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Dear Frankie: A Friend in Need is a Friend Indeed

by Brandon Williams
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Dear Frankie, 

My good friend Mac has had two opera­tions on his back leg. Neither procedure has been successful. He needs to hold up his bum leg and limp on his other three legs to walk. He also suffers excruciating pain when he moves his leg the wrong way or bangs into something. 

Last week, he told me he was going in for another operation, and there was a good chance he might lose his leg. Besides dreading the surgery, Mac fears the reason the vet told him about his leg was to prepare him for the worst. 

The day he had the surgery, I knew things had not gone well when I saw the look on his parents’ faces when they came home from the hospital. His mom said that at least he won’t be in pain anymore, and eventually, he would be able to walk on his own.

I keep thinking about Mac and wondering what I can do to help him. I believe this is the saddest and most helpless I have ever felt in my whole life, Frankie. 


Dear Stanley,

It is sad to see a friend suffer. However, there is no reason to feel helpless. There are many things you can do for Mac during his recovery. 

At first, just being there and available to fetch and carry will be a comfort to him. 

Later, you can ask him what he would like you to do when you visit. He might say things like be a sounding board; keep me up on the news from the dog park; bring me treats; play a game, etc. You could also suggest activities you might do together, such as watching Rin Tin Tin or Westminster Dog Show reruns, listening to canine books on tape, pulling him in a wagon, or scratching the part of his back he can’t reach. 

Most importantly, Mac needs to know that you will be his forever friend regardless of his number of legs. 

Best, Frankie

© 2022 Geneva Woodruff 

Comments and letters can be sent to Frankie at dearfrankiecolumn@gmail.com

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