I was 17 at the time. A typical teenager, going through usual teenage things; high school drama, stress from school, being traumatized from my favorite character dying in my favorite TV show. Graduating from high school, and having no idea what to do next. You know, the typical teenage crisis’s that made me think my life was ending. I call this point of my life, my pre-midlife crisis.
I was having a rough year, you could call it. I lost my childhood best friend, and honestly; I felt really alone at this point in my life. Have you ever felt like you were alone? Even when you were in a room full of people? That was what this whole year felt like for me. I needed a change in my life. I knew that people were easily able to hurt me emotionally. As much as I hate to say it, people are not genuinely kindhearted like they should be. I had a really bad falling out with my childhood best friend. She was the person that I did everything with. The only person that I was truly so comfortable with. We grew up together, and were basically joined at the hip. Seriously, people would ask about the other one if for some reason we weren’t together. Everybody in our school knew about us. Not to sound cocky or anything, but people wanted a friendship like ours. That’s how tight this bond was. Losing that friendship was really hard on me. Unfortunately though, there was nothing we could do to save that friendship.
I went through a pretty rough patch in my life for a while. I remember one night, I was laying in my bed looking at pictures of dogs. That was when it hit me… I needed a dog! A dog wouldn’t leave me, and let's be honest, a dog needs a human way more than a human needs a dog. Well, I was wrong about that. I needed a dog a lot more than a dog needed me. I scrolled through every shelter website around me; I found nothing. For some reason, I was determined to find one that night. Which is how I ended up on Craigslist. Yeah, I was that desperate. I scrolled for hours until I finally found one that caught my full attention; he was a Chihuahua/Pug mix. I checked the location for where he was located. Beaver Falls, which was about an hour away from where I live. I had this gut feeling that I needed this dog though. I contacted the owner; her name was Lisa. She told me that the puppy was still available, and asked if I wanted to come see him in the morning. I asked God, “If this dog wasn’t meant for me, then why is this lady up this late and why would she ask me to come see him on my only day off?” Every sign led to me getting this dog. I agreed to come see him; I shut my laptop off, and went to sleep.
The next day I got up super early. I told my mom that I was going to get my ring sized and that I would be home that night for dinner. I stopped at the Sheetz ATM to get $200 out for my soon to be puppy. As I got back in my car, I realized that I didn’t want to road trip by myself. I called my Gug (my grandma), and explained to her that I needed her to leave work and come with me somewhere because I didn’t want to go alone. She obviously did not like the sound of this, so she left work immediately and met me at Sheetz. We left her car there, and were soon on our way. About 15 minutes into the car ride, my Gug turned to me in the car, and asked, “Shaylin, where are you taking me?” I hesitated to answer the question; I didn’t want her to yell at me. She guessed, “Are you getting another piercing? You don’t need any more piercings.”
I rolled my eyes. “No Gug, I’m not getting another piercing… Yet.” She gave me a disgusted look.
“Then what are we do-… YOU ARE NOT GETTING A TATTOO ARE YOU?!”
I laughed, “No Gug, I’m not getting either of those.” She crouched over in the seat with her arms crossed. I could tell she was getting frustrated, but I couldn’t blame her.
“Shaylin, you’re going to give me a heart attack. Can you just tell me what we’re doing? You basically kidnapped me; I deserve to know where I’m going at least.”
I laughed again and replied, “You’re right… I’ll tell you.” I paused for a second. Wondering what her reaction was going to be when I actually told her. “I’m getting a dog.”
She gasped. “Ah! Are you really?! Oh no… Does your mom know?”
Not knowing how to respond to this question without lying to her, I just didn’t answer.
“SHAYLIN! You’re going to get me in so much trouble!!”
Literally while she was in the middle of this sentence, my mom called my Gug’s cell phone. She looked to see who was calling and immediately her face turned whiter than a piece of paper.
“Should I answer?” She asked me in a panic.
“Yes, just don’t tell her that you’re with me.”
She picked the phone up, and told my mom that she was at work and wouldn’t get off until later that night. After hanging the phone up, I could tell that my Gug was definitely stressed out about this idea. By the time she could even ask me, “How much longer?” My GPS was telling me that we were at our destination. I grabbed my phone to text Lisa, telling her that I was in a grey Jeep Grand Cherokee, so she knew what to look for when she got there.
A couple minutes later, a dark blue mini-van pulled up beside me. A bigger lady got out and proceeded to ask me if my name was Shaylin. I told her yes, and she shook my hand very firm and said “Nice to meet you, I’m Lisa.” Before I could even respond, a little girl came walking around from the other side of the car with the tiniest little puppy in her hand.
“This is for you,” she said, as she handed my Gug a puppy that fit just in your palm. I gasped at how little he was; he was the size of a hamster.
“Do you like him?” She asked me.
“Oh my gosh, yes! I love him!”
“Great!” She said. “Here is some extra food for him, this is all he can eat right now because he is so tiny."
“Thank you so much, Lisa! Here’s the money for him” I said, handing her the money with probably the biggest smile on my face.
I took my new little buddy in my arms and started on my way to his new home. My Gug played with him the entire ride home. On our way home, my Gug asked me what I was going to name him; surprisingly enough, I hadn’t even thought of a name. All I thought about was that I wouldn’t be alone anymore. Something was going to love me, and need me in its life. She looked up a website to give me name ideas. She read them to me in alphabetical order. ABCDE… until finally, we reached the F’s. Finnegan, she said. “STOP!” I yelled. That was it, that was his name. I have never been more sure of anything in my life. That was supposed to be his name. I knew from the second I saw him that he was supposed to be mine. This dog was easily the best thing that had happened to me. To this day, two years later. This dog is my whole world. The most loving, affectionate, and protective kind of love that I have ever felt. I needed him when I was in a dark place, and I need him even on my good days. I truly believe that this dog saved my life. The bond that we share today isn’t even describable by words. Their love, is truly one of a kind. This dog's purpose was to save my life, and that’s exactly what he did.