My story starts at the very beginning of Finnegan’s time on earth. Actually, it starts a week and a half before he even took his first breath.
Daisy was entrusted with me as a foster dog. When she came to my home, she was VERY pregnant. We were ready for her to pop at any moment, literally. She came to work with me, I had a camera on her, and I hardly left my house in preparation of her labor. And I showered her with love the entire time. Watching the puppies move around inside her belly was so exciting and heartwarming. I was in love with all of those puppies before they were even born.
I made Daisy multiple nesting spots around my apartment. When the day finally came, wouldn’t you guess it, she picked my bed. 6 little boys, all so different in coloring, were born either in my bed or in the little kiddie pool I had set up for her. And boy, was it a long evening. Daisy started her labor at around 4 in the afternoon, and the first puppy was a little black boy. I named him Emmett. By around 10:30 that night, Daisy seemed like she was settling down after having 5 puppies, so I went to bed. Surprise! I woke up to a 6th little boy, and this one looked the most identical to his momma.
I spent the next 8 weeks helping Daisy raise those puppies. I already knew I was going to keep one puppy, and while I pretended I had no idea which one would stay with me, most people who knew me during this experience knew the only brindle puppy had stolen my heart from the minute he took his first breath. So, 8 weeks later, everyone except Finnegan, known as Edward at the time, went to their forever homes. Two of them were even adopted together, and I get to continue watching them grow!
My adventure with Finnegan isn’t just one moment in time that we spent together. See, my bond with Finnegan began because of a heartbreak I had experienced just a week before Daisy came to live with me.
My first puppy, a cute little husky mix named Chance, passed away tragically at 6 months old. I was devastated, and for a week, I swore it would be a long time before I had another dog again. I ended up agreeing to take Daisy on, obviously, and even during that time, I mourned Chance so much. Finnegan was a gift to me, actually, from the rescue coordinator in an effort to help my grieving process. While I was excited to offer another dog my heart, I was doubtful I would be able to create the bond I had with Chance with this new puppy. Boy, was I wrong. Finnegan inserted himself into every aspect of my life so quickly.
The first thing he did was pick Chance’s bed as his favorite sleep spot. Seeing this tiny 8 week old puppy asleep on a bed 10x his size was not only amusing, but healing. Seeing that things I thought would only ever be Chance’s give comfort to another dog was amazing. And Finnegan loved that bed. He slept in it after his puppy zoomies, he laid on it with his toys, and he would sometimes even fall asleep with his toys still in his mouth.
The other thing Finnegan did that I think was the most important and crucial part of my healing was demand my attention, 24/7. He was like a baby, honestly. He always needed to know where I was, and if I moved, he was following me. He needed constant stimulation and training, so all of my waking hours were devoted to keeping him busy somehow. I knew early in that he was going to be a very high energy dog, so giving him something to do all the time was incredibly important. It also required me to walk him more and simply spend more time wearing him out. I didn’t have as much time to think about how sad I was about losing Chance. Instead, I was thinking about how important I was to this puppy all the time. And to this day, 2 years later, that hasn’t changed. Finnegan still follows me everywhere. If he’s not bothering the family, he’s asleep on my lap. We even set up his crate for bedtime right next to my side of the bed so he could fall asleep knowing his momma was right next to him the whole time. He is my little shadow, and I can feel the love he has for me every single time I look at him.
He may require my undivided attention 100% of the time. He may require me to exert energy when I’m exhausted and just want to sleep after work. He may drive me crazy with his hyper dog antics. But he loves with his entire 45 pound tornado of a being. Every day with Finnegan is an adventure, and I never know how he’s going to test me next. But I do know that every day will be filled with unconditional love. And trying to be the person who deserves that love is my greatest adventure.