Frankie Christelli

Frankie Christelli

Age: 11 years

Breed: Golden Retriever

Status: Angel

Received Wings: September 2022

Diane’s beloved mom spent the final years of her life in an Assisted Living and Memory Care facility and would frequently tell Diane that Frankie, her Golden, had come to visit her. It wasn’t Frankie, however, but various dogs from a local therapy team, and she just lit up talking about it.

This was all the inspiration Diane needed. She and 10-year-old Frankie trained and soon became a therapy team themselves! Never was Diane happier and Frankie more excited than on their first visit to an Assisted Living and Memory Care facility, where he played with the other therapy dogs and then received the undivided attention of several grateful residents.

Still very much a puppy at heart, Frankie has his own puppy – a stuffed animal — that he carries around in his mouth and rests his head on when he’s tired. Whenever the doorbell rings, he runs and grabs his puppy, and there’s no barking because he’s eager to share his puppy with whoever is visiting. Then, each time his puppy’s is in the washing machine, he paces outside the laundry room, waiting for it to come out. While most stuffed animals haven’t lasted long with Frankie, this one, particular golden puppy has lasted for years.

Despite slowing down due to his age, Frankie loves playing with a tennis ball and would do so for hours, but Diane has limited his playtime. And yet, he’s still the only dog at the dog park who ignores the other dogs in favor of playing with that tennis ball. His favorite activity now is going for walks and the dog biscuits that come at the end of them.

Building on the positive experience of their visits to the Assisted Living and Memory Care facility, Diane looks forward to bringing more joy to even more of the new seniors she and Frankie meet.

Hearts of Gold Therapy Team


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