All Our Children Meow and Woof: June 2007

All Our Children Meow and Woof

I created this blog to sort through my emotions as Finnegan, a great Irish Wolfhound, fought bone cancer for nearly 26 months. Fortunately, his battle subsided for many months and during the course of the 26 months, I shared stories about his feline siblings. On August 8, 2008, Finny passed on in my husband's and my arms. He fought the good fight and he will always have a special place in my heart. *If you have a question, please write me at finnegandog at gmail dot com.*

Thursday, June 28, 2007


And other cool stuff, I found that I am being linked from the Irish Wolfhound Society of Ireland. Mommy finds this particularly wonderful because she is half Irish-America, her dad is fully Irish-American, AND SHE JUST LOVES THE IRISH SO MUCH!
HI, ANDREW ON THE RADIO! Listen to Andrew on the radio! (not a cousin but a nice person!)

So if you find me from the Irish Wolfhound Society of Ireland, welcome! If you want to learn more about my cancer and treatment, please read June - July 2006 archives and October - November , also December 2006 archives. If you want to learn more about ME!, please read The Story of Finnegan Parts I and II. My mommy is working on Part III.


I'm blushing under my hairy face. Asta sent me a wonderful present with a lovely card. Mommy took pictures but she has not had time to upload them yet.

Thank you, Asta! You are the best!!!!

Monday, June 25, 2007

An Elderly Dog Needs a Home - QUICK!

If there is anyone in the NYC area who knows someone who could take an elderly dog on the euthanasia list at a shelter, please go to Breed 'Em and Weep and contact Jenn.



Thank you all for sending well wishes regarding the cat food incident. It was definitely traumatic but I am slowly recovering. Mommy has learned that my needs come before everything else. Speaking of needs, could someone tell me how I can turn down the sun? As a giant breed dog, it's harder for me to cool down and it is too damn hot outside right now. When I am inside it's fine but outside for just ten minutes? No thanks. I am thinking of purchasing this:(In case you couldn't tell, it's a solar powered safari hat with a fan)
Could someone distract my mommy while I pull her credit card out of her purse?

Friday, June 22, 2007


Excuse me, could you pass the ball of yarn? Thanks.

I know, I know. Mommy is an important person (hahahaha) with an important job (yawn) so she sometimes gets busy and forgets to do things. Critical things. Like buy my food. Mommy forgot to buy my food on Wednesday after a lonnnggg day of client meetings and other boring crap. So what did she do? She fed me cat food. I means it's food and she only fed it to me twice. So no worries. I don't think I will be doing happy feet, chasing mice, or purring anytime soon.


Tuesday, June 19, 2007

The Story of Finnegan

Part Two - I apologize, I would have written sooner but you know, I procrastinate.

Finnegan seemed like a typical puppy. Goofy, awkward, and the size of a Shetland pony. At the time we adopted Finnegan, let's just put it that it was not the most emotionally stable point in my life. I decided to stop working for a little while and I was trying to cope with the "crazy within my head". In case you are wondering, I am fine now. Finnegan can receive credit for helping me through this rough time. Walking, feeding, cleaning up after, and playing with a puppy can be great (and cheap! limited time only!) therapy.

Like I said, Finny was a pretty typical puppy. He ate, pooped, played, and napped. He liked to bound around the back yard with my neighbors' dog, acting goofy. One of his "goofy" behaviors included running full speed into the fence. At first I thought, okay, he's a puppy, they tend to be klutzy. Of course, my only other experience with another puppy involved Harris. His puppy behavior involved burying all of his favorite toys and barking at everything. And sleeping. A lot. Did I mention the barking? I did recall that Harris never ran full force into a fixed structure. Maybe this was just something Finnegan enjoyed. Who doesn't love hitting one's head?

Besides using his head as a ramming block, his eyes did not appear quite right. My husband does pretty funny imitation of it. Imagine Stevie Wonder's head bobbing but with his eyes shifting back and forth as if he has something to hide. For some reason, Steven Buscemi comes to mind. This shifty eye syndrome is technically called nystagmus and results when YOUR IRISH WOLFHOUND, WHO IS A SIGHT HOUND, CANNOT SEE VERY WELL. YOU KNOW, A BLIND SIGHT HOUND. THE KEY WORD IN THIS SENTENCE: SIGHT.

Once we realized something was not quite right, I brought him to the veterinarian for whom I used to work. He is one of my favorite veterinarians. Imagine a 60 something rugged cowboy with a shearling lined jean jacket and cowboy hat. Sort of like the Marlboro man but well, Mormon. The vet did a thorough examination of Finny's eyes and broke it to me:

Angeerah, the boy's optic nerves are not full developed. They are much smaller than they are supposed to be. I think you ought to see a veterinary opthamologist.

I have to admit that I was upset. Not just about the fact my dear Finnegan could not see very well but OH MY GOD I am going to bring my dog to a veterinary opthamologist. We made the appointment with a wonderful specialist and Finnegan had the whole examination on his eyes. She could not say definitely if his sight would worsen but she did say dogs could do just fine without their sight. Ah, yeah, I know! I have a blind cat.

So there you have it, I have a sight impaired sight hound. Cool right? I guess. He has gotten better at avoiding large obstacles like brick houses but he occasionally will run into a tree. I think his skull is extra reinforced because he recovers pretty well from these bang ups.

Enough with his disabilities, what about his abilities? Hold on I'm thinking... Just kidding. We took Finnegan to puppy pre-school and obedience classes as soon as he was old enough. Although he was not the top in his class, he did a good job. Especially with "heal" because he loved to be attached right to my side anyway. If possible, he would ride around in a snugly attached to my chest. Even now. As you can imagine, he is not so good with stay because that means HE MUST BE TWENTY FIVE FEET AWAY FROM ME FOR A WHOLE THIRTY SECONDS! Can you say co-dependent?

Finny graduated from both programs with gold stars and flying colors and only a few mishaps. I suppose I wouldn't call them mishaps, maybe just some quirky behavior. Part of puppy preschool was teaching the puppies to interact with one another without ripping each other's heads off. Finnegan, despite being the youngest pup, was the largest puppy. Shocking, I know. There was a Great Dane who was a week older but still smaller than Finny. Perhaps I had sheltered my dear puppy, I don't know, but when it came time to free play, where did Finny go? Out in the middle of the floor, getting rough and tumble with his buddies? Nope. He hid behind our chairs cowering like the boob he was. We tried to encourage him to play and he wanted nothing to do with it because of course, he would have to be more than three feet away from us and that was just unacceptable. This behavior lasted a few weeks and eventually he got the nerve to go out and play. Ever since, he has been the life of the dog park.

On a side note, I must say he was not as silly as the Borzoi litter who would come to his class. Because the school taught advanced obedience or something like that, there were mirrors all around like a dance studio. That's just what I need, watching my dog poop in the middle of the floor from three different angles! Okay, the Borzois were hysterical! When it came to free play, they did not just hang out with their mom or join the other puppies. They would immediately head to the front of the room where they could stare at their gorgeous reflections in the mirror. They would angle their heads, looking side to side, probably thinking, yeah, these bitches have nothin' on me. I think Finnegan agreed because he would often follow the Borzois around the classroom. Poor guy, he had no chance with those uptown bitches.

So it is what it is. Finnegan is a blind sight hound who loves the ladies and his mama. Who could ask for more?

To be continued...


Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Double Anniversary

It has been a whole year since I started this blog (with the help of my mommy) and from when I was first diagnosed with cancer. I have experienced more than I could imagine. From having my leg amputated to learning how to walk with three legs, it has been an ordeal for my family and me. I looked weak and sick from chemotherapy but surprised everyone in the beginning of 2007 by being stronger and looking, if I can say it, okay I can, abso-fucking-lutley gorgeous. My hair grew back, my eyes lit up, and I could take walks with my mommy. Of course, it has not been easy. My ability to climb up and down stairs is not great, although it never has been. Imagine a llama climbing up and down your staircase. But I am still here a year later, hanging in there. One day at a time.

I'm so glad I have met so many great dogs (and humans). It's been a fun year reading about all your adventures and insights. It's also been sad losing two good friends, Fufu and Breeze. Although we were very sad about their passing, it has also shown me how close everyone can become just over the Internet.

I hope to have another year with you all and look forward to meeting more wonderful doggies, kitties, and hamsters.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Just a Quickie...

But not like that. All is well in the Finnegan kingdom. My cupcakes were awesome except MY DADDY STOLE A WHOLE BUNCH AND ATE THEM! My mommy is the best baker for dogs. Ever. No question. Don't even try to dispute it because you are just WRONG. Don't make me get nasty. It ain't pretty. Just ask the naughty naughty boxer next door.

Mommy promised to make more cupcakes but she said I needed a break from them because I ate so many. She said too many carbs aren't good for my girlish figure. I tried to remind her that I'm not a girl but she wouldn't listen.

Let's see, what else. Nope, not much. I supervised Mommy while she planted the vegetable garden. It started to get too hot in the sun so I observed from beneath a nice shady tree. No need to exhaust myself. She planted something called heirloom tomatoes. I told her that sounded gross because I wouldn't want to eat really old tomatoes because they might smell like poo and I am not so much into poo. I know some of dogs are but not me.

That just made me think of Nanook and google searches. Hopefully no one will find my website by looking for obsession with poo. We are not scatologically oriented at this blog! Nope, none of that here!

By the way Fleas Gang, my Mommy did go to the University of South Carolina for grad school.

Thank you Cubby and everyone who donated to We Are the Cure in memory of my friend, Breeze.

Oh that note, must go back to my nap.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

The Story of Finnegan

From Finnegan's Mommy who loves him very very much:

As y'all (I went to grad school in South Carolina for one year so I can say "y'all" once in a while) know, today is Finnegan's birthday. Or at least I think it is.... I decided that I should write about how Finny became part of my husband and my life and about his interesting life. It involves Romance! Violence! Torrid Affairs! Fine, maybe it does not but I think he has a pretty great and interesting life. So here it goes, this will be Part I of the Finnegan Story.

In 2000, my husband and I lived in Salt Lake City. He worked as a post-doctoral researcher at the University and I was a veterinary technician. The head technician had a wonderful Irish Wolfhound named Tibet. Because the head tech traveled 90 miles one way to work - crazy! - she brought Tibet with her. It did not take me long to fall in love with this wonderful creature and I dreamed about one day being owned by a Wolfie. As a researcher, my husband worked long hours and because of this, I decided that I needed another four legged companion. Just so you know, we already lived under the rule of three demanding cats. I kept telling my husband that I needed a dog for company, exercise, etc. He worked sooooo much and it would be sooooo nice to have a dog. More specifically, it would be excellent to have an Irish Wolfhound. My husband knew Tibet and understood what a fantastic and amazing breed the Irish Wolfhound was. And of course, being that wolfies are not terribly popular, Tibet was the only Irish Wolfhound we knew at the time. We knew wolfhounds were big but thought big meant 32 inches tall at the shoulder and 105 pounds like Tibet. Little did we know, despite researching the breed, how truly HUGE they can become.

After calling around and asking for references, we found a breeder. She had a litter of eight puppies with only two remaining. I picked a red puppy who was quite adorable. She told us that the puppy would be ready to go in August and we started making plans and obtaining all the necessary toys, beds, bowls, food and enclosures for our soon-to-be new wolfie. At the time because we were, um, poor, we drove a stylish Oldsmobile Delta '88 with no air conditioning. We realized that it would not be nice to pick up a new puppy in the Utah desert without air conditioning so we actually rented a car for this very special occasion. Aren't we the best dog parents? Ever? Yes, I thought so.

Finnegan's breeder and I arranged to meet at a half-way point. Actually, it was more like a three quarter point for us but whatever. And oh yeah, I forgot, did we mind picking up TWO Irish Wolfhound puppies? Because the new parents lived in Reno and it's 150 degrees outside, airlines won't let folks ship animals. You think? Shipping an animal under the plane might not be a good idea? Good job airliners for once! So of course we agreed to pick up Finnegan and his sister.

The big day came and it was sweltering hot. My husband drove and I looked out the window, trying to imagine what he would look like at this point. After four hours, we arrived at our destination like nervous new parents. Would he love us? Would we love him? Would we do something wrong as new dog parents and leave him scarred for life? The answers are probably: yes, yes, maybe?

We walked up to her vehicle and she opened the door. When one thinks of a puppy, one envisions a small little fussy cuddwee baby who you can easily scoop up with one hand. A little itsy bitsy baby who makes cooing puppy noises and toddles around. Right? Oh hell no.

THUD! What the? Two large, goofy, and perhaps, if this is possible, beautifully homely puppies came out of the van. Oh. My. God. I thought we were getting young puppies? Like only ten weeks old? You know, um, puppies? What are these? Certainly they could not be puppies or at least baby puppies. But yes, the breeder assured us, they were puppies. We looked at them and looked at the extra large carrier.

Can we fit both of these, um, puppies in the carrier? Actually, we could and after saying our good byes, collecting our paperwork, and handing over a check, Finnegan and his sister were loaded back into the carrier and back to his new home. Both of them road very well in the car. Only a few times did the whimper or whine but mostly they slept. Sleeping soon became one of Finnegan's most favorite past times. Yes, he takes after his mother.

We arrived home and brought them out back where they sniffed, stretched, and romped around. Although they each weighed about 25 pounds, they were definitely awkward silly puppies. And they loved each other. After a busy evening of getting to know them, we tucked them into their bed within the carrier and smooched them good night. They slept literally, like babies, completely tuckered out from their long long tour. We did not hear a peep out of them all night. Wow! we thought, we have the perfect puppy. He sleeps through the night! He is sweet and cuddly and lovey! We scored big time!

The next morning, we brought them out, fed them, and watched as the two acted like little goofballs. In the afternoon, Finnegan's sister's new parents arrived to pick her up. She was a sweet little girl and we were sad to see her go. When I mentioned to my husband about having two sweet little wolfies, he looked at me like I was more nuts than he already new I was. Finnegan seemed a little sad and confused when his sister left so we took him outside and played with him, smooched him, and spoiled him rotten. Again, we tried to tire him out so he would again sleep through the night all tucked into his cozy carrier.

Yeah right. We got in bed and after a few minutes we heard a quiet little whimper. Okay, this is not surprising. He is alone in a new environment. He'll calm himself down. Again we heard, whimper...whimper... WHIMPER....WHIMPERWHIMPERWHIMPER...COME DOWN NOW AND GET ME!!! Of course, being the sucker I am, I ran down the stairs and comforted my little baby boy. I cooed and cuddled and he seemed to calm down. Again, up the stairs I went and all was silent until again: whimper...whimper...WHIMPER....WHIMPERWHIMPERWHIMPER. My husband and I agreed that we should not leave him down there scared and alone, and yes, there was no way we could sleep through that. So, I brought him into our bedroom with his bed and shut the door.

Satisfied, he fell fast asleep. And that is how Finnegan started his life with us.

To be continued...


Tuesday, June 05, 2007

My Mom Is Dim

Dear Mom,

For some reason you have it in your tiny human head that my birthday is June 12th. Well guess what. It's not. My birthday is TO-MO-RROW. The sixth. Not the twelvth. Yes, six plus six equals twelve, twelve is twice the amount of six, woof woof woof, but still. My birth only happened once. Unless of course you want to make me cupcakes on both days and then I will reconsider.

So you better get off your arse and start baking. I'm looking forward to my birthday cupcakes. TOMORROW.

With love,


Sunday, June 03, 2007

Cancer Is Cruel

From Finnegan's Mother:

Since I began writing on this blog, I have met some lovely people and their dogs via the Internet. One such person is a woman who had an Irish Wolfhound named, Breeze. I believe I introduced everyone to Breeze on January 4, 2007. Breeze was diagnosed with osteosarcoma in the same leg in pretty much the same location as Finnegan. She endured the same tests, surgery, and chemotherapy as Finnegan back in January and throughout the winter. So so sadly, cancer took Breeze too soon. Breeze died suddenly yet peacefully on Saturday, June 2, 2007.

Breeze's mother loved and cared for her more than you could imagine. She slept on the floor with her when she was weak. She purchased a special stroller/cart and modified it so that she could bring Breeze out and about without worrying about her becoming tired. When Breeze finished chemotherapy, they took a well-deserved vacation down the eastern coastline. There is a lovely video of her here where she is enjoying a warm day by a lake.

I want to say that I am so sorry for Breeze's family. My heart aches for you and I feel like I have lost a special friend. In Breeze's memory, I will make a donation to We Are the Cure. This is an organization that helps fund canine cancer research. I would ask all of you who can to please donate in Breeze's memory. Thank you.

Friday, June 01, 2007


Yes, I enjoy making up words. I'm a deep thoughtful Irish Wolfhound who is always thinking. Thinking about my next nap, my next treat, my next meal, my next pet. Yes, those thoughts consume my days and nights.

Finally, the humans have finished their STUPID project that left me seriously neglected. I am now the center of attention. Actually, maybe more than center as I take up most of the space wherever I lounge. It has been pretty hot out here and as you great big dogs know, we are not the most efficient creatures at cooling down. It takes a whole hell of a lot of panting to cool down 150 pounds of dog. That is where my servant, I mean Mom, comes into play. Her extremely important responsibility is to keep me cool and comfortable. (And fed. And loved.) This entails feeding me trays of ice cubes. Yes, that is right, trays. I have a unique way of chewing these fine cooling devices. Basically, I take the ice cube, tilt my head back, and chomp the ice in the corner of my mouth where my MASSIVE molars live. Usually, I few small pieces slip out. If I am lucky, they land on my remaining front leg (See. That was the sympathy card I just played.) and that cooling device called ice melts and cools me. If I am not so lucky and for some reason, Mommy does not appreciate this, the ice melts on the wooden floor and leaves little lakes throughout the living room. Not my problem. I am cool and relaxed at this point.

So far, my Public Service Announcement has worked and there have been no explosions; however, I have heard rumours of electrical explosions in the sky where there is a bright light and then a BOOM. Mommy has told me that those types of explosions cannot be stopped even with a stern letter by yours truly. I'm thinking a nice glass of Irish whiskey might be in order to help me cope. And a valium. And ear plugs. And a nice well stocked bunker approximately 1,000 feet below ground.