Last night, I received an email from Frank.
The missive began with some friendly salutations, was cheerily phrased, insisted on unilaterally shortening my name to Phil, and ended by asking if I knew whether any “hot Poodles” read Dogster. So, pretty much your standard inbox fare — except Frank is a dog who purports to give out life advice to other dogs, which he communicates by tapping away on an antiquated Macintosh computer.
Having sensed that this is his grand calling in life, Frank has turned himself into something of the Internet’s agony uncle, answering emails from confused pooches around the world (and deigning himself to respond to the occasional cat).
In the interests of improving the lives of both yourself and your dog, here’s a transcript of my correspondence with Frank.
Dogster: Why did you decide to start giving out advice to other dogs?
Frank: Well, making humans smile is my mission in life. I’m good at it; like really good at it. My friends would always say, “Frank, how are you so good at making humans smile?” and “Why are you so good looking?” (Okay, they didn’t really say that last part. But I do look good.)
Then I realized some of my furry friends struggled to make their humans smile. I couldn’t let that be. Inside every dog and cat is the ability to make a human happy. Sometimes, my furry friends just need a little extra help to make it happen, and I want to give them that.
Can I ask what qualifies you to be giving out life advice to other dogs?
That’s a good question, Phil. Making humans smile isn’t just a hobby — it’s my life’s work. I own a business called From Frank that produces greeting cards and gifts all made by me and my four best furry friends — Walter, Big Louie, Lulu McFluff, and Izzy — with the sole goal of making humans smile.
I’m also a certified therapy dog: I visit hospitals and rehab centers and participate in a children’s reading program at our local library.
Throughout my work, I’ve gathered experience on just what does and doesn’t make a human smile. I’ve even written a book on the subject, Don’t Fart When You Snuggle: Lessons on How to Make a Human Smile, which is on sale now at Amazon. (Shameless plug, I know.)
Less of the shameless plugs please, Frank. Let’s get back to the script: Can you remember the very first piece of advice you gave out?
Well, it was accidental advice, really. You see, my good friend Big Louie farts a lot. One day he was sitting against the baseboard in our house and let one rip. As that fart bounced off the baseboard with magnificent loudness, a lightbulb came on for me: I said, “Louie, do you think you can do that again when our human gets home?”
He was like, “Yep.”
So we tried the technique on our human, and she laughed so hard. And that’s how I discovered that farting on baseboards makes your farts way louder and more awesome. It’s a technique Big Louie still relies on and that I still recommend to my friends today.
I’m not entirely sure that qualifies as actual advice, Frank, but let’s keep this moving. What’s the weirdest situation you’ve been asked to advise on?
One friend asked me if it was OK to hump his sister. It’s actually a valid question since they weren’t from the same litter. But as a rule, I don’t recommend humping housemates.
Keep it classy, Frank. So, what sort of feedback do you usually get once you’ve given a dog some advice?
Generally, my advice works most of the time, every time. Sometimes results are instantaneous. And sometimes the advice takes a little longer to pan out. For example, last I knew, my friend Barry was still waiting for the beans to kick in.
That just seems to be another link to you talking about farting as a solution to all of life’s little problems. Let’s switch it up. I noticed from your website you seem to use a clunky-looking, old-fashioned computer. Any plans to upgrade from the ’80s anytime soon?
I use a Macintosh SE – MC68000 processor, 1MB of memory, 1.4MB of high-density disk capacity, and a 9-inch screen. If it’s not broke, don’t fix it, Phil.
How does a dog go about typing on a keyboard, Frank?
Well, I YouTubed “How to type on a keyboard with paws.” Oddly, I didn’t find anything very helpful. So I just taught myself. The hardest part is when sometimes you want to type, say, “hot dog,” and it turns out as “has fog,” which doesn’t really make sense.
Your bio boasts that you’re “quite the ladies man.” Which celebrity dogs do you have your eye on?
Guilty as charged, Phil. I love all the ladies. But if you’re making me pick, I would have to say my particular favorites are Toast, Maddie the Coonhound, and Sadie Tripawd. The tongue, the legs. C’mon, man.
I suspect you might be out of your league with those classy ladies, Frank, so let’s go back to the reason why you do all this. How would you advise other dogs to go about making humans smile?
I’m gonna get deep here for a minute, Phil. Come with me. So, when you make a human smile, it makes them happy. Happy humans make other humans happy. And then these other happy humans make more humans happy. It’s like a chain reaction that can spread like wildfire.
You still with me, Phil?
And all it takes to start the reaction is one human smile. It’s simple and small, but powerful. My advice to my fuzzy friends would be: Just have good intentions. If your goal is truly to make your human smile, and you really want that deep down in your little fuzzy heart, then no matter what technique you try, no matter if you get it right or wrong, your human will see your intentions and ultimately smile.
So, what makes you smile, Frank?
Has fogs. Ugh. I meant hot dogs. See?
Mosey on over to Frank’s website to read up on all the life advice you could possibly want. And some stuff about farting.
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