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Dec 28 2013

After my wife died in 2001, my family (son and daughters and grandchildren) decided that I should have a dog for companionship.

I was not in favor of the idea because there were plenty of complications in my life at the time, and I did not want the further complications that would would be involved in having a dog.  However, they persisted, and I was forced to approach the matter by drawing up a rather formal document entitled “HAVING A DOG”, in which I carefully listed the pro’s and con’s of having a dog.  In this document, doing my best to be fair, I was able to list 3 possible pro’s and 13 con’s.  I thought that, for any logical person, this would be a formidable basis for concluding that I should not have a dog.

However, my family were not to be turned back by this. They took a red pencil to my document and ruthlessly discounted the weight to be given to any of the con’s that were listed. They were unanimously and firmly convinced that I should have a dog, and we were stalemated. Then, at this point, fate took a hand. My grandson Jason’s girl friend Jessie came from a family who lived on a farm in northern California, and on this farm the family’s dogs had produced a litter of Golden Retriever puppies, and the family had offered to let Jason and Jessie come over to California and take their pick of the litter. Without even consulting me, Jason and Jessie did indeed get in the car and drove from Phoenix to California and picked the puppy of their choice and drove back to Phoenix.  They drove right to my house and took me out to the car, and there, in the back seat, I got my first glimpse of a 3-month-old male puppy, who immediately stole my heart.

This beautiful dog named Toby has become a central part of my life. He is 9 years old now. See the pictures above, showing him at the left as a 4-month-old puppy, and the way he looks today, at the right.  I have never for a moment regretted having him. I have many stories to tell about him.

The point of this story is to let people who are facing their retirement years know that having a dog is certainly an option that should be seriously considered.

Total: 2 Comment(s)
Rachel  Hello! Thank you for sharing such a beautiful story. My dog Peaches is lovingly referred to as our first grandbaby. Pets certainly fill our lives with joy, cause us extra work (at times) and offer us unconditional love. It's so worth it! I don't know what we would do without our Peach :-)
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Amy St Peter
Amy St Peter  What a wonderful story! Thanks so much for sharing it. We have a dog who is a very important part of our life. I can't imagine our family without him. I appreciate your heartwarming tale.
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Meet Frank

Frank was born in Chicago, Illinois in 1920. He has a Bachelor of Science degree from Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois, and a Juris Doctor Degree from DePaul University School of Law, Chicago. After serving in the United States Navy during World War II, he has worked  as an intellectual property attorney for the same firm for over 65 years.

After retiring in 1985, he has continued as a legal consultant for the company and has developed a second career, specializing in computer databases. He still donates his time at the Law Department and devotes considerable time and effort doing volunteer work on databases for the Research Library of the Phoenix Art Museum.

“My activities for the Law Department and for the Phoenix Art Museum keep me busy for most of my time and, in my mind, are responsible in large part for being able to stay healthy and live life to the fullest since my retirement in 1985.”

But that is not all that Frank does with his days. He, along with his co-author and friend Dan, published a book about Dan’s days as a solider during the campaign through Northern Europe during the WWII. In addition, more recently, Frank has written a new book named “TOBY-(He’s My Dog)”, which has been published and is available on-line from

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