Goodbye, Finnegan

Me, Keith and Finnegan in the summer of 1999

Last week, my brother Keith and his family had to say goodbye to their yellow Lab, Finnegan.

Finny was 11 1/2 years old. She had been ill for awhile. It was time.

But knowing that it’s “time” still doesn’t make it any easier.

I remember meeting Finny when she was just weeks old in late 1996, a little butterball with soft yellow fur and droopy puppy-dog eyes. She was, really, my first “niece” and we bonded very quickly. I loved going over to my brother’s house to visit her and play with her.

When Keith proposed to Nicole, his girlfriend at the time (now his wife of almost 10 years!), Finny was there. Keith videoed the proposal, and you can hear Nicole say, “Finny, now I am going to be your real Mommy!”

When Keith and Nicole had their first child, Taylor, I was honored to be in the delivery room with them, videoing my niece’s birth and taking pictures. I so vividly remember my brother holding his first child, and through tears, saying, “She’s going to love Finny.”

And she did. And so did their second child, Andrew. We all loved Finny.

When I got my first “baby” Ryder, I couldn’t wait to introduce her to her big cousin – and first friend – Finny. Ryder loved Finny. She would climb and jump all over Finny, who, true to form, would patiently let her.

When Steve and I started dating, and I was lucky enough to become a doggy mom to Bismarck, too, I couldn’t wait to introduce him to Finny. I remember bringing Bizzy over to Keith and Nicole’s house and watching Finny, Bismarck and Ryder all play together in the back yard.

As time went on, Finny started getting arthritis and had a hard time walking. Eventually, it got worse and she couldn’t even walk anymore. My brother would lift her up and carry her outside to go to the bathroom. It broke all of our hearts because other than that, Finny was still that happy, smiling, tail-wagging puppy she had always been. She just simply couldn’t move anymore.

Last Thursday Keith and Nicole made the tough decision to let Finny be free from her pain.

And with that, doggy heaven gained another angel.

I know Bismarck was waiting for Finnegan at the Rainbow Bridge, and the two of them – both free from any pain – are playing together just like the first time they met.

Finny waiting for a treat in my kitchen, 2006

Goodbye, Finnegan was last modified: March 15th, 2010 by Jane Couto Govednik
SHOWHIDE Comments (14)
  1. My heart is broken. I know what love it takes to make the most sad decision for our beloved animals. They look at us with such trust, love, honor and strength… and they tell us when it is time. I truly believe this will all my heart.

    Finny is romping and rolling and frolicking right now with cousin Bizzy, Uncles Carmel and Cracker, and great-uncle Chippy. I can just see them now, running through flower beds, chomping on wooden lawn furniture, drinking from water buckets, stealing people food, peeing on newly planted shrubs, digging in freshly tilled soil and smiling, with lots of dirt on their paws and noses… and that makes me ecstatically happy.

    I love you all!

  2. Aww. It’s never easy you are right about that. Ginger is 11 now and I know the time will come, but you just never are prepared. Hugs to you all. I’m glad Bizzy has a new friend at the bridge though.

  3. Janie –
    Wow. I cant beleive you remember all of this. We are terribly sad. But, we do know that Fin is with us and is running around and playing with Bizzy, Cracker, Carmel and her other puppy friends who have passed. She loved YOU so much Janie. There are very few people who love “other peoples” dogs as much as you do….!
    Today, Andrew got an airbrushed tatoo and when the woman was putting it on (he picked a bulldog on to be placed on “his muscle”) she asked if he had a dog. Andrew said “Nope. She died”. It wasnt funny. But he was so matter of fact about it, that we sort of smiled at the simple example of how life does move forward no matter how hard it is. Thanks for a beautiful tribue to Fin. Love, Nik

  4. Jane,
    This is beautiful. Oh… I loved Finny! I remember the day they got Finny, you and I were SO EXCITED that Keith and Nicole got a puppy!! And she was adorable… I think I must have held her about a million times. She was such an integral part of their family… they were a family unit before they had kids of their own with Finny. And it was awesome!
    Thanks for this… you gave me a nice smile this morning thinking about the Finner!

  5. Jane,

    Thanks so much for remembering finny. She truly was an amazing dog. I never thought that a dog would mean so much to me, and she really wasn’t just a dog. She was our family. Until Taylor was born, she was our only child. We did everything with her. I used to love to go to the park after a snow storm and watch her run as fast as her short little legs would take her and slide over a patch of ice or just try to bite at the falling snow. She was so groomed to be a part of Taylor and Andrew’s life. Never did she try to do anything mean spirited to them or any kids. She let them lay on her, wrestle her, etc. The kids called her their sister. She was a great part of our family. I will never ever forget her.

  6. This breaks my heart. I’m never good at saying goodbye to dogs. I was traumatized when our cocker-terrier died. And now, I dread the time when our cocker-spitz’z time will come.

  7. Oh gosh, Jane! This post had me bawling my eyes out!

    The bond between dogs and their humans is just so special. There isn’t a day that passes that I don’t worry about Chance’s fateful day 🙁 I try to spend as much quality time with him as possible, but I still can’t help but worry about the day we lose him.

    It’s been a while since I’ve checked out some of my fave blogs. I think I’m suffering from withdrawal right now!
    Brilliant post, as always! I love the photos!

    When you’ve got a moment, pop on over 🙂 I’ve got something for you on my blog!

  8. Oh I’m so sorry. You have been through such loss lately. 🙁

    You know I understand this pain. The anniversary of Copper’s passing is nearing and I’ve been finding myself crying out of the blue. That pain never really goes away. I hope Copper gets to meet him and Bismarck and romp around with them in doggie Heaven.

    God bless Finnegan, and all those that love him.

  9. I’m so sorry and I can relate. We had a black lab, Maddie, and she was 15 when we finally had no choice but to let her go. My husband would carry her out to use the bathroom too and she couldn’t walk either. 🙁 She had cancer and kidney disease.

    We ended up putting her ashes in the lake in front of our house. The same lake she would sneak off to for a quick swim. The best part is that as we came back to shore, I got out of the boat and my husband flipped the boat on accident and landed in the water. We still say he was taking one last swim for Maddie.

Goodbye, Finnegan was last modified: March 15th, 2010 by Jane Couto Govednik