Burying a Piece of My Heart and Soul Earth Day 2022

Franny Farley Friedman

June 29, 2014 – April 21, 2022

“The bond with a dog is as lasting as the ties of this earth can ever be.”  –Konrad Lorenz

It is Earth Day 2022. Today I am burying a piece of my soul into Mother Earth in my own backyard. The unfathomable has come to be and my beloved Franny, magnificent mother of 9, matriarch and mentor to dozens of pups and dogs who are better pets and working dogs as a result of knowing her, unexpectedly died of unknown causes shortly before midnight last night, hours after a spay surgery in the afternoon.  She was 7 years and 10 months old.

Franny is survived by her 9 biological children, Mabel, Shamrock, Pixie, Mango, Kiwi, Newton, Maggie, Pinto and Fig.  Siblings are many, but those that also came to live and grow up at A Better Pet from the prairie of South Dakota where she was born, include Ella, Cort, Morgan, Fern, Scout and Puck. She is survived by countless other dogs and people that crossed paths with this unique and loving being and benefitted and learned from her wisdom, confidence, sweetness, fairness and generosity of spirit.

In June of 2017, just before turning 3, when she had already showed unlimited compassion for mourning with so many during the hospice journey of my father in February of that year, she transitioned from companion dog to service dog with a leap of faith and a graceful leap onto my gurney in the E.R. on the day I had a stroke and lost, temporarily, the use of my left leg.  

She comforted me between tests on every other day visits during my 2 1/2 week hospital stay. She helped support me during rehab, and charmed everyone whose path she crossed. When I returned back home, still wobbly and prone to toe breaking, she helped guide me to how to use her to help my mobility. And if I weren’t talking about this here, those of you who didn’t know about that stroke, would never have guessed I was ever sidelined for a bit.

Franny’s accomplishments are too numerous to list here but if you knew her, and she had a hand in shaping your dog into who he or she is today, you probably love her too and are also shocked and saddened.  That her sweet pink ridged nose will never nudge your hand for another treat, or her once warm body pressing against your legs when you’re not sure how you’re feeling but she knows you needed her, or her ministrations over your puppy which has residual benefit for their betterment and social development. 

In one of her last acts of her bottomless pit of compassion and care, she watched over my young rescue cat Nell as she gave birth to 4 beautiful kittens on Monday. I hope that little bit of her spirit will imbibe these new young lives to partner themselves in the near future with people who will have a little bit of Franny love come their way too.

“Let us be grateful to people who make us happy, they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.” – Marcel Proust