With a heavy heart, a note from Dr. Ferrando

It is with great sadness that I report the passing of our namesake, Frankie. I have lost my working partner, my co-investigator, my therapy dog, and my canine soulmate. Fittingly, he took his last breath in my arms. I can’t help but think he wanted it that way. As I have said many times in the past, I may have rescued him, but he saved me. I learned so very much from him, not only about canine scent detection, but about unconditional love, patience, and the human-canine interaction. He was very much a metaphor for life – a very average guy who was capable of extraordinary things. He was just a starving black mutt, with bad teeth, heart worms, and one ear that did not stand up. When we found him, we already had 4 dogs in the house so my inclination was to bring him to the shelter. My wife, thankfully, protested saying that he was just a plain black dog and his chances of making it out of the shelter were slim. Another example of never judging a book by its cover. He was a phenomenally brave guy, willing to do anything if I was there with him. He showed me, a novice to area of canine scent detection, that it was indeed possible. He taught me far more than I can ever recount.  I am reminded of the essence of a short poem which describes the dog’s viewpoint at the time of death, “do not cry for me, as I have lived everyday as if it were my first. Do not cry for me, as every day of my life with you has been wonderful”. Frankie, you made my life so much better, both professionally and personally. I owe you more than I can express. I love you always, and miss you terribly.

All I ask is that you help me continue Frankie’s legacy and our program, as our humble beginnings with a very average boy have grown to be so much more. We pledge to continue our work in canine cancer detection, and hope you will be part of that journey. Thank you all for your thoughts and support.

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