RIP Frederick, November 9, 2006 - October 18, 2020
Animal Stories from All-Creatures.org

FROM Gary Smith
October 19, 2020 Facebook Post

Living with two dogs who had spent their entire five years of life living in a cage and literally in hell, having terrible things done to them was a true honor.

Dog Frederick

Frederick passed away yesterday morning (Sunday) around 11:25 am. He died one month and one day short of his 14th birthday and a little more than a month before he landed in Los Angeles (and my kitchen more specifically) from Spain, nine years ago.

We took in eight of the forty beagles that were released from an animal testing lab in Spain that was shuttering. We turned our kitchen into a beagle sanctuary. What we hadn't anticipated was that these dogs would be nearly feral.

From the first moment we met Frederick we fell in love. Most of the dogs were aggressive towards him and were constantly trying to hump him. He was shy, timid and an easy target because he wasn't feeling well.

Kezia and I would take turns sleeping in the kitchen with all of the dogs. Freddie would cuddle with us. He was only interested in us. He followed us around and was the sweetest being.

We adopted Freddie and his brother Douglass and made them a part of our family. Living with two dogs who had spent their entire five years of life living in a cage and literally in hell, having terrible things done to them was a true honor. I wouldn't have traded that experience for any amount of money in the world and all of the fucking pain I am experiencing at the moment.

Freddie and Douggie were incredible ambassadors. We gave talks at middle schools and his presence changed those student's lives as well as their teachers. We had business cards made up that told their stories and the evils of animal testing. And we gave them out on walks, at pet stores, outings, etc. And people told us that they would make changes.

Beyond all of that, Freddie was the sweetest, kindest, little soul. Everyone who met him would say the same. There was something truly remarkable and special about him.

I want to say more. To honor his life properly, but truthfully I am hurting. My heart is broken. I have lost my best friend. I didn't know I had the capacity to love a being so deeply. Maybe when I feel up to it, I will do a better job of expressing how special he was.

Frederick and Gary
This picture was taken the night before Frederick passed...

I just wanted to let all of you know of his passing. Some of you met him and some of you have been following his story since he arrived in the U.S.

Thank you to everyone who cared.

*******

This is what vivisection looks like. Meet Frederick and Douglass.

vivisected Dogs

They were rescued from a vivisection lab in Spain. We don't know what evil was done to them. What we know is that they spent five years in a cage, without exercise and without love. Freddie and Douglass are only two of hundreds of millions of animals around the world who are victims of vivisection. They are unique, because they made it out alive. Sadly, hundreds of millions die during vivisection or are murdered when they are no longer needed. Somewhere between 70 and 80% of vivisection is performed for products like cosmetics, shampoos, lawn fertilizers, cleaning products and more. And please tell everyone you know about the evil of vivisection.

 

ADDENDUM, November 9, 2020:

I was scrolling through my FB Memories this morning and a few posts came up for Freddie's birthday. For many years I had mixed up Frederick and Douglass' birth dates. I thought today was Douglass' day. We consulted their passports (yes, my dogs all have passports) and indeed, today is Frederick's birthday.

He would have been 14 today. This would have been his ninth birthday as a free person. The first five were spent in a cage in a lab in Spain.

When I realized it was his birthday, all of the sadness and grief came rushing back. And I was overcome with it all. Actually I was extremely sad and grief-stricken on Saturday and Sunday, maybe because a part of me knew that today was his birthday and he was no longer here to celebrate.

I had started a letter to Freddie a couple of days after his passing, but had to stop because it was just too much. I went back to the letter yesterday and completed it. At least I think it's complete.

For now.

The letter helped me to remember so many beautiful memories we shared. To remember what a beautiful being he was. To honor his life and our life together.

Grief is such a difficult space to exist in. The pain, the sadness and the longing are all just so present, and the last thing you want to do is be present in and with so much pain. Yet I have come to realize that when your heart is ripped apart, it is also ripped open. And an open heart is a beautiful space to live in, though not an easy place to reside.

I miss Freddie like crazy. I miss so much about him, his smell, his smile, his pawing my back while I meditate, his love of head rubs, the Tummy Show, his displacing the pillows on the couch as he tried to build a fort with them, his allowing Josephine to use his butt as a pillow, tossing apples or garbanzo beans at him in the kitchen, barking at me as I put my shoes on to leave the house (he never thought I would return, I guess), so many memories...

I am so grateful for the close to nine years that I was able to live with him. He taught me so much about myself, about love, resiliency, strength, growth, overcoming fears, exploring life, being content with what is. He was such a great friend. I will never forget him.

Happy birthday, my dear boy.


Return to: Animal Stories