Jim passed away on October 29th
“He didn’t run away when I got cancer.
Jim Yogoda and his companion dog, Frankie Blue Eyes, share a special bond that no illness or diagnosis can break. According to the 58-year-old, who called Los Angeles home for most of his life, Frankie takes care of him.
After all, Frankie has been a faithful companion that has stood by Jim’s side as he bravely lived with HIV for the last 28 years.
Recently, life threw another curve ball at Jim and Frankie. Jim was diagnosed with Stage 4 Prostate Cancer, which spread to his bones, and doctors informed him that he had only 3-6 months to live.
Jim’s first fear was the thought of losing Frankie. He couldn’t bear to imagine life or death without his loyal friend.
“When Frankie came into my life, that was the best thing that ever happened,” Jim said. “I’ve got a true friend. And, he didn’t run away when I got cancer. He actually came closer.”
Frankie knows when Jim is in pain. On those bad days when Jim had to spend time in the hospital, the dog with the blue eyes came to visit him. When Jim received the terminal diagnosis, Frankie’s role became that much more important.
“I know he’ll be there until I die,” Jim said. “He’s a good a boy.”
Now that Jim’s cancer is advancing, he admits that he’s alone a lot. But, Jim says that life with Frankie is still really sweet.
“Without Frankie I wouldn’t be,” he said. “He loves me unconditionally. That’s something I never had.”
Prior to his cancer diagnosis, Jim feared the thought of one day losing Frankie. Now, he worries what will become of Frankie once he’s gone. Fortunately for Frankie and Jim, a friend and caretaker will adopt Frankie Blue Eyes once Jim is gone.
In the meantime, a PAWS/LA volunteer named Wendy Newell has stepped up to help the duo. She takes Frankie out for long walks and adventures a couple of times each week and keeps him social.
“One day I got an e-mail from PAWS/LA saying that a gentleman and his dog in my neighborhood needed help,” Wendy says. “It was my zip code and my backyard, so I had to help.”
Wendy says that helping a neighbor is very gratifying.
“It’s important that Frankie gets out and gets his time to get his energy out,” Wendy says fighting back tears. “That way Frankie can come home and take care of Jim.”
Jim is very grateful for Wendy’s help. He says that Frankie loves Wendy, and often will wait by the door on the days she’s scheduled to come.
“He loves it,” Jim says. “We love the fact that someone would take time to volunteer and help us.”
Jim wants to thank PAWS/LA, its supporters and volunteers, for ensuring that his best friend will be by his side always.
“Without PAWS/LA I might have been forced to give up Frankie years ago,” he says. “I hope that never happens, because without Frankie there would be no me.”
Jim passed away on October 29, 2016. Frankie Blue Eyes was with him until the very end.
To help preserve families and friendships like the one that Jim and Frankie shared, please consider making a donation to PAWS/LA today.