Beloved Frankie the French Bulldog died Friday, May 23, 2014 in Seattle.
Born September 16, 2003 in Anacortes, WA, Frankie was the daughter of Tidewater's Dean Martin and House of Tuck's Miss Kansas, and was an AKC registered descendant of the award winning Tidewater lineage of French Bulldogs. Frankie weened on Guemes Island, WA and was named after the traditional French unit of currency. At age 12 weeks she moved permanently to Seattle where she quickly became a daily fixture of the downtown neighborhood of Belltown.
Frankie showed an early aptitude for training, was a graduate of both the Puppy Manners and Basic Obedience programs of the Downtown Dog Lounge, and was well-known at all four DDL locations. She earned lifelong accolades and rewards for her unfailing skills at the prompt sit, advanced waiting, and leave-it. She was known by those closest to her as 'Missy', 'Cutie Pie' and 'Fart Machine'.
Frankie enjoyed urban living to it's fullest. She was often seen sauntering the avenues of downtown, riding buses, dining al fresco and al food truck, shopping in the city's "Lifestyle Mile", and taste-testing at Pike Market. At holiday time, she loved walking home from Pike Market with her humans and the biggest stick a dog could ever hope for: a Christmas Tree. Even her quiet days, when she loved staring contests, rolling on the rug, resting by the fireplace or (better yet) on someone else's tummy, she still enjoyed four walks and eight elevator rides between sun-up and sun-down. She was a fan of crab-style wrestling and practiced twice daily, first with her older brother Hugo "David Niven" the Miniature Pinscher (crane-style, deceased 2008), then with her younger brother Tidewater's Tonka (also crab-style, age 6). Frankie also knew how to enjoy the great out-doors. She traveled the West Coast extensively, visiting beaches from California to British Columbia by car, and the islands and inland waterways of Puget Sound by ferry, motorboat, sailboat, and rowboat. She once crossed the US/Canadian border on foot, and navigated the Siskiyou Pass many times in many kinds of weather, some ill-advised. She once made the San Mateo-Portland run in 13 hours (the dog-time equivalent of 12 parseks). Once, while body-surfing in Elliott Bay, she caught a 26-foot geoduck in her bare teeth and wrestled it to shore. She always smelled like a sandy summer beach, even in the middle of winter. She was also seen often on the Burke Gilman Trail, in Discovery Park, on Little Si mountain, and along the King County Trail System near her vacation home in Redmond, WA.
Many were struck by her friendly spirit. As a pup, after getting clawed in the eye by an unfriendly cat, she returned from the ER and immediately ran off to tap at the same apartment door, hoping for a friendlier 'hello!' Frankie's public works included once stopping a crowded city bus on 1st Avenue just by staring at the driver, who, it turned out, wanted to smell her puppy breath. She valiantly appeared on the front-page of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer in a three-column photograph to commemorate the grand opening of the Regrade Dog Park. Her adorableness, however, was ultimately unable to save Seattle's #2 daily newspaper from its own demise. She also inspired a formation of a small business, Frankie Fan Club LLC, that produced a line of t-shirts and hoodies sold in area shops and boutiques for several years.
Her proudest role, for which she never tired, was as one of the first and certainly the most steadfast guardian of Tesla, the little girl under who's cradle she often slept, and who's company she often kept.
Frankie's indomitable curiosity for strangers big and small, animal and mammal, and her calm confident disposition were her signature presence to the very end. She passed quietly with her family attending after a brief illness. She was an exemplar of her line, of bully breeds, and of the power of the unconditional love dogs offer us. She was her humans' very first dog, and by her very wonderfulness inspired the spontaneous adoption of her older brother Hugo only three months after she had moved to Seattle. She remains in the hearts of her human family and friends, and in our imagination on a blanket at the beach alongside Hugo holding a down stay for eternity while keeping an eye out for anything that moves.