The Story of Finnegan
I felt a little French was necessary for Finnegan's other lady friend, Sophie. And don't worry Meggie, Finny loves you too. He is just an attention whore. Many apologies all around for any other lady friends we are forgetting.
Once Finnegan made it past the awkward puppy stage and I made it beyond the neurotic nut job stage, Finny grew into a handsome dog. He became a tall muscular boy with spurts of crazed energy. Alas, he developed and carefully crafted the crazed puppy routine. This routine could be dangerous for several reasons. First, our back yard was small and he had a tendency to run into things. Second, if he failed to pay attention to his surroundings AND TO HIS PEOPLE HELLO I'M RIGHT HERE!, he would collide with whatever unfortunate person got in his way. Fortunately, it did not happen too often.
Because he became more exuberant and playful, I decided that I needed to find an outlet for this new found energy. After talking to some folks, I found out there was an off-leash dog park fairly close to our house. Initially, I felt uncomfortable with letting him run around in public without me attached to his climbing rope leash. And then I remembered, he was the quintessential Velcro dog who rarely wanted to leave my side. So then I began to wonder if he would even enjoy the experience of the dog park because he might be too chicken to interact with the other dogs. Well, he wasn't chicken and if I called him, he would run FULL SPEED WATCH OUT SH*T! back to his loving mama. Both of us made lovely friends at the park, every type of dog from a Chinese Crested around whom Finnegan would gingerly walk to the most well-behaved Staffordshire Terrier one could possibly meet.
The dog park became my regular social event in the evening. Because my husband worked late, I would run home, change into something more comfortable (and no, a negligee is not what I mean), and have Finny hop into the car to head to the dog park. Everyone talked with one another and the dogs would race furiously after each other. Finnegan would join in the chase but because of his vision problems (I classify being nearly blind as a vision problem), he was usually at the end of the pack. Despite trailing behind, he had the time of his life every day he went there. I must say that going to the dog park was truly one of my favorite ways to unwind after a long day and I really miss it. I know Finnegan, being the social butterfly he is, misses it too.
Besides playing, Finny can also win contests. He's not fancy and he can't do obstacle courses or super special advanced obedience competitions but dammit, he can win prizes based on his size. Every year, Best Friends Animal Sanctuary or their local counterpart has a fundraising event called Strut Your Mutt. Basically, hundreds of dogs would walk around Sugarhouse Park and dogs and their humans would find sponsors to raise money for the sanctuary. Usually, we went with friends and enjoyed seeing all the interesting breeds. Finnegan says he liked the butt sniffing best.
Besides strutting, the event held competitions for Longest Tongue, Waggiest Tail, and of course, Biggest Lap Dog. Finnegan could probably win all three of those competitions but his specialty was Biggest Lap Dog. Unfortunately, the competition was rigged his first year and he did not win. We believe steroids might have been involved with the winner. Just speculating! Finnegan did return in 2002 to defeat the competition as Biggest Lap Dog. He won something probably involving treats or food. It was a momentous event at that time in his life and he demanded to have an entourage follow him around at all times. The best we could come up with was the three cats, Donald, Lilly, and Mr. Stinny, and once in a while me. After getting past the glamour and excitement of being a champion, Finny returned to earth and went back to what he does best, relaxing, eating, and romping in the dog park.
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