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Franklin roll over regular | paws for reflection When it comes to having fun in the sun, Franklin is a pro. Whether running on the beach with dad Jason, paddling in the ocean or cruising with his neighborhood pack, the 10-year-old Boxer is known for his sunny disposition and boundless energy. “Franklin is a friend to all,” says Jason. “He’s one of the happiest dogs I’ve ever seen.” With his shining personality and easygoing nature, Franklin is the perfect co-pilot for Jason, who flies in the United States Air Force. The beloved Boxer patiently awaits his dad’s return during deployments, but loves to fly civilian by his side. In fact, Franklin is so good at taking a bite out of life, it’s easy to forget he’s now surfing on three paws. When Franklin was a puppy, he loved to run fast — “Greyhound fast,” his dad recalls — but arthritis and osteochondritis dissecans (OCD) in his right knee stopped him in his tracks. Stem cell therapy helped him pick up his pace, but over time Franklin’s yelps showed something was amiss. Jason sought out specialist Dr. Mark Rochat at Purdue University, who biopsied Franklin’s left knee and discovered that a flesh-eating infection had consumed the soft tissue inside. When rounds of medication couldn’t clear the disease, Franklin underwent a full biometric knee replacement. “My buddy has been there for me,” Jason says, “and I always want to be there for him — to give him the absolute best.” For Jason, that meant seeking the very best veterinary treatment and protecting Franklin with pet insurance. After many claims for his best friend’s care, Jason is happy to have opted for Petplan protection. Franklin’s BioMedtrix knee had him walking on sunshine for a few years, until a run-in with a playful pup knocked him sideways. So he went back into surgery, this time for a custom cobalt steel knee designed by BioMedtrix with scientists at Cambridge and Oxford. Recovery seemed in reach until Franklin’s surgeon spotted a staph infection at the incision site. “I couldn’t put him through any more,” Jason says, and calls the decision to amputate Franklin’s leg “the hardest thing I ever had to do, but the easiest decision I’ve ever had to make.” Fortunately, Franklin has taken to life on three paws. After a long journey, the happy Boxer is recovering well and remains a steadfast ray of sunshine. When he’s not hitting the beach, his robust physical therapy routine includes hydrotherapy, acupuncture and laser treatments, and he finds plenty of time for play. Neighborhood dogs join Franklin for rides in his wagon, or follow as he makes tracks in his Walkin’ Wheels chair. As he rolls out for a stroll with a big Boxer grin, it looks like Franklin will have plenty of sunny days ahead. Walking on Sunshine by andrea q. fetterman “My buddy has been there for me... and I always want to be there for him — to give him the absolute best.” 64 fun in the sun issue


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