Sunday, February 3, 2013


We got Finchy when he was just over a year old.  Chili Dawg was lonely and needed a brother.  We checked out various animal shelters looking for the perfect match for him, and then one of my co-workers said, "I know someone who is giving away a Boxer for free.  The family doesn't want him anymore and he has to live outside."  We checked him out, and he seemed like a good fit for Chili Dawg.  We tried to change his name, but Finchy didn't feel like learning a new name.

When you look at Finchy, the first thing you will see is that he is skinny.  No matter what we try to feed that boy, he won't gain weight.  When we first got him, he weighed in at 45 pounds.  Now, at 10 years old, he fluctuates between 52-55 pounds (average weight for a male Boxer is 60-70 pounds) and that's a big weight gain for him!  The next thing you will notice will be his face.  Most people get intimidated by his face, because Boxers look mean.  They have a smushed in face.  That couldn't be further from the truth.  Finchy is a lover, not a fighter, although, when we first had Noah, Finchy did protect him from the "evil vaccuum cleaner" by getting in between the 2 of them.  Boxers are good family dogs, and Finchy loves our kids.  He would protect them if he ever needed too, but he loves them very much.

Chili Dawg and Finchy were inseparable.  If one of them went to the vet, the other would sit by the door until the missing one came home.  Finchy is a worrier, and he would whine and whine while Chili Dawg was gone.  When Chili Dawg crossed the bridge, Finchy waited by the door for several days waiting for Chili to come home.  He even went and looked for him in the garage.  It took a while for him to fully realize that his "brother" was not coming home.  He began to lose weight, and since he was already under weight, this was not a good thing. 

Rescuing Buster was as much for Finchy as it was for me.  Buster brought new life into our house.  Finchy started eating again, playing again, doing his "wiggle dance" again.  It seemed like smooth sailing for a little while.  On Halloween, Finchy turned 10, and he was still going strong.  He could still outrun any dog in our neighborhood- that boy is f-a-s-t.  Then he came down with pancreatitis and he slowed down a little bit.  Over Christmas break, he slowed down some more. 

Yesterday, I took him to the vet's and I didn't come home with him.  He was admitted to the animal hospital, and Ryan and I are unsure if he is even going to come home this time.  Our boy has gotten older, and while he has been a faithful companion to our Chili Dawg and to us, it may be getting close to our turn to set him free from his pain, and I am not looking forward to that.  It's been almost a year and half since we sent Chili Dawg to the bridge, and I remember I said, "I don't know how long Finchy will make it without his brother, especially since they are so close in age". 

So why subject myself to the heartache of losing another dog to yet another cancer?  Here are a couple quotes that explain my reasoning...

 "God has not changed his mind about the animals. He has made provision for them. In truth, they really are his animals and not ours. They belong to the one who created them and gave them life. They are merely on loan to us, and as inconceivable as it may seem, God loves them more than you and I ever could."
-- dog quote by Gary Kurz, Cold Noses at the Pearly Gates

“A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than he loves himself.”
Josh Billings

“Such short little lives our pets have to spend with us, and they spend most of it waiting for us to come home each day.
It is amazing how much love and laughter they bring into our lives and even how much closer we become with each other because of them.”
John Grogan, Marley and Me: Life and Love With the World's Worst Dog
From Last Year's Monkey-Butt Calendar

"It came to me that every time I lose a dog they take a piece of my heart with them. And every new dog who comes into my life gifts me with a piece of their heart. If I live long enough, all the components of my heart will be dog, and I will become as generous and loving as they are."

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