Why Boris was named Boris?
“Dumped, abused, neglected, starved, left tied up in yards when their owners move away, or tossed out of moving cars by their family, the very people who once loved them, named them and raised them. That was the story of so many of our seniors, before we took them in. Just like humans, a dogs' power of association is strong, and so when they come to live with us, we make everything new. New family, new friends, new homes...and new name. No more associations with the past, a fresh new start full of love, life, hope and comfort for every single one of them. Boris was named after the screen legend Boris Karloff who, despite being best known for playing Frankenstein, was a sweet and kind gentleman, beloved by all who met him. We thought it fit our 'big ole bucket-headed boy' to a T!”
Boris was not the first dog to come to the cabin, nor was he the inspiration behind it, and yet, Boris turned out to be the singular most important dog we have ever had at the cabin because of his where his journey started, where it ended, and whom he helped along the way. This big ole bucket-headed dog, with wonky legs, dreadful skin, and breath so bad it could bowl you over, was waiting for us at the shelter when we went looking for dogs to come live at Frankie and Andy's Place. At 14 years old, he had had a very hard life; indentations around his neck signaled to us that he had been tied out with a cruel device as a collar, callouses on his body showed he had never laid anywhere soft, and years of untreated flea infestations, heartworms, teeth that had never been looked at let alone treated, legs that didn’t work and a swollen testicle so big that it made grown men weep, had all taken their toll. A tough case for sure, but one that we felt was perfect for our mission, which has always been to take the cast aside, the unloved, the neglected, and give them a happy ending.
Boris joined our cabin family in the summer of 2016, a few months after we had opened, and very quickly became the go-to dog for any dog who needed a friend. Whether it was a large female Weimaraner mix or a tiny 3-pound chihuahua, every single dog in the cabin felt that Boris, with his affable nature and kind protective ways, was 'home'.
The curve of his belly was always available for the tiny nervous senior hospice pup in a thunderstorm, his big ole bucket head was a climbing frame for his smaller friends and his mouth was always available to lovingly lick anyone who needed a parental touch.
Boris was a healer, a friend, a brother, a father-figure, playmate, and, in equal turns, available for high jinx and adventure.
With humans, he proved to be equally as talented, his beautiful head laid on a weary lap enabled many of our regular visitors to reduce their anxiety medications, or to build social confidence as they chatted about their problems with Boris by their side.
Boris was the dog who at first seemed to have nothing going for him, but who turned out to have greater gifts than any other dog we have ever known, and taught many other dogs how to heal humans.
Boris was the 'Everyman dog', and we ALL were deeply under his spell.
Now, in 2021, five years after we opened our first cabin, three years after we opened our second, we are ready to open a third cabin and expand the healing, both of dogs and the community, with our mission. Naming a cabin after Boris is the most natural next step after first Frankie's, then Andy's cabin. The dog who gave of his heart and soul to anyone in his path right up until he died, whether two or four-legged, became the poster boy for our mission and a most beautiful living lesson in how much we could achieve if we just put love first.
The new cabin will be home to five or six larger dogs and will be as luxuriously appointed as the other two.... with comfy chairs, flooring that’s easy on the old bones, HVAC and soft cushiony dog beds scattered everywhere.
Boris would most definitely approve!