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Frankie's Story

Thanks to Your Generosity, 
Frankie Had His Surgery
and Has a Forever Home!
May 7, One Week Post Surgery

Today we decided to see how Frankie rides in a car as I prepared my weekly trip to Vallejo to visit my sister in the senior home....we loaded Gazpacho and Frankie in the back seat, Frankie went in first and immediately sat down.  The trip there was uneventful, they both behaved beautifully and sat the whole time.

Once we arrived there, my sister welcomed Frankie with open arms and Frankie sat on her lap in the front seat as we drove to the Black Bear Diner for lunch.  Frankie slept in the front passenger seat while we dined and once again sat on her lap as we drove back to the home.

He is a wonderfully well-behaved dog in the car....would do very well on
long trips...simply lies down and almost goes to sleep once the car is in
motion and is definitely a lap dog....

The trip home was uneventful with Frankie lying on the passenger seat in the nfront and Gazpacho finally happy that he could now lie down on the rear seat.

We are now once again home and sleeping in the office/computer room,
Gazpacho to my right on the floor and Frankie behind me.

May 3, Frankie Settles In

Sunday Afternoon

I thought would be a challenge since I was going to be gone from the house for approximately 5 hours. Prior to this time whenever I put Frankie in his crate, he would cry, unless we were retiring for the evening or I was in the room.  So, a half an hour before I was to leave I put him in the crate and he immediately began to carry on....I went in  and said 'QUIET' in a loud annoying tone.  He immediately stopped.  I had to do this again, he stopped for a little while and then started once again, so....the third time I went in and said 'QUIET"and used the squirt bottle with water which landed on his e collar...that worked.

When I arrived home later and walked toward the house, all was quiet and I was in the house for several seconds...still no noise, my immediate thought was 'Gosh, something happened to Frankie', I called his name and he responded with a little whimper, when I appeared in the room the tail wagging was in earnest....

He is a great dog, really listens and learns rapidly.  We are walking
together with Gazpacho twice daily around the block.  He now is comfortable
with the house and the walk area and does not bark and growl at things he
doesn't know.  This morning we spotted another dog as we walked, he started the growling and I said 'No' sternly, he stopped....

May 2, Frankie Recuperates

Saturday Morning

Everyone slept well, we had a quiet night….breakfast and morning walks are done and we are now lying peacefully once again in the office/computer room.  Frankie by the door and Gazpacho behind me.


Frankie is not growling at Gazpacho today and seems to be following his lead in house behavior.


Saturday Evening

We took a long walk with Gazpacho early last evening and our plumbing has restored itself.  Another restful quiet night with morning walks, food and medications taken....we are alert and happier this morning (see the wagging tail in the kitchen photo).

A huge plus is Gazpacho, Frankie is modeling his behavior after Gazpacho's. When Gazpacho naps, Frankie naps, when Gazpacho wants to go for a walk, Frankie wants to go for a walk, they are eating in separate bowls and thereis no discussion about who owns what food dish.  Once again no anxiety medication needed....a quiet day in Rio Vista.

Frankie in his forever home

Photo of Frakie the Poodle's Head

Frankie  in the  Living Room

Relaxing in Rio Vista

Frankie's Backstory

Frankie is a wonderful apricot Poodle who is homeless for the second time in his life due to the changing, complicated lives of humans, their work schedules and relationships.


Frankie is 7 years old which, for a Mini Poodle, is middle-aged. Given that he is mostly healthy, he could have 7 good years left. Frankie does, however, have a heart murmur caused by a Patent Ductus Arteriosis (PDA), a small hole between the right and left ventricles of the heart.  We are all concerned that the PDA may become a problem as Frankie ages and would cut short his future with a loving adoptive family. 

Frankie's surgery is over and he is starting his recovery. This is just the start of the process and medical care needed to get him well. He will need medication, followup visits, recovery time, etc. He will be staying at Davis Vet Medical Center until they deem him well enough to be fostered till he recovers. We will post more information and photos shortly! AND all of us at NorCal can't thank you enough for your donations so far. It allowed us to start the process and save Frankie's life!

Spencer explained that Frankie’s condition is unusual because a dog with a PDA rarely survives past 1-2 years without intervention. 


Then Dr. Catherine Belanger, the Cardiology Resident, joined us.  She was very pleased that Frankie appeared to be in such good health. This was later confirmed by an echocardiogram, chest x-rays and blood work.  Dr. Belanger called this evening to say everything is a “go” for Frankie’s minimally invasive heart procedure scheduled for tomorrow, April  30 at 10am.  If all goes well he will be discharged on Friday to continue his recovery with Elaine Wisz providing foster care.    

April 29, Frankie's Pre Op at UC Davis

Dr. Catherine Belanger, Cardiology Resident,

and Spencer Yeh examine Frankie

Thanks to your enormous generosity, we have donations sufficient to go ahead with  Frankie's ACDO Surgery.


So today, April 29,  7 year old Frankie went to UC Davis to fix the hole in his heart (called PDA, Patent Ductus Arteriosus).  He was a model patient. 


We were met by Spencer Yeh who is a 4th Year Vet Student from Cupertino.  Spencer will graduate in 2 weeks and then he’s off to do an internship at Animal Medical Center in New York.  He was very excited to hear the distinctive murmur from Frankie’s PDA that he likened to buzzing bees, or which is also described as a “thrill.” 

Spencer Yeh, 4th year Vet student, with Frankie

April 30 , Frankie's Surgery

Frankie with Dr Belanger and Spencer Yeh, post op.

Send Your Donation to
NorCal Poodle Rescue
P.O. Box 3374
Walnut Creek, CA94598 Attn. Frankie's Fund

UC Davis  repeated the echo-cardiogram this morning, May 1, and the occluder was in place and everything looked good.  The great news is that Frankie has NO heart murmur.  He is on antibiotics and pain meds for now.  He will not need ongoing antibiotics or anti-coagulants.  He has to wear a cone for 2 weeks because he has a 1.5 inch incision over the femoral artery on the inside of his right rear leg. 

Interestingly they occlude the femoral artery at the end of the procedure because there would be too much danger of bleeding.  He will develop collateral circulation, but he will not have a right femoral pulse in the future.  Dr. Belanger was very pleased with everything about the procedure and Frankie’s recovery to date.


Elaine Wisz and her poodle Gazpacho have agreed to care for Frankie while he recovers. Here is their story.


We arrived home without incident, I carried the crated Frankie in thru the front door and placed him in my office/computer room and closed the door,  he cried a little, after about ten minutes I opened the door, and let him out, he walked around the house with Gazpacho following him and is now lying down next to me on the floor, with Gazpacho lying on the floor behind me. They’re both napping.

May 1, Frankie Goes Home to Elaine and Gazpacho

Frankie with Dr Belanger and Spencer Yeh, pre op.

To Help More Dogs

The good news is that  Frankie's heart can be fixed and it doesn't require open heart surgery.  UC Davis can perform an  ACDO procedure which is a safe, permanent, and minimally invasive. A mesh device will be threaded through the femoral artery to the heart and unfurled to close the hole. Once the PDA is resolved, Frankie’s health and adoption prospects will improve greatly.


The cost is about $3000.  Since we budget our funds very carefully to save as many lives as possible, we are asking our wonderful supporters to help us with this extra expense.  Your tax deductible donation to Frankie’s Fund is sincerely appreciated. 

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