A little over a year ago this little chap came into my life, and it’s never been the same.
We had an Irish Setter many years ago and thought we would never have another dog, cats are easier to fit into real estate, we have 3 of them; but things happen. It was a funny off the cuff mention about one of my husbands staff members ex wife having a litter of Golden’s. My heart melted, I called her!
Yet that was not to be. She was odd to say the least, apparently did not really want them to leave. Her insincerity caused me to stop and we never went to see them. I know they all went to other homes but I went elsewhere. I could have said forget it at that point, but no the heart strings had been tugged and tugged very hard!
So I went looking for Golden puppy litters and found a few. We settled on Finlay’s litter and by the end of June he was selected. Mr Red Collar as he was known. I wonder now if the color of his collar has anything to do with his character! I only had to wait 3 weeks to collect my new bundle of chaos.
Finlay (Finlay Clan of Angus is the long version) was named before he came home, and in July we made the not too long trek into the far corners of Illinois to collect him. We were instantly presented with Mr Red Collar. But wait, this dog is a Labrador. I said to her, great puppy but where did all the fluffy go? Oops she said, so many dogs leaving today. Fortunately he had not been given away by mistake. Phew.
Finlay came home and oh my goodness how cute he was. Spoilt with toys and all sorts of puppy things. Yet we went through some interesting times:
- He is an alpha dog! Discovered at about 3 months old.
- He is allergic to all meats except Lamb.
- Playing tug of war should never have happened. Alpha dogs won’t share or be nice.
- Finlay loves using his teeth. Oweeee.
- He swallowed a cat toy and ended up at the vets.
- He needed exceptional training to calm his wild ways. Thank heavens for Mark B.
- His level of energy is insane.
- Water is his favorite toy!
- Thank heavens for our 2 acres. Walking is not enough, this kid runs and runs.
- He’s never tired of retrieving. Balls, balls, frisbees, more balls, loves balls.
- Oh yes, he is from bird dog stock! Loves Birds.
- When he sleeps, he sleeps! But he’s ready and up in a second!
I’ve learned much from this dog in one year. Golden Retrievers are not all meek and mild, they can have aggression issues. Finlay does. His trainer drew me a picture of his brain to explain how he thinks. Just imagine a pile of spaghetti on a plate, Mark helped unravel it and teach Finlay to understand what is expected of him and to comply.
When we go walks people are astounded at how good he is. Sit, heel, lie down, place and okay are his words to know and always do when asked. He does not need to know stay, he just has to wait to be released. Okay is his release when he can go be silly, which he loves being.
I don’t think I’ll use any word in my life more than we had to use NO. He knows NO very well. But he is well controlled now after intense training of both him and then our family.
Finlay’s character is wild and wildly entertaining! We all love this boy to death, boring is not in his vocabulary. Many would have sent him back, his trainer said he was an ideal candidate for a shelter by 18 months if not sooner. That’s so sad to think if I had not chosen him he would have ended up being tossed from family to family.
Someone up there made sure I chose him, that I find solutions to problems not just send problems away to someone else. As my sons girlfriend said just last week, no-one else can handle Finlay and it’s true. He came to the right family and we are thrilled to have celebrated his first birthday.
Do I love this dog? You betcha, I just cannot imagine my life without him now, he fills me with joy, everyday. He is cheeky, naughty, loving, he is Finlay!
So now you know how my puppy is growing, remember if you’ve got a dog or dogs and need to find a home in Barrington I can help.