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Sunday, January 29, 2017

What Love Can Do

Franz came into our home during one of the darkest periods of our lives.

Franzie Baby 019-001

It’s been almost five years ago that we were trying to deal with a heart shattering event. I was also struggling to find a home for my family to live in while singlehandedly packing up everything we owned. In the midst of it all our neighbor knocked on our door while holding a dog with the saddest eyes I’ve ever seen, begging me to take him. I remember looking around at the sea of moving boxes and asking her “You do know that we are in the midst of moving?”

But she persisted. She told me that she worked as a housekeeper for a family who had abused this poor dog for years.  They now had tired of him and wanted to put him down. She had offered to find a home for him and they agreed. She knew from seeing our Rudi that we loved dachshunds. I told her at the very least I would find him a good home. Some of you may even recall when I posted on FB that I was looking for a home for this dog.

Image result for decor to adore rudi

I called Mr. Decor at work to let him know we had a visitor. When he came home that night he sat down on the ground. Franz walked slowly over to where he was sitting and placed one tentative paw on his leg. It was the Mr. who named him Franz. I thought he would become his dog.

I was wrong.

It was not love at first sight for me. Franz was a Nervous Nellie who acted out by using the living room as his personal bathroom. We could barely pet him let alone pick him up. I did not trust leaving him alone with children and he would snarl if caught by surprise.

Indeed the first time I ever gave him a bath I truly thought he was going to bite me.

A few months passed. I continued to feed him, take him for walks and pat his head now and again. By then we had seen signs that our new home was a scorpion playground. The first encounter occurred in the evening. I was walking barefoot towards the kitchen.  Franz blocked himself in front of me, hackles raised and began a low throaty growl. I truly thought the dog had lost his mind. I flipped on the light and saw a scorpion scurry towards our kitchen island right where I would have walked.

Scorpions were a regular occurrence and I learned to stop immediately when I heard the low warning growl. It dawned on me that this dog was somehow always by my side willing to be my loyal protector against all dangerous things.

Fall 2015 012

At around year two of Franz joining our family a friend made a comment “That dog is SO in love with you! His eyes follow your every move.”

Indeed if I left the house I would always return to this guy eager at the gate, tail wagging at such a happy reunion. It was a new and strange feeling for me. I had never in my life experienced such unconditional love here on earth.


It took three years before I realized I was in love with this dog.

Franz 001

 LOVE simply transformed all of us.

He now loves his Saturday baths.

franz 4

He always wants “to help”.


He thinks the space heater is HIS personal space heater.


He sleeps in the strangest ways.


His funny stretching positions have earned him the nickname “Frog Legs Franzie”.


He make us laugh when he proudly prances around with empty peanut butter jars before settling down to work on getting them completely clean.


Franz never met a bone he didn’t like and never lets go. #grouchofranz

Franz LOVES to dress up. Franz in coat

Any new coat or accessory is eagerly worn and he happily poses for any and all photos.

Storybook Kitchen 095

For a dog who once cowered and shook when you picked him up his favorite thing now is when I cradle him like a baby while singing sweet lullabies.

Franzie Baby 003

My silly behavior is always rewarded with a kiss.

Franzie Baby 005-001

I am a better person for loving this dog. His eyes now only hold happiness.

Franzie Baby 009

For several months now we have known Franz was not well. He was diagnosed with Cushings disease. We have seen several vets and various treatments have been administered. His last set of labs showed no improvement. He is in pain and has lost control over his bathroom habits. The vet has suggested the hardest decision of all and it is absolutely breaking our hearts into a million pieces.

At this time we are still unsure when the decision will be made.

We are struggling.

Franzie 018

Over the years I know DTA readers have also come to love our Franzie.

Please know we are choosing to look for the silver lining in that we have been given the beautiful chance to enjoy all of life’s little moments while loving this precious little legged man.

Franzie 075 

So we are snuggling extra hard…

Franzie 032

…and celebrating a treasured everyday by delighting in all of his favorite activities.

I will be taking a break from blogging for a few days to spend some precious days with our pup who is now being allowed all sorts of special treats.

Decor To Adore 2017 003

Your good thoughts and prayers are appreciated.

Franzie’s Mom

“Your unfailing love, O Lord, is as vast as the heavens; your faithfulness reaches beyond the clouds. Your righteousness is like the mighty mountains, your justice like the ocean depths. You care for people and animals alike, O Lord. How precious is your unfailing love, O God! All humanity finds shelter in the shadow of your wings.” Psalm 36:5-7


Jan said...

I love your story about Franzie and his antics. It's so sad when any of our furry babies get sick...much less get the message from the Vet that we may be getting close to the time we have to let them go. I've found that decision to be the hardest thing we ever have to do for them. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family Laura. Hugs!

Sandi said...

I am so glad I read this. A wonderful story. Will be praying for healing. He came into your life at the right time, and you into his. I don't know who is more blessed.

Mrs. Kelley Dibble said...

We have walked where you are walking. Prayers and love, dear ones. xo


Mildred said...

A very sweet post, Laura, that brings tears to my eyes. We were blessed to receive Harriet (our mini dachshund) at age 3 and she lived to age 13, when Cushings took her. Please know that you all are in my prayers. So thankful that your love for this precious pet changed his life forever. God bless.

Katie Mansfield said...

I know how hard a decision it is. What a beautiful story. I will be thinking of you and saying a prayer for all of you. God did such a special thing when he created pets. They bring us joy and sorrow. I love your story of unconditional love. Precious.

Marty@A Stroll Thru Life said...

Oh i remember when you got him. He is such a love. My heart and thoughts are with you.

Simply LKJ said...

We too have walked in your path as well. The decision is never an easy one. Our fur babies are family, sometimes I think even more so as they love so unconditionally. You will all be in our thoughts and prayers.

Daniela said...

My eyes are shiny with tears, I don't even know what exactly I'm going to write ... You've truly touched my heart, you've moved me to tears ... I'm so in love with all our blessed 'babies' that made our lives better and more cheerful lives and when that moment come, it's the deepest darkness, especially if we have to take such a hard decision ... please, let me say that my heart, my thoughts and my prayers are with you, sweet Laura, just think that you've made his life during these years, you've been the best and the most precious gift in his life, poor darling Franz !

Take care dearie

XO Dany

craftyles said...

What a wonderful life Franz has had with you and your family. Treasure these last moments. Thinking of you-I know how hard this is.

Sarah said...

Laura, yours is a sweet story. I know the love between you and Franz is something very dear and precious. My heart breaks for you. It's a painful time and the more one loves the greater the pain. Take joy in these last days together. Franz is a lucky guy to have your love and devotion. Hugs to you, sweet friend.

Marilyn said...

Love is love is love is love..................

My heart goes out to you and your family. This is such a difficult time having been through this ourselves.

Franz is so fortunate to be surrounded by love during these last few moments. Please take comfort in knowing that his last years were his BEST years, thanks to your love and devotion.

Marilyn (in Dallas)

Kathryn Mattus said...

I am usually a lurker, but wanted to come out of the woodwork to give you a big ((((((hug)))))). Oh how we love our furry family members. Praying for you all at this time.


Christine said...

Have always loved Franzie, from this side of the computer but just knew he is special. Please know that prayers will be said for your family.
Thank you for letting us know Franzie even more!

bobbie said...

As another dachsie lover (we have 2 standard long-hairs), my heart and thoughts are with you.

Bless you for making his life such a heaven ~

Sending you and your family thoughts of strength, comfort and grace ~

Hugs ~


Cecilia Bramhall said...

My heart is breaking for you. I am so sorry. I pray you will find comfort in these days. Much love to all of you. Give Franz a hug from me. His eyes are very expressive- so sweet.


Enjoy and spoil him! It is a very hard decision that I have made a few times...

Mary Steinbrink said...

I'm crying as I type this. There is nothing like the love of a dog. Enjoy your time with Franz and your family. I will keep you all in my prayers.

Karenann Sharrott said...

My thoughts and prayers are with you and Franz, and your story has truly melted my heart! I will pray for you, your family and most of all Franz, who is so precious and most wonderful!

The Feathered Nest said...

Oh Laura, I'm so very sorry your precious pup is failing. These angels touch our hearts and change us forever. Praying for you all ~ much love and hugs...Dawn

Jemma@athomewithjemma said...

Such a sweet heartwarming story. Thinking of you and your little pup.

Stacye Hixson said...

As I type I have tears in my eyes. We always have 3-4 dogs that have been rescued and over the past four years we have had one die unexpectedly and had to have two put down. It was the hardest decision to make but we tried to look at it as were we being selfish by allowing these dogs to suffer only to ease our pain. I feel for you and your family. When you feel the time is right stay with him and hold him and comfort him through the whole process. That way he will feel how much you love you as he crosses that rainbow bridge. Each time we've lost one there has always been another sweet baby that needed to be loved so don't close your heart to the ones out there that need someone like you. Prayers for your family

Linda said...

After an already extremely sad January here (one of our friends lost their battle with cancer and he was only in his 50s, there was an accident as well that's thrown our world out of balance and those are only a couple of the stressors of this month - it hasn't been good in the least), to read of your story and your dear Franz, just breaks my heart. I fully know what it is to love furry family members in this way and to have my heart broken over them. I will be thinking of you and lifting you up in prayer during this most difficult time, my friend.
Love, Linda

At Rivercrest Cottage said...

My heart feels for you and your loved ones. Last year, from July to Christmas Eve, all 3 daughters had to let their old pound pups go at the advice of their loving vets. At 16 and a half, Bailey deserved her peace, but at only 9, and after 3 years of surgeries to combat cancerous tumors, it was still heart breaking to finally kiss Sweet Dee goodbye. In all three cases, the dogs actually let their parents know they were done with this time on Earth, and I think you will find your Franz will make his desires clear to you when he's ready. Just watch for the signs and let go...let God.

Ginene Nagel said...

Laura, I don't know how old the pictures are but he looks like he has a lot of life left in his shiny little eyes. I read about Cushing's Disease in dogs and it looks like there are some chances for treatment. No doubt they are expensive. I can see where he has lost some hair as is described under symptoms. That is such a great dog. We are all in love with him, too, I can see from reading the comments. I just want to say, as if we were sitting down together with a cup of coffee, that if you are both struggling over what to may not be the time yet. I know from my experience during difficult and heart-wrenching times with elderly and terminal animals, when the time had come I knew it and was no longer struggling with the decision.
Thank you, Laura, from all animal appreciators for taking Franz into your lives. It's a funny thing about that, we usually end up being the ones who get the greatest gift.
Your bonnet-head pal,

Michele @ The Nest at Finch Rest said...

I am bawling like a baby right now for you all.

Our 4 legged friends are FAMILY and I am so terribly sad and sorrow.

Please know my heart and thoughts and prayers are with you.

You have given this wonderful sweetie a very loving nice life - he was able to find love and give it back in return.

Remember Rainbow Bridge! ♥

kitty@ Kitty's Kozy Kitchen said...

Oh Laura, what a loving tribute you wrote of your dear Franz. I think your family was blessed to be the caregivers of this sweet pup and he blessed you with his unconditional love. I hope you will read my friend Debbie's story of her beloved bunny, which she wrote about today. Debbie blogs at
Thinking of you and saying a prayer....xo

Bohemian said...

Oh my this entire Post made me Smile and Cry! Praying for Comfort during this difficult time with your Beloved Fur Baby... your Journey together is indeed one of those Love Stories that warms the Heart. Our Rescue Pets have always been indeed the most Special Relationships... often the line is blurred on who exactly Rescued who? We too have a Scorpion Hunter in our Miss Priss here at New Villa Boheme' where unfortunately Scorpions are problematic. ... Virtual Hugs from the Arizona Desert... Dawn... The Bohemian

Jeanie said...

Laura, I knew this, of course, from FB but what I didn't know was the backstory, and when I read it I was close to tears with you. Yes, they come into our lives, sometimes frightened and afraid and we wonder, will we be able to love them? And then we know that there is little we will ever love more.

This is such a beautiful piece and I'm so deeply touched by your words of love and your big heart. Sending boatloads of love to you through these cyber channels and wishes for the peace and the healing to come and wrap you within their loving arms.

Jill Flory said...

I'm so sorry my friend. Love on him as much as you can and God carry you through.

Denise said...

Oh Laura, your story has made me cry. Franz looks like such a sweetie, and it's beyond me how his previous owners could have abused him. We've buried two Scotties over our almost 30 years of marriage, and I know how you feel; it just broke our hearts. It always seems to me like we've just gotten our dogs trained and have a really good relationship with them, and all of a sudden, they're growing old and sick. Their time here on earth is so short compared with the lifespan of most humans, and it's so hard for us to say good-bye. I love all these pictures you've shared, and it's obvious that Franz was so blessed to find a home in the Gunn household; I'm sure these five years have been so good for him (and all of you too). Please know I'm thinking about you and wishing God's comfort for you.

Hugs XX,

Denise at Forest Manor

Stacey said...

Oh Laura, I had to backtrack to find out about Franz. I'm so thankful first of all that you rescued this sweet guy. We had a dachshund for 16 years named Molly who looked almost just like Franz. They are spirited but very loyal dogs. I know you have given him the best life he could have. Prayers for him and your family because I know it's hard!!

Kiki Nakita said...


It just breaks my heart. Glad Franz got to experience a warm and loving home. Hugs.


Pat@Life At Lydias House said...

Thinking of you during this difficult time. Franz has been blessed to have landed in such a wonderful loving home.

Cathy @ My 1929 Charmer said...

This truly is one of the hardest decisions to make. We had to make our two weeks ago. But we knew it was time when she was not enjoying and in pain. One of the greatest gift we can give to them is loving them as long as we can but also letting go when the time is right for them...not for us. For it will never be the right time for us. My thoughts are with you.

Rita C. said...

How sad, Laura. Hug your furbaby and just be there for him. ♥

Pam said...

LAURA, I love reading your blog, especially since it centers much on
beloved Laura Ingalls. I treasure her books and have read them all to
my children when they were young. I also feel your pain in regard to
a very difficult decision you will have to make. We had a lovely dog
who had Cushings also. When she deteriorated to a point and just looked in our eyes, we knew. We also recently lost our two beloved
corgi boys within 10 months of each other. Very debilitating illnesses and I still grieve and miss them every single day.
Why must these innocent creatures suffer so. They hold on
for us, their loving parents. We must honor their lives as they deserve, and like our children, must let them go. The rainbow bridge
is a lovely place to travel, on the other side there will no longer be
pain, only romping and chewing and barking to their hearts' delights.
Bless you and Franz.

Decor To Adore said...

Pam thank you so very much for your comforting words. I am so sorry about the recent loss of your beloved corgis. May you find joy in precious memories.

Auntie Em said...

Maybe, someone will think twice about saying no to taking on the responsibility of adopting a little pooch who doesn't seem to have any endearing qualities but given a chance, and a lot of love, they can become a family member and belong. Little Franz knew a home filled with love and free from abuse when he found it. {{{hugs}}}