You may have noticed that my books are published by Frankie London Publishing. Granted, the company is not Penguin Random House or Simon & Schuster, but I believe in giving the little guys a chance. More on that later.
Before I introduce you to our Cattle Dog/Husky/Doberman/German Shepherd/Boxer/Pitbull mix rescue pup, let me tell you how she became Frankie London.
Back when I was working in the radio broadcast industry, I picked up an alias. Frankly, it was quite liberating. I never particularly liked my name—Annmarie. It’s been slaughtered through the years with an array of misspellings and mispronunciations, and I never felt like it fit. I grew up wishing I had a boy’s name like Joey, Sammy, Danny, or Frankie. When it was time to choose an alias, which I prefer to refer to as a stage name as it sounds less criminal, Frankie London was born. She established her own persona through the years of a woman who was fun, strong, courageous, unbridled, uncensored, and a whole lot of sassy.
During the height of COVID in 2020, we lost our beautiful, gentle giant, Effie. She lived a great life, but after numerous leg surgeries and old age stealing her joy, she let us know it was time. When she passed, her brother, Benny, was impacted more than we expected, showing clear signs of depression and loneliness. With a friend’s help, I was introduced to a dog rescue out of Illinois. I stalked their Facebook daily, looking at dogs that were scheduled to come to Wisconsin from their high-kill shelters across the U.S. Then one day, she appeared. Hazel.
Hazel, we learned, was the only dog in her litter to survive Parvo, proving she was brave and courageous. There was also something in her eyes that led me to believe she was sweet but sassy, curious and whip smart. So, I pulled the trigger and filled out the forms. After much vetting and fretting, we were finally informed by the rescue that we were chosen to be her forever parents. When I hung up the phone, a bit of panic set in. It has with every dog we’ve ever adopted. After all, it’s a big commitment and change to the family’s dynamic and routine.
Weeks later, there we were in the early hours of the morning, driving across state lines with mugs of coffee in hand and hearts in our throats. It’s hard to describe how excited, yet nervous, I was. The meeting place was a gas station that had an adjacent field. COVID restrictions prevented us from going to their facility. Shortly after pulling in, a van pulled up. A good half dozen dogs were unloaded by volunteers, all clearly eager to meet their future families. My eyes darted from dog to dog, like looking for your child in the school chorus.
Hazel jumped out of the van looking bigger than the picture and a lot more confident that I expected. I have to admit, I had another brief moment of panic. Was this our dog? Was it meant to be?
Our assigned volunteer handed me Hazel’s leash and instructed me on how to introduce her to Benny. Before we knew it, my husband and I were parading Hazel back and forth past him, initially not stopping to engage. The volunteer watched their interactions, including the hair that had mohawked across Benny’s back.
I should share that Benny has never been enamored with other dogs, usually more dismissive than aggressive, but definitely not a dog park pooch. And at the age of eleven he has become even more set in his ways and a bit persnickety as far as what he’ll tolerate. But as Hazel pulled past him, stopping occasionally to give him a look before moving on, I watched his demeanor change. The fur on his back flattened, his nose began to twitch, and his ears perked up. If I could read his mind, I would go as far as to say that he was not only curious about her, but even a bit entertained, though he’d never admit it.
On the long drive home, I stared at the new addition to our family, confidently curled up in the new dog bed I’d just purchased. I repeated her name over and over again in my head as I stroked her forehead. (Do dogs have foreheads?) Anyway, it dawned on me that, as much as I actually liked the name Hazel, the name didn’t fit her.
Well, you know what happened next. Yep…I relinquished my alias. We had just adopted the real Frankie London.
To give you an idea of what a character Frankie is, the family nicknamed her Frankster the Prankster. I suspect that it’s the Husky in her DNA that’s most dominant. The breed is known to be funny as well as incredibly vocal, and Frankie is most definitely both. I look forward to sharing future Frankie stories with you.
Frankie London Publishing was born out of the necessity to create a “publishing” company to assist with my new fiction-writing endeavors. It’s made up of great vendors, a patient and helpful husband, and loyal and talented friends. From web design, to branding, event marketing and technical support, I am blessed to have a great team working with me to help get books onto shelves and into your hands.