Pit Bull Loves To Be Serenaded By His Dad

“He requires kisses and pets throughout, and he has also been known to fall asleep on my lap while I play guitar or piano for him.”

franky listening to luke westerman play piano
Franky listening to his dad, Luke Westerman, play the piano | Luke Westerman
Franky listening to his dad, Luke Westerman, play the piano | Luke Westerman

Franky is a 9-year-old pit bull with a unique favorite activity. He absolutely loves to be serenaded by his musically talented dad, Luke Westerman, of Columbus, Ohio.

Luke Westerman playing guitar for Franky
Westerman playing guitar for Franky | Luke Westerman

“Franky has always loved when I sing to him or play an instrument,” Westerman told The Dodo. “He’s been doing this since he was a pup. He just melts into a deep rest while enjoying being serenaded.”

Westerman, who plays guitar and piano, said Franky will sit as close to him as possible while he performs — often directly on his lap. “He requires kisses and pets throughout, and he has also been known to fall asleep on my lap while I play guitar or piano for him,” Westerman said.

luke westerman holding franky
Westerman holding Franky | Alisha Westerman

However, Franky’s cozy life could have turned out quite differently. Before he was rescued at just a few months old, Franky was living in New Orleans, Louisiana, when Hurricane Gustav was about to hit in 2008. Westerman and his wife, Alisha, had recently decided that they were ready for their first dog, and specifically began searching adoption websites in New Orleans with adoptable dogs.

puppy by the pool
Franky as a puppy | BR Little

“After [Hurricane] Katrina and the devastation there and all the displaced dogs, we knew we wanted to rescue a dog from that area before he became another victim,” Westerman said. “Once we saw Franky’s photo we knew he was the one, so we had him flown from New Orleans up to Columbus — which we only did because time was of the essence due to the incoming hurricane.”

puppy staring at camera
Luke Westerman

Now, Franky splits his time with the family and their other rescued pit bull, Dino, between Columbus and their farm in the country. “Franky and Dino definitely go wherever we do,” Westerman said. “They love the farm best though, as do I.”

two dogs dressed up as easter bunnies
Dino (left) and Franky (right) dressed up for Easter | Luke Westerman

Even when Franky isn’t listening to his dad play instruments, music is still a huge part of his life. “He’s always loved music,” Westerman said. “In fact, we have specific playlists for when the boys nap (everything from Debussy to Dave Matthews) or play with toys (everything from opera to Daft Punk).”

dog smiling on a sunny day
Franky in the city | Luke Westerman

For example, the pups love playing fetch to the tune of Wagner’s “Ride of the Valkyries,” according to Westerman. “It doesn’t matter if they are in a deep sleep — when that song starts playing, they jump up and run to their playroom and grab their ball or toy,” Westerman said.

dogs playing frisbee in the snow
Franky and Dino playing Frisbee in the snow | Luke Westerman

Franky isn’t the only one who loves his dad’s music, though. Dino, who is 7 years old and suffers from anxiety, really benefits from it. “My singing and playing really relaxes and calms him — which is why I try to do it regularly,” Westerman said. “They are a fantastic audience.” 

dogs listening to dad play guitar
Westerman serenading Franky (front) and Dino (back) | Alisha Westerman

Aside from listening to music, one of Franky’s favorite activities is making friends. “Franky has never met a stranger,” said Westerman. “He gets so much happiness from interacting with people. He loves meeting new people and he always makes their day as well. This trait is so very prevalent in pit bulls.”

man hugging his dog
Alisha Westerman

When friends come over to visit, Franky will immediately pick up a ball and try to coax them into playing “Monkey in the Middle” with him.

dog holding ball in his mouth
Luke Westerman

Other favorite activities of Franky’s include going for ice cream …

dog waiting for ice cream
Franky waiting for ice cream at his favorite spot | Luke Westerman

... and sipping on Puppuccinos with his brother Dino.

dogs drinking Puppuccinos
Dino (top) and Franky (bottom) enjoying Puppuccinos | Luke Westerman

Franky is giving back to his dad in many ways, too. Westerman is a prominent activist for animal rights, particularly pit bull types, and has founded, cofounded and worked with dozens of animal welfare organizations — including Ohioans Against Breed Discrimination, Columbus Pets Alive and The Humane Coalition of Ohio. He works to end breed specific legislation (BSL) in Ohio, is engaged in drafting anti-tethering legislation in Columbus and surrounding cities, fighting against puppy mills, and advocating for dogs who are homeless or in abusive situations.

man hanging out with his dog
Westerman and Franky hanging out | Alisha Westerman

Most recently, Westerman and his wife Alisha began selling shirts with educational, rescue-inspired slogans through their new company, Animal People — which donates a large portion of its profits to animal rescue efforts.

Alisha Westerman with franky wearing an Animal People T-shirt
Franky with his mom, Alisha Westerman, who is wearing an Animal People T-shirt | Luke Westerman

“Franky started all of this,” Westerman said. “He’s a hero, and I owe him my passion and conviction for animals in need.”

man pointing to his dog
Westerman with Franky | Alisha Westerman

“Once we adopted Franky, [Alisha and I] immediately became aware of the horrors of pit bull discrimination,” Westerman said. “He was so tiny, friendly and precious, yet some ignorant people would still make foolish statements. We made it our mission to educate everyone we came into contact with so they could learn the truth about this misunderstood but absolutely amazing breed.”

dog posing in front of painting
Franky posing with his commissioned <a href="https://www.deanrussoart.com/" target="_blank">Dean Russo</a> painting | Luke Westerman

Most of all, though, Franky just likes to be near his dad. “Every single day is the happiest day of Franky’s life,” Westerman said. “He really knows how to live. He lives in the present and is an eternal optimist with an infectious zest for life. I simply can’t imagine my life without him. He’s definitely my soul mate.”

You can follow Luke Westerman on Facebook to see more pictures and videos of Franky and Dino, and to learn more about what Westerman is doing to protect animals through various organizations.