Ever since Frankie joined Jaqueta Robinson’s family at the age of 12, she and her children Jalacia and Jaquan have been quite attached to the miniature pinscher, or minpin.
Whenever they went out of town on vacation, Frankie went with them. Or, they would drop her off with Robinson’s mother in Savannah.
But in September, the family planned a 10-day trip to a resort in Myrtle Beach, S.C. The resort didn’t allow pets, and Savannah was too far out of the way. So Robinson hired a pet sitter.
“Somebody had referred her to us as a good pet sitter,” Robinson said Friday from her home in Newnan.
The woman was not a good pet sitter. When the family returned from the beach to Clayton County, where they lived at the time, Frankie was gone.
The pet sitter told them that Frankie had been hit by a car and had already been buried.
Though Robinson had called to check in on Frankie several times during their trip, the pet sitter never indicated any problems.
“She would say, ‘She’s fine. She’s playing with the other dogs,’” Robinson said.
As it turned out, Frankie had been hit by a car. But she wasn’t dead. And she certainly wasn’t buried.
Someone in the pet sitter’s neighborhood had called animal control to report a stray dog had been hit. Animal control picked up the little minpin, who had two fractured hips and a dislocated leg. Animal Control then contacted Angels Among Us Pet Rescue in Alpharetta.
The rescue “transported her to emergency medical treatment and provided urgently needed care to spare the life of this tough little senior girl with the big heart,” said Joy Kramer of Angels Among Us.
After talking to the pet sitter, Robinson knew something just didn’t sound right. So she started putting up fliers looking for Frankie and started searching.
“I was hoping maybe she had run away and the lady just didn’t want to tell me,” Robinson said.
She checked with animal control as well. While scrolling the organization’s Facebook page, she saw a listed for a senior minpin who had been rescued by Angels Among Us. The organization specializes in injured dogs, Robinson said.
She sent the group an email. Nick Gentile with Angels Among us emailed back asking for some identifying characteristics. They sent pictures back and forth, and there was no doubt it was Frankie.
“They performed all the surgeries she needed,” Robinson said, and put Frankie in foster care for rehab.
Frankie was alive, but the cost to save her and nurse her back to health was far more than Robinson could afford.
Angels Among Us decided to absorb the cost, Kramer said, and to keep Frankie in foster care until she was healthy enough to go home.
A reunion was scheduled for the weekend after Thanksgiving.
Robinson had decided not to tell her children that she had found Frankie, just in case something went wrong.
They didn’t find out until a few hours before Frankie arrived home.
“They kept pacing the halls saying, ‘When is she coming? Can I touch her? Can I pet her?’”
“It was a great surprise for them, and we were just happy to have her home,” Robinson said.
In the meantime, they had adopted a young poodle, Brooklyn, who had been attacked by another dog. Brooklyn’s family wanted to get rid of her.
“I said, ‘Let me take her,’” Robinson said.
So they nursed Brooklyn back to health. When Frankie came home, Robinson was a little worried about how the two would get along. But there was nothing to worry about. They get along just fine.
After Robinson found out what happened to Frankie, she called the pet sitter. The first time, the sitter hung up on her. Then she blocked her. When Robinson tried calling from someone else’s phone, the sitter immediately hung up, she said.
She can’t understand why the woman didn’t let her know her dog had been injured.
“I could have cut my vacation short, or had family members pick her up,” she said.
Robinson had gotten Frankie when she lived in Kansas. Her father was in the military, and they lived there for years. Her father moved to Georgia and retired in Sharpsburg, and a few years ago, Robinson and her children became the last family members to move to Georgia.
Frankie’s first family, who had raised her from a puppy, was being transferred to Germany, and couldn’t take her along.
“I said we’ll take good care of her for the rest of her life.”
These days, Frankie isn’t completely back to her old self. She doesn’t like the hardwood floors at the new house, and prefers the carpet. She isn’t allowed to jump off furniture anymore. But the hair that was shaved for her surgeries has started growing back. And she’s back with her family.
Every night, the kids fight over who gets to have Frankie sleep in their bed, Robinson said.
“I missed her a lot,” said Jalacia. “She’s my favorite dog.”