Articles Index/Letters to ANTIC
Posted 09/02/08

Letter to ANTIC

For many years Jody and I raised Norfolk Terriers. We were very fortunate early on to meet Joan Read who introduced us to ANTA and prompted many trips to the annual galas on the East Coast. Living in Texas at the time, that was a long trek, but it was quite fun once we arrived. We stopped breeding and showing many years ago, but will always treasure our associations with ANTA members and their wonderful terriers.

During those years we bred a dog which we gave to my sister shortly after my father had passed away in 1994. He was a very special pup (aren't they all), named Fairways Franjalas Frankie. Franjalas was my father's kennel name which represented dad, Frank Cunningham, me, James, and my sister, Lea Ann Stringer.

Lea Ann took to Frankie immediately; who wouldn't fall for the cutest puppy on the planet. She soon taught him to ring a bell, which was placed on the floor by the back door, when he needed to go out. She rewarded him with a treat when he gave the `potty ring'. As expected, he needed to go often to keep that supply of treats coming. This became a lifelong habit, additionally entertaining many a guest, including Lea Ann's bridge groups.

Frankie became quite the character. He was the prime user of the pool, a mainstay at all the kids' sporting events, trips to the ocean and a very adored family pet. Over the years he was her constant companion and after a divorce and after the three children flew from the nest they became even closer.

The little dog went everywhere with Lea Ann and was doted on not only by my sister, but by her many friends as well. Lea Ann is quite a picture taker and she included Frankie in all the family photo ops. Her children often referred to him as the most photographed dog in the world.

When Lea Ann and Frankie came down this past fall from their home in Cockeysville, MD to visit us on our farm in Rome, GA, my sister-in-law was here with her Great Dane. Frankie had great fun keeping her in line. He also enjoyed the company of our two remaining Norfolks. It was a very nice, energetic, yet peaceful canine outing.

This winter, Frankie became ill and after a brief period, passed away.

Not all Norfolks make it big in the show ring or wow the crowds at agility. But they all look adorable and warm the hearts of their owners. Frankie was certainly a "Best Pet" to Lea Ann and her family.

Jim Cunningham
Rome, Georgia

ANTIC, June, 2008


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