A special friend, dear Frank,
If only we'd had more time together....

Frankie, where have you gone? You came into my life and brought such joy and happiness to the household. If there was something to investigate Frankie was right on top of it. In fact one day I walked into the kitchen only to find him on all fours standing in the center of a small table. It appeared that he had once again found the cat food. He was well adjusted and very loving. Within a day he was able to call my house home and was accepted with open loving arms. After four wonderful months the nightmare began. Frank was always small in size but had a tremendous appetite and would go from bowl to bowl to check and see if Ryan or Sade had left anything behind. The answer was usually no but why not check to be sure. And then one day it suddenly started and I had thirty plus days ahead of me wondering Why??? With much help and support from my friends at STOLA and Frankie's friends at Andover Animal Hospital I literally tried every possible route because in my mind that little boy with the bright eyes wasn't going to leave my life. I had him tested for everything only to find no answers. he kept my hope and spirit up because during this ordeal he never once lost his until he was ready to say goodbye. I finally was able to accept that there was not a solution out there and it was time for me to make a decision that would have a serious impact on myself, Ryan and Sade. Frankie's time had come and I could not bear to see him in discomfort one more day. I called Dr. Jim Dasbach to arrange an appointment on an evening that he would be there. The entire team took such wonderful care of Frank when he needed hospitalization or tests and were willing to try anything that may give Frankie another chance. In fact the staff were actively making logical suggestions for ways to treat Frank's disorder.

Frank's last day with us had arrived, a very difficult day indeed. I took the day off from work so I could spend the full day with him. It was like he knew and was prepared after thirty days with his disorder. He slept in my sleigh bed along with Ryan, Sade, and Sheenah along with frequent visits from me. It was a very difficult day but I could not let him live another day in pain. Despite the discomfort he was in and the inability to eat his eyes remained bright and at ease. The clock was ticking and we would soon be heading to the hospital. I decided to take Ryan with us so he could absorb whatever was possible and would not have to just have Frankie gone. As I drove the tears started and I wanted so much to turn the car around and return home. But I knew I was doing what was best for him and could not bear to see him suffering another day. I held him tightly in my arms as we waited for Dr. Dasbach and during that time many of the technicians who had worked with him stopped in to say goodbye and share in my pain. Dr. Dasbach arrived and spent some time with us prior to the procedure. It was time and I continued to hold Frank in my arms with Ryan by my side...... Frank is now at rest. We sure miss him but I know he is much more comfortable now. He had a beautiful life sharing our home. It may have been short but the memories shall remain forever.

--Ed Balkam

Frank, when STOLA first met him

Frank went to Ed after a lengthy stay at his foster mom's house, Karen Arends, who was gracious enough to share her heart and home with him! Many thanks to Karen and to Ed, who helped fill Frank's life with love and comfort.