Highview Finn MacCool

Finn Update

January 6, 2013

Finn left today. My heart is broken. Almost 14 1/2 years. I am so grateful for the gift of this great dog. He served his whole life-as a therapy dog, a 9/11 dog,a search and recover dog for lost dogs. He was so capable and took me on a journey I never imagined. Here is what I wrote about him:For a dog as special as this one, who did everything asked of him and more,who brought me into the world of agility, tracking,field and most special, therapy work–surely he went right up to the right hand of God. He served long and well and he deserves his special place in heaven. Go Get ‘Em Finnie!

December 5, 2012

My little old man is doing well

He is now 14 years and three months

Eating with great gusto

Sleeping up a storm

Trying to run outside still

Falls down and usually gets right up

He’s doing the underwater treadmill at Fitter Critters and going further and harder each time

He’s here with me and I am amazed to see him live life with all the limitations associated with old age with such vigor and grace

He’s living his life


Finn at 14

I can’t believe it! he turns 14 on September 8th and he’s still here!!

My wonderful old man keeps chugging along

The breathing is getting hard and he has a permanent head tilt now

So it is clear that he is finally in decline

But Finn keeps on going

His body is betraying him but his spirit is still vigorous and strong

He eats with great gusto

Travels around the yard with a bit of a stagger but he makes it to where he needs to go

Smells all the smells

Falls down and gets right up again

I am in awe of him and he breaks my heart

Just a simple little dog with such an amazing spirit

He changed my life forever

Thank you Finn

Finn at 13

Quietly, without any fanfare, Finn turned 13 today

I don’t believe it

It crept up on me when I wasn’t looking

My hearty, balls to the wall, go go go boy is 13!!!

He has packed a lot into those years

Finn has done it all—he is titled in Field, Tracking and Agility.

He was a certified Therapy dog at one year.

Probably my proudest times have been when Finn got to use his talents to help others.

He volunteered at a Psychiatric hospital for children for years and was so good at it he was written into the treatment plan.

 Just as he wouldn’t suffer my training miscues Finn has no tolerance for kids who can’t play

Kids are meant to play!

With Him!

So Finn always arrived with his back pack full of balls and toys, spread ‘em out and got to town

No matter how sad and withdrawn his child was he would encourage and bow, stare hopefully and twirl until he got a response,

Not this toy?  Maybe this one?  How about a toss on your lap—come on! come on!

Then—Game on!

Hearing a child’s laughter in the halls of a state hospital because this little dog brought it out remains one of the most wonderful sounds I can rememberAnd the sobbing of Finn’s last child being told we were moving and Finn wouldn’t be coming any more still wrenches my heart 

After 9/11 Finn took all of the above and went with me to the Family Assistance Center in NYC to offer support to the families who had lost loved ones

And again, I followed this brave little creature with absolute terror in my heart and watched him work and play and bring so much relief and joy to such a profoundly sad place

So many losses

So impossible to fathom and come to terms with what happened

But Finn knew

People are people

Even when things are very bad and all hope seems lost, a good game of ball can be just the right ticket

I remember my gasp of horror when he walked up to a woman signing a death certificate and plopped his ball on her lap and then backed up play crouching, tail wagging—Come on! Take a break!  Here’s a nice ball and ME!

I tried to apologize and pull him away but she turned from her sad task smiled broadly and then—Game on! She played!

Once again he brought a spark of good times and normalcy to a troubled soul

This amazing boy has been the love of my life and has brought so much to me

I am very grateful for him

He lies on his bed under my computer desk now

His sight and hearing aren’t as good as they used to be

He runs with the youngsters and still gamely tries for the ball every time

Although he is slower

He will still take off to track something interesting in the woods and I wait for him to come back on the trail with my heart in my throat

Because he is getting old

And I am afraid he will exhaust himself or hurt himself

But I let him go every time

Because he is Finn

And life is short

And you have to play!