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Susan Palmer

Posted 5 days ago - 2.6 minute read

For years he had spent his mornings at the local dog walking park with his much loved sausage dogs – all 3 of them!

He would wander around chatting to all the other dog owners, checking how they were going and remembering their important dates. He was quick with a smile and always sharing the lemons from his abundant frontyard lemon tree.

His fellow dog walkers knew his name was Frank. They knew he lived alone and did not have any close family. And they knew he lived in the street behind the park with the big lemon tree out the front.

Frank was a much loved member of the dog park community. You get to know people really well when you spend every morning with them… rain, hail or shine.

One morning last year, Frank was not at the dog park.

The regulars commented on his absence… he had not said anything about going away or any change of plans from his regular routine.

The second day came and then the third… and still no Frank. They were becoming increasingly concerned and began asking around unsuccessfully to see if anyone had Frank’s contact details.

At the end of the week a small group of regulars were huddled at the side of the park talking about Frank and what they needed to do to make sure that he was ok.

It was decided that one of them, Aleshia, would walk home via his street and knock on his door just to see if everything was ok.

When she reached his door, she noticed the car for the community nurse in the driveway and became even more concerned.

As it turned out, Frank had a nasty fall over the weekend and had broken his ankle in two places. He could not walk and, with little upper body strength, could not get around on crutches.

Confined to a wheelchair or bed, Frank had become reliant on community nursing and meals on wheels just to get by… and his recovery was going to take many more months.

The community nurse was thrilled to see Aleshia as she explained that Frank had told both his medical and the community support teams that he was totally on his own and he did not have anyone in his life that could help him during this time.

Can you guess how this story goes??

Aleshia and the other dog park regulars did not agree with Frank that he had no one to help. They were very clear that they were his people. They were his community. They were here to help.

Frank’s dog walking community created a Gather My Crew account and set up 3 months of care for Frank and his dogs. They provided company, dog walking, shopping and meals.

They initially shared the load among the small group of 11 people who initiated the safety check on Frank… but as other semi-regulars dog walkers heard about Frank and the support crew that had been set up… his community grew to 27!

27 amazing people looked after Frank until he was well enough to get back on his feet and back to the dog park.

And he thought he was all alone…

People are incredible ❤