Friday, November 7, 2008

Finn and His 9 Lives

Finn. For those of you who know him, all I have to say is Finn, and you get it. Finn aka Big Buddy aka Big Dummy is a special dog who has luck on his side. After an incident last night, I'll explain later, Mike and I were chatting....another conversation about how we can't believe Finn is still alive! Let me start with Finn, the beginning.

A couple of years ago Mike decided that he needed a companion, a best friend, a loyal buddy to always be by his side. Actually, he went to the shelter to get a cat and as fate would have it his eyes locked with a goofy Irish Wolfhound mix, the rest was history. Now, being that this was a shelter dog, Mike wondered about where his Big Buddy came from. The shelter employee told Mike that he was found in a forest preserve in the North suburbs of Chicago. He was scrawny, the shelter employee believed Finn had been on the run a few weeks, scavenging for food and fending for himself. Now that Finn has been in my life a couple of years I wonder, did his previous owners open up the door and let him go? Did he escape from his previous home? Did he jump a fence and run away? Who knows? What I do know is this is what I consider Finn's first life, somehow this big, clumsy dog managed to stay alive and make it to the shelter where he found his new Dad.

Mike and Finn had about a year or so together before I came into the picture. During this time Finn had a few minor issues but seemed to be a fairly well adjusted dog aside from the occasional cries when it rained or thundered. At some point in time, this changed.

If one were to speculate, this change could have taken place one breezy Chicago afternoon sometime in August 2007. It started off like any other summer day. Mike decided to take Finn for a walk, about half way into the walk the clouds started to move in. I was only a few blocks away and I remember a coworker, who listened to the radio all day, screamed "Tornadoes have been spotted in Chicago!" I immediately ran to my window and noticed the wind, how strong it was. Then the rain came, it was so windy the rain was blowing horizontally. A few minutes later my phone rings and it's Mike all panicked. He explained to me that he was walking Finn when the storm suddenly swept it. Him and Finn were running home when a tree branch fell on them! Was this when Big Buddy went crazy?

Finn, life two, October 2007. Mike and I had just moved into our new place in Chicago. During the first week of us living there, the landlord had a couple of guys doing some repairs and painting. One afternoon a worker left the front door open a crack, I think he was still standing by the door but Finn tore through it. I was not home but Mike began chasing Finn down our street. Finn does not run like a normal dog, he gallops like a horse and is next to impossible to catch. As far as cohersing him back, forget it! Once he's running he is in a zone. Mike continued to chase Finn, his heart sank as Finn took a turn to Ashland, a very busy street in Chicago. Mike fell to his knees as Finn bolted across the street though moving traffic. Relieved, Mike thought "Phew he made it!" Finn stopped on the other side of the street, his eyes met Mike's, inside Mike was saying to himself "Please don't run towards me, please stay over there" knowing that if he ran back across the street he would surely get hit. Well, Big Buddy did it, he ran back across the street, got hit and the car didn't even stop. Somehow Mike managed to get Finn and take him back to the house. Finn had some tire marks on him but appeared to be ok. Mike called me and told me what happened, we watched him for a while and didn't notice anything different so we assumed he was fine.

Life three, now this is luck. Last 4th of July Mike and I decided to walk to the lake to watch the fireworks. We thought about taking the dogs, but knowing Finn's fear of loud noises we decided, probably not a good idea. As we were leaving we thought it would be best to put Finn in the garage. Mike took his food out, a bone, his bed was already out there since he sometimes slept in the garage, and Mike leashed him up. We were on our way. We returned home after being gone for about two hours, a little disappointed that we didn't bring the dogs since the fireworks really weren't loud from where we were standing. Mike went out the garage to get Finn. He come back in shaking and said "I think I need to take Finn to the hospital" My heart started racing, I said "What happened?" and ran out. Little did I know, what a gruesome scene I would be walking into. Finn must have spooked himself while we were gone. We had a 7 foot tall, old glass paneled door in the garage. I had taken it out of a nearby dumpster and thought I could so something cool and artsy with it. It was covered in blood, the glass was shattered, there were pools of blood all over the garage, splashed up on the shelving. Finn had gone through the glass.

After so many things like this happen you start to get desensitized. I told Mike I thought we should wait it out and take him tot he vet in the morning. He had some cuts but it didn't look that bad. Ok, so I was really desensitized, but this only lasted a few minutes, I called the emergency vet and they advised us to bring him in immediately. After a long night in the emergency room, some stitches, some meds Finn made it though life 3. It was a long recovery though.

So that's life one, two and three, the rest all take place after moving to Iowa and goes something like this:

4. Mike finds Finn's harness hanging off the basement stairs. Our guess is that he was hanging from the stairs for a while until he broke loose.

5. Mike comes home to find Finn has wrapped himself up like pretzel in his leash, can't move. Mike saves him.

6. Mike and I go to run some errands, we leave Finn in the backyard since he absolutely loves it out there. We return home and he is gone. Somehow he managed to escape from the the yard, which he had never even attempted before. Mike and I both panic, knowing how he gallops we both jump in the car to go look for him but assume we will never see him again. A few minutes into the search we pull over to ask a man walking on the street if he's seen a giant yellow dog, I look to my left and see Finn in between some houses. I open my door, scream "Finn" and he surprisingly runs to the car. He had some blood on his face, so again...we wonder, "What happended?" We watched him closely that night, he lives.

7. Yesterday Mike comes home to a catastrophic scene in the basement. Finn has chewed through a plugged in extension cord that goes to the sump pump and electrocuted himself. Apparently a side affect, or reaction rather, to electrocution in spraying liquid poo EVERYWHERE. Mike called me and told me not to even come home, that I did not want to see what happened. I don't disagree and go to the gym. A few hours later I get home and Mike is still cleaning. PHEW.

So here we are, life 8. Who knows what will be next. All I know is Finn is one lucky dog. Not only for his nine lives, but for his patient owners.


Lynn said...

Angie - Have you ever thought of being a writer? You would be great at it. I can't believe Finn has survived all of these events. Mike is a sounds like you are so lucky not having to be involved in the recent clean-up!
(liked the Halloween pix!)

Angie and Mike's Wedding said...

Judging by the smell upstairs when I got home I think I was VERY luck hahah. We are all aired out and back to normal now :) I did enjoy writing quite a bit when I was younger. I thought about it, but it's one of those dreams that got shot down once I had to start paying the bills. Maybe I'll revist it again, thanks!