Katy pays tribute to a dog that was washed away while riding with his owner to save lives. Now Frank the bulldog will always be a part of Katy's Harvey history.
KATY MAGAZINE I October, 2017 Katrina Katsarelis
On August 27, Frank the bulldog was riding on one of the rescue boats when he was swept away into the flooded streets of Katy, and a grief stricken community rallied for days to find him.
When David Scherff, 35, a San Antonio resident heard about the flooding from Harvey, he knew immediately he wanted to help. He collaborated with two Military men he knew who felt the same way. They packed up their pick up trucks, hitched their boats, and headed east on 1-10 toward Houston. "We had no plans to stop in Katy, says Scherff. "But we kept hearing stories about people that were stranded and needed help so we decided to stop."
He loved people, kids, and dogs
By his side was his trusty companion Frank, an English Bulldog, who Scherff rescued three years ago. The two of them were inseparable ever since. Scherff, who runs a speed shop in the San Antonio area, took Frank to work with him every day. Frank enjoyed outdoor adventure and being in the thick of the action. "He had the kind of personality that loved people, kids, and other dogs" says Scherff. "He wanted to be around all of that."
Scherff says the day he was loading up to go to help in Harvey rescues, Frank instinctively seemed to know something important was going on. Although Scherff hadn't planned to take him, the dog followed him and was raring to go.
Dog and man overboard
While Scherff was helping with rescue efforts, his fishing boat hit an object hidden, knocking his beloved bulldog overboard into the dark fast moving waters. A fellow rescuer, Tim Donovan, instinctively jumped in the save Frank, but the current swept the dog and Donovan away in a matter of moments. Donovan was able to climb up a tree near Midway BBQ and shoot his gun three times in the air to alert rescuers that he was alive. Frank the bulldog was nowhere to be seen. The area where it appeared Frank was swept away was not accessible by boat and despite desperate attempts, nobody knew how to help get there.
The search continues
For the next several days, Scherff and his friend, Fernando Montalvo, spent every day in Katy searching for Frank. As reports of the missing bulldog made the news, the community was also heartbroken. Many Katyites stepped up to help in the search. One volunteer offered her tracking dog named Nugget to help try to locate Frank. On September 4, eight days after Frank was swept away, Nugget successfully picked up the scent of Frank. His remains were found about 150 yards behind Midway Barbeque. Frank was partially hidden under some flood debris. Scherff and Montalvo were there when Frank was found. The two men softly picked up Frank and wrapped him up in a blanket. They put Frank in the truck to take him home to San Antonio for burial.
An important piece of Katy's history
An event is being held on Saturday, September 23 in the Katy Dog Park to pay tribute to Frank the bulldog that will forever be a part of Katy's history. A bulldog rescue group has scheduled a Tribute at the Katy Dog Park on Franz Road. David Scherff is driving in from San Antonio to be there.
Grateful words for Katy
Scherff is back in San Antonio now, but had so many kind words for the people of Katy. "I‘ve never seen anything like Katy. We helped people in Beaumont and lots of other areas too, but Katy was amazing. Neighbors were going from house to house checking on people and helping everyone they could." Scherff said that despite the amount of loss and devastation, people in Katy were still positive about the situation and looking for ways to help each other. "I was so impressed I even had thoughts of moving there."
EPILOGUE: Although Scherff felt he wouldn't be ready for a dog for quite some time, a rescue pup found him on September, 19, 2017. Meet the newest addition to the Scherff family. "Pound Cake" is a 15 week old deaf, bulldog puppy. She is now getting lots of love and helping to heal a few hearts. "She's sweet and loves to be held like a baby," says Scherff.
Tribute to Frank the Bulldog
Sat. Sept. 23 10 AM-12 PM
City of Katy Dog Park 5418 Franz Rd, Katy, TX 77493
Katrina Katsarelis is the editor-in-chief of Katy Magazine. She is excited about the idea of memorializing Frank with a monument or marker in the Katy Dog Park.