All Our Children Meow and Woof: The Story of Finnegan

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.*

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...



Blogger Johann The Dog said...

Oh - HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! So glad I found your blog today. Hope you have fun!

12:15 PM  
Blogger Blue said...

Happy Birthday Finnegan!
Found out about your special day via mutual friends @ Kerio's "Blogs from Blogs! And, still, didn't realise I visit you too - who's stupid as that???? ME!

Extra pats to you

12:42 PM  
Blogger Kerrio said...

Oh boy - did you cook THAT goose!

And let me guess - He's never slept alone since?


How can you say wolfies are not very popular?? SLANDER!

1:00 PM  
Blogger Asta said...

I loved weading your stowy, I bet you were totally adowable as a gangly pup..I'm not 9 months yet,and I weigh about 17 lbs, and some people say I'm huuuge,,geez,
smart Finny to get Momand Dad to take you to their room, nobody likes to be alone
ps. you can only wear the cork hat if you don't mind looking totally silly, hehehehehehehe
stay well my darling Finny
smoochie kisses

3:19 PM  
Blogger wally said...

What a great story! Do you have any baby pictures? What a great story. Happy Burpday Finnegan! Sounds like you found the perfect family. Good job!


ps. My ma ape laughed at you weaseling your way into the 'rents bedroom. She said the puppy when she was just a puppy did the same thing. And, of course, I started as a dog that could sleep in the bedroom but not the BED. Ha! That lasted. A day or two.

8:57 PM  
Blogger nm said...

Happy Birthday Finnegan!

I love your story! I have never slept with my moms except once when I was sick and they came and slept with me.
Apparently the room where they sleep is up the stairs and they also keep the ginger cats up there to terrorize me.

The basement is where they keep the crocodiles.

I wait with baited basset breath to hear the rest.

Smooches and face biting my friend!


12:59 AM  
Blogger Stanley said...


Awwwww. What a bootiful story... you little stinker! I would love to see puppy pics of our Finny! Bring them on!

I'm dancing around the pooter just waiting for the rest of this story. Bring it soon...

Goob love,

9:59 AM  
Blogger Girl Girl Hamster said...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY to Finnegan. So glad he found a great home with you guys

~ girl girl

5:55 AM  
Blogger Asta said...

Hi Finny,
I'd love to come visit you , and I know you wouldn't step on me I love handsome tall boys, and you certainly are that!!plus you're awfully it far to run to your house from where I live?
I am also waiting to hear the next installment of your great stowy. I hope you have a wonderful weekend, I love you and send you smoochie kisses

1:35 PM  
Blogger Cubby said...

Happy birthday, Finny!

3:04 PM  
Anonymous Emma said...

Great story...waiting for the next installment. I wrote a piece about PugPei's adoption a couple of years ago. I might have to dig it out and post it.

11:30 AM  
Blogger Nanook The Newfoundland said...

Awwwww...Finny you must have been a doll baby when you were a wee lad! I demand pictures!

8:53 AM  
Blogger FleasGang said...

We can't wait until Part II!! So what grad school is SC did you attend. We live in Columbia home of the "LameCocks" (spelled incorrectly on purpose)

The FleasGang

2:27 PM  
Blogger Asta said...

You could absolutely have pawfect jammies made just for your size and your three bootiful long legs!
Butchy and Snickers' Mama makes custom made stuff for doggies, that's where I got mine..I bet she'd loove to make you some, and you'd look cuddly and vewy handsome in them.
Hope you're feeling well, and had a good weekiend, love and smoochie kisses from your Asta

2:55 PM  

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