What was rewarding, though, was volunteering at the local animal shelter. "I just go mad for the dogs," she says, particularly the old ones with gray or white faces. "Normal people have a reaction to puppies," she says. "Old dogs are my calling." She spent hours walking an old basset-beagle mix named Heidi — and was heartbroken to arrive at the shelter one day and learn that her furry friend had been euthanized.
Research shows that old dogs over 7 are often considered "unadoptable" and put down even if they are in good health with friendly personalities. Motivated by grief, Franklin became committed to changing that statistic, even though her job experience entailed managing salons, cutting hair and (generally speaking) dealing with humans. "It was a leap of faith," she says. But, "I had a burning feeling that I had to try."