Frankie wasn’t just a pet; he was my savior, my anchor in a storm that seemed endless. He filled the void my parents’ departure had created with his unconditional love and unwavering loyalty. Knowing his presence was a constant in my life, I installed cameras in my home to stay connected with him, ensuring he had food and water if my work kept me late.

He loved treats, belly rubs, and all forms of affection, becoming the center of my universe. To me, Frankie was more than a dog; he was the most important “person” on Earth.

When I met my girlfriend, Leslie, I was upfront about Frankie and our special bond. She seemed to understand, and over the three years we were together, she and Frankie developed a trusting relationship. Everything was going well until we started discussing moving in together.

One evening, as we browsed listings for a house that could accommodate our future dreams — kids, a pool, and studio spaces for work — I jokingly mentioned how Frankie would be our practice child. She laughed but then, to my utter shock, stated seriously that Frankie couldn’t come with us. I laughed it off, thinking she was joking. However, her stern face made it clear she wasn’t.

The argument that ensued lasted hours. I stood firm, unwilling to compromise on Frankie’s place in my life. “My dog saved me, and he’s coming with me, no matter what,” I said, emphasizing that I would never abandon him. She left in anger, and for two days, there was silence between us.