Finnegan's Walk


It’s been a full life for me as a dog. I’ve had the joy of freedom, love from my mistress and many furry friends that have grown up with me. When I came to live with Miss Maria, I was just a wee pup. She always told me I came from doggie heaven where the dogs roam free in Lakeport, Ontario. I remember my momma, she was also a hound cross- beautiful tan and red- I’ll never forget how sweet she smelled. There were seven of us pups. We were born in the summer and lived under the porch in the back yard. My momma’s people couldn’t keep us all so they advertised us in the paper. So when Miss Maria and the man came to the yard that day, I hoped they were going to pick me but they left. I was too young to understand but Miss Maria promised to be back. She seemed so happy to see me and I didn’t even know her but I knew she would be someone I could trust, even though I didn’t really want to leave momma.

Before I knew it, she came back all by herself one day and picked me up and placed me in the front seat of her car. She talked to me the whole journey back to her town…

“We are going to stop and get you a collar first little guy, you are so sweet… I love you already… I can’t wait to walk you everyday! Finally! I have a walking partner, someone to go for my walks with so I don’t look weird walking aimlessly around town,” she jabbered on, making me feel excited and confused all at the same time.

I grew into my collars and the walks started off small because I couldn’t walk too far at first. But my legs grew and soon I learned to love walking around town and meeting all these nice people who stopped on the street just to pet me and talk to me. I quickly learned that going for walks and exploring the beachfront and the woods were my favourite things. Sometimes, Miss Maria and the man would get a bit annoyed with me as I couldn’t resist rolling in animal dung and dead fish. But hey, it’s what dogs did. I always made sure I was good in the house, even though we lived on a third floor apartment at first- I never peed in the house and she always took me out when I had to go.

I have always been a bit of a whiner. It’s what we hounds do, but the pain inside me has been there for quite a long time and Miss Maria didn’t really realize it because I always put on a strong front and would always go out and walk it off. But, now things are changing. My legs have started failing and it’s getting too hard to ignore. She gives me a sweet piece of bread everyday and for some reason my pain goes down a bit but I still find it difficult to get up. I keep having all these dreams that I can run again and I’m in no pain. I think someday I will probably go look for my momma and my sister in my sleep. I even had a few dreams about the man who just disappeared. Maybe I’ll find him too.  Miss Maria told our girl, Emily, he went to heaven… Is that where we go when we just disappear? Do we get to run free there? I don’t know- I would like to find out though. I really did like the man-even though he was a bit moody. I always tried to please him and he gave me a lot of freedom. He would let me run on the farm that we moved to years ago, after baby Emily came along. Sometimes I would go too far and the truck would pick me up and take me to the doggie jail. I always got in trouble for that too, for some reason. But he was the one who let me out for hours- what’s a dog to do?

Now I’m not sure what has happened, we have moved again to this place that they put a lot of that burning stuff on the ground to melt the white stuff. It was so hard to go for walks this winter. I think it was the first time in my life that Miss Maria didn’t walk me everyday through the winter. I think she wanted to but she didn’t want to hurt my paws. That’s what she told me. But, it’s ok because for some reason, I can’t seem to get up the way I once did. My legs just don’t want to work for me and I am feeling a lot of pain in myself. I don’t really know what’s happening to me but it makes me feel sad.

I’m trying to find the happy pup inside me but there is no more beach and the last time she took me to run in the woods with my BFF, Princess and Emily, it took all of my energy and I was pretty sore afterward.

It seems I can just sleep these days, but sometimes even that hurts. Miss Maria is down on her knees and petting me a lot, she has pulled the cushions off of my couch so if I feel like walking all the way into the living room I don’t have to jump up but I can still sit with the family.

Miss Maria has taken care of me my whole life. I do remember once though, there was only a few months in my life that we were separated. She left me at the farm with the man and took, Emily (who was just little at the time) and Marley the big cat who has been with me my whole life and moved back to town. That was when I started going a bit wild. But, it was fun- I finally got to do what ever I wanted. He tried to move me to another town and left me with this old lady but Miss Maria came and got me one day and brought me back to her home back in the town where I grew up. That was when we were reunited and never separated again. I liked being in charge of the house- My job was to protect them and make sure no one caused them any harm. I always watched out for Miss Maria and Emily even if they didn’t know it. I had to chase off a few racoons and foxes sometimes but life there was really pretty safe. She was so good to me and always came back for me.

This past summer we went for a really long drive. I don’t know why we all went but Miss Maria said we were going on a cross-country adventure! It was long and even though all of us were in the car; me, Princess, Marley and Emily’s cat Lily and my ladies, I was still happy because we were all together. Somehow we ended up getting to this mountain town and staying for a bit. Then, we got packed up and went all the way back, again to my hometown where we stayed for a couple days with friends. That time she told me she was going to leave me there with her good friends and that we would see each other again soon…. But no way- I was not being left behind- not after we had gone so far together. I wouldn’t let those girls out of my site and when they got the car packed up again to go where ever they were going. I looked Miss Maria in the eyes and she knew what I was trying to say.  I ended up getting to sit in the front seat the whole way, which took something like two more days of traveling.

Miss Maria seems so sad these days too. I think she should go back to our hometown-we had so much fun there… or at least the town nearby that we lived last year where there was all that water. Wow, we have moved a lot and seen a lot, but I know we are always happiest near water. I wish I could walk with her now and help her clear her head. She always said her walks are her favourite time of the day. But, since I haven’t really been able to go, she doesn’t seem to go walking anymore. Maybe she doesn’t want me to feel left out. To tell you the truth I do feel a bit sad if she goes out with just Princess but I don’t get mad at her because it hurts too much anyway. I really just want to rest.

One thing I know is that home is not the house we live in. It’s where my people and friends are. Home is where I am loved and I will always know where home is because I have felt so much love and had a good run in this time I’ve had. I don’t think I’m a little puppy anymore and I feel like I’m at a point in my life that things are changing. I just know that Miss Maria will make sure it’s ok. I can’t figure out why my little friend Princess seems so worried about me all the time.

Marley the cat is still here but he says his leg bothers him a bit these days too. Maybe I’ll meet him again after I go check out this heaven place. I’ll wait for him there- and of course I’ll wait for Miss Maria and Emily too. I know I have had the pleasure of experiencing great love. I’ve been well loved and included my whole life with this family and they have never left me out in the cold and always made sure I had what I needed. I hope Miss Maria finds happiness again and can enjoy some good walks soon. I’ll definitely join her… I just have to have a little nap first and I think I will feel better after that. 



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