheesy couple that takes pictures of him every time he repositions himself into yet another cute pose, and we think it’s hilarious to dress him in Steve’s Rolling Stones t-shirt.  Yeah, we’ve become that couple.  And we’re ok with that.

So as of May 17, 2010…welcome to the Studniarz Rudolph family, Frankie Fasthands!