December 5, 2012
My little old man is doing well
He is now 14 years and three months
Eating with great gusto
Sleeping up a storm
Trying to run outside still
Falls down and usually gets right up
He's doing the underwater treadmill at Fitter Critters and going further and harder each time
He's here with me and I am amazed to see him live life with all the limitations associated with old age with such vigor and grace
He's living his life
Finn at 14
I can't believe it! he turns 14 on September 8th and he's still here!!
My wonderful old man keeps chugging along
The breathing is getting hard and he has a permanent head tilt now
So it is clear that he is finally in decline
But Finn keeps on going
His body is betraying him but his spirit is still vigorous and strong
He eats with great gusto
Travels around the yard with a bit of a stagger but he makes it to where he needs to go
Smells all the smells
Falls down and gets right up again
I am in awe of him and he breaks my heart
Just a simple little dog with such an amazing spirit
He changed my life forever
Thank you Finn
Finn at 13
Quietly, without any fanfare, Finn turned 13 today
I don’t believe it
It crept up on me when I wasn’t looking
My hearty, balls to the wall, go go go boy is 13!!!
He has packed a lot into those years
Finn has done it all—he is titled in Field, Tracking and Agility.
He was a certified Therapy dog at one year
Probably my proudest times have been when Finn got to use his talents to help others.
He volunteered at a Psychiatric hospital for children for years and was so good at it he was written into the treatment plan.
Just as he wouldn’t suffer my training miscues Finn has no tolerance for kids who can’t play
Kids are meant to play!
So Finn always arrived with his back pack full of balls and toys, spread ‘em out and got to town
No matter how sad and withdrawn his child was he would encourage and bow, stare hopefully and twirl until he got a response,
Not this toy? Maybe this one? How about a toss on your lap—come on! come on!
Hearing a child’s laughter in the halls of a state hospital because this little dog brought it out remains one of the most wonderful sounds I can remember
And the sobbing of Finn’s last child being told we were moving and Finn wouldn’t be coming any more still wrenches my heart
After 9/11 Finn took all of the above and went with me to the Family Assistance Center in NYC to offer support to the families who had lost loved ones
And again, I followed this brave little creature with absolute terror in my heart and watched him work and play and bring so much relief and joy to such a profoundly sad place
So many losses
So impossible to fathom and come to terms with what happened
But Finn knew
People are people
Even when things are very bad and all hope seems lost, a good game of ball can be just the right ticket
I remember my gasp of horror when he walked up to a woman signing a death certificate and plopped his ball on her lap and then backed up play crouching, tail wagging—Come on! Take a break! Here’s a nice ball and ME!
I tried to apologize and pull him away but she turned from her sad task smiled broadly and then—Game on! She played!
Once again he brought a spark of good times and normalcy to a troubled soul
This amazing boy has been the love of my life and has brought so much to me
I am very grateful for him
He lies on his bed under my computer desk now
His sight and hearing aren’t as good as they used to be
He runs with the youngsters and still gamely tries for the ball every time
Although he is slower
He will still take off to track something interesting in the woods and I wait for him to come back on the trail with my heart in my throat
Because he is getting old
And I am afraid he will exhaust himself or hurt himself
But I let him go every time
Because he is Finn
And life is short
And you have to play!