Finnegan - Rat Terrier

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Update: Finnegan has found his forever home. He has joined Amber to live in the most wonderful, loving family. We've heard from his new moms that he is doing very, very well. He has made friends with three cats and he and Amber have become best pals. Apparently they've trained their humans to take them out in the car to new venues for their daily walks. Clever dogs! Before Finnegan and Amber headed back to their new home near Victoria we had the chance for a picnic and a long walk in Rebecca Spit Park on Quadra Island with our friends Sue and Marie, Finnegan, Amber and our new foster dog, Dexter. It was a great day and the dogs loved being at the beach. We sure do miss him but Noel and I couldn't be happier for our little friend, Finnegan. June, 2011

Update: Finnegan has had his second oral surgery. They didn't have to pull as many more teeth as originally thought. He only had to have one additional extraction. He has finished the course of antibiotics and his mouth has healed up nicely. We're getting to know this little guy better now he is no longer in pain. He's not fond of being cold so tends to like being curled up in a warm place indoors (preferably a lap) but, when he is outdoors, we have gotten to see his playful nature emerging. He will sometimes join in a game of chase with the other dogs and will play with a ball, tossing it up into the air and chasing it. We are quite sure there is some Whippet in his genetic makeup as he runs like a greyhound. We're still working on an occasional tendency to be a bit possessive of food, water or affection when he feels another dog is infringing on his territory. He continues to be 100% with his house training. We're happy to report that he's gained 1.5 pounds in the five weeks he's lived at our house. He will let you know if there is an intruder but is otherwise a quiet and calm fellow. He's going to make some lucky person a great little companion. April, 2011

The latest member of our household is Finnegan, our ninth foster dog and a terrier cross. Finnegan came to us from a shelter in Chilliwack. He had quite a day on March 17th. Someone drove him from Chilliwack to Abbotsford, then someone else drove him from Abbotsford to Surrey, which is where I picked him up and he rode home to Vancouver Island with me on the ferry. It was a long and stressful day for a little dog in a lot of pain. Since he came into our lives on Saint Patrick's Day we decided he should have an Irish name, hence Finnegan.

We don't know anything about Finn's history other than the fact that he was picked up as a stray, is probably at least eight years old, was not neutered and had a mouth full of teeth in terrible condition. I got him in to see the vet immediately to determine whether he'd be able to withstand the anesthetic necessary to address his need for dental care and also the neutering procedure. He was given the all clear when the results came back from his blood work panel. On Friday, March 25th, he went in for the procedures. That day they extracted 11 teeth. His mouth was in such poor condition that many of the teeth nearly fell out. He will have to return in a few weeks to have a couple more teeth extracted. The neuter surgery went well and he also received a micro chip while he was unconscious. He's now recuperating nicely. We've finished up with three days of pain medication and will continue with a course of antibiotics. He'll go in for a follow up next week.

Finnegan in the yard

When Finn first arrived at our home, he was in a great deal of pain and feeling quite stressed and a bit protective of himself, which is entirely understandable. He did not seem to be house trained and lifted his leg on the furniture indoors on a few occasions. We used a belly band on him until the day he had his surgery. Since then, we are happy to report, he has not had any more accidents in the house nor done any more marking behavior inside, though he does still like to mark a lot of things in the yard. We expect to see the marking behavior diminish with time now that he has been neutered. Finn is really good walking on the leash and riding in the car. We suspect his hearing might not be too keen but it may just be that he has not learned to be responsive to humans. We are already seeing a much more responsive demeanor as he learns to trust us. Since his surgery, he wants to snuggle in my lap whenever I'm sitting down. The rest of the time he spends curled up in front of the wood stove. I'm sure we will see a more active and playful Finn once he is all healed and feeling better. He's a very sweet little fellow, gets along great with all the other dogs he's met in our house and doesn't seem to be at all interested in our cat when he's seen her. We've witnessed a little bit of food aggression so we are working to discourage that behavior. He may have been in a situation, previously, where the dogs had to fend for themselves when it came to getting enough to eat. He is very, very thin at the moment so we are giving him three meals a day until he fills out a bit. Finn is a handsome, sleek, elegant little dog with striking black and white markings and some lovely brown accents. I think he's going to make someone a wonderful companion.