It is with an extremely heavy heart that I inform the list of the loss of our beloved Kerry, Finian.
Finian, 10/12/98 - 11/15/10
Fin was not only the most difficult dog I have ever lived with, but the most wonderful animal that has come into my life, a life that has been enriched by animals since I was a small child. Difficult!? Let me explain. Finian was one of those Kerries that can give Kerries a bad rap. At the age of about 18 months, his dominance started to surface. He began to have issues: guarding his space, food, and possessions, as well as being aggressive toward other male dogs. After he bit me more than once, some advised us to put him down. Others advised us to re-home him. My husband and I did not feel that was the way to solve the problem and so we worked on finding a solution. We loved Finian very much. After a few failed attempts, we found the perfect trainer, and she taught us how to manage him. That was over nine years ago. Life with such a dog requires constant management, and picking your battles. Ah, but the rewards of living with such a dog are so great. There is something very special about them. It was humbling to live with such an intelligent dog.
Everything was a game to Finian, and because of his presence, even the most mundane chores became fun: making the bed, doing the laundry, emptying the trash, etc. We never needed a paper shredder as he was always eager to do that for us. He never failed to delight and/or embarrass house guests by sorting through their luggage and pulling out carefully selected items to parade in front of everyone with a twinkle in his eye. He had something to say about almost everything and we had no choice but to listen. One friend reminded me of his great gardening skills - following behind me as I carefully planted bulbs, only to dig them up and run gleefully around the yard with the bulbs in his mouth. He had such a joy of life and sense of fun.
The things I will miss the most: coming into the house after an absence of any length to be greeted by that wagging tail, toy in mouth, and gleeful running around the room; opening the shower door to find that the tub mat had been moved into another room; reaching down to my lap to get my napkin during a meal to find that it had been carefully lifted and was being shredded down by my feet; getting help packing and unpacking my bag: coming home to discover a shoe in the middle of the living room floor, his bark at 6:30 every morning telling us that it was time to get up; and so many more things that I can't count them. Just looking at that beautiful, vibrant dog gave me pleasure.
What I won't miss: Watching him go from the dog described above to a very sick dog who could hardly walk, in less than a month.
Finian was diagnosed with cancer of the pancreas, liver and spine and given only days to live. He was very brave. Even on his last day, he insisted on taking a few short walks around our property to visit some of his old haunts and even though he had stopped eating, he still wanted his treats up until the end. The end was very peaceful and loving. He was ready and we were as ready as we could be. And now we are devastated. Our house seems so quiet and empty as he was the catalyst that made our world go round.