This is my boy Finn. By now most of you know his story (see original post Rescue Dog: Meet Finn (Survivor)). Here’s the part I’ve never told. He was given away, by his people, to a person who kept him tied up through all kinds of weather (and it got down to -20 that year–my boy gets chilled in a 60 degree house when the fire goes out in the night, his fur is so thin), rain, sleet, snow, fierce drought, high winds, day in and day out. He was never let in the house. He lived tied up, with no shelter, for an entire year. That’s how long it took him to finally break free. Added to that he was starved nearly to death. Tied up so he couldn’t go get his own food, he was denied food by his owners. His original people saw this happening to him and did nothing about it. In his horrifically weakened state, he found his way home, to the only home he’d ever known anyway, and he was denied access to the yard. He presented himself at his old gates, nothing but skin and bones (I can just hear Finn squealing, “I’m home, I’m home, I’m home!), but he was not let in. I found him three days later, wandering near his “home,” looking dazed and very lost. I scooped him up and rushed him to the vet. His red blood cell count and his protein levels were at death.
But, through it all, Finn still loves life and he lives it with gusto. Despite the pain of his many old injuries, he runs full out, dashing round and round in circles with a big sloppy grin on his face. And he covers the entire canyon that backs up my house every morning to make us all safe from coyotes.
He notices and appreciates things. When I took this photo, I swear he was on the path to the land grant and stopped in his tracks when saw this rainbow. He stood there for whole minutes before he finally sat down, staying whole minutes more.
He can enjoy the luxury of sitting in a field, gazing out on the morning’s sunrise, because he is safe now, and protected and loved.
The other day he was just in from a run in the snow. While toweling him off in front of the fire, he “purred.” That’s what I call the sound he makes–a sort of guttural and extended sigh, over and over again–when he is content.
Finny does love his comforts–his bankie by the fire…
(this is bankie XTREAM and I swear he did this himself)
… breakfast in bed…
… and entertaining.
But dear, dear Finn is sick. He has Trichinella. That’s the parasite that causes Trichinosis. Thankfully it isn’t contagious. But it’s serious. The tiny little worms are burrowed into his muscle tissue and THAT’S one of the reasons for his extreme pain. Our wonderful vet, Dr. Ramsay of Cottonwood Veterinary Clinic in Espinola, said the cure could be worse than the disease and, in fact, sometimes kills the dog. But if left untreated he’ll die too. So dangerous treatment it is.
He had evidence of the parasites when he first came to live with me, some odd round patches in his fur, but it’s taken this long to figure out what it is. It’s very rare. So rare that a veterinary college in Colorado is taking on his case. They’ll be working directly with Dr. Ramsay trying to figure out how to get Finn well.
He took his first dose of the stuff–the stuff that could kill him– yesterday, in a much lower dose than the protocol calls for. The good news is that he seems to be tolerating it very well, although Dr. Ramsay said the third or fourth day could be the worst. If he continues to tolerate it, a week from today he’ll get double the dose, and so on and so on until he reaches the recommended dose.
But, even in the midst of this, my dear Finny seems to be savoring every bit of this life he’s been given. Once again, just by being who he is, he is offering me a fine example of how to live in this world. He is simply grateful, every single day.
Like I said yesterday, please send him good thoughts.
Love to you all,