To Finn, with love

I’ve tried my best to fill this blog space with happy moments, decent recipes and bad jokes over the years, often leaving out some of the more serious sides of life for in-person updates in an effort to keep this space upbeat and positive.

But last week we lost a part of our family and key content contributor so I’d be remiss if I didn’t spend a little time sharing the update with you as he played such a big (and often loud) role in our lives.

Last Thursday we said goodbye to our sweet Finn. For those of you who didn’t know or who hadn’t visited our home to see the Grandpa-sized (no offense Grandpa) day-of-the-week pill sorter that we used, Finn was diagnosed with canine epilepsy (seizures) when he was just over one year old. And while he lived a seemingly normal life (see posts about all the things he ingested-namely the cashmere scarf) in the four years since he was diagnosed, we knew this was a progressive disease that would likely end his life earlier than any of us had planned.

greater swiss mountain dog sad dog diary

I could spend hours updating you on the specialists, medications and treatment of epilepsy in dogs, but if it’s ok with you, I’d rather just focus on the love and laughter he brought to everyone who spent time with him over his 5 years and all the adventures we had together.

swiss mountain dog puppy, west loop, chicago, mary bartelme park

The truth is, I probably don’t need to spend a lot of time telling you about Finn. He was my number one blog content contributor, by far the most photographed and overgrammed member of our family and the topic of many conversations with both strangers and friends.

Finn, greater swiss mountain dog, finnegan, swissy, gsmd, puppy

He started out as ‘my dog’ just a few years after Matt and I started dating, but he quickly became ours as he won the heart of a former ‘not so sure about big dogs’ guy in Matt.

He spent his puppy years in Chicago learning to pee on command on a 3-foot-by-3 foot wood chip pile outside my one-bedroom condo and frolicking in the snow through polar vortexes. His teenage years were spent trading snow for sand and air conditioning during our time in sunny Sarasota. He was just as uninterested in squirrels as he was armadillos but give him a doorbell (on tv or in real life) and he pretended to be the toughest dog on the block.

Finn, greater swiss mountain dog, finnegan, swissy, gsmd

He shared my love for loving people, almond butter and brushing off clumsy encounters with sidewalks, door frames and tables as if no one saw them. And he shared Matt’s strength, stubbornness and ability to look photogenic no matter the situation.

greater swiss mountain dog puppy simply social blog

He was a stage-five clinger, an expert napper and the most narcoleptic car rider I’ve ever seen.

Finn, greater swiss mountain dog, finnegan, swissy, gsmd

He helped Matt and I announce just about every life change we’ve experienced over the past few years, which looking back now is quite a few.

Finn, greater swiss mountain dog, finnegan, swissy, gsmd

And while he wasn’t quite sure the extent to which our family was beginning to grow, he made sure to stay as close as possible lest we’d leave him out of this important milestone.

Finn, greater swiss mountain dog, finnegan, swissy, gsmd, maternity, puppy

For now, the house is deafeningly quiet but it will soon be filled with welcome noise again when the baby comes in just a few weeks. And while we had visions of the two of them together over the next few months or maybe even years, we find peace in knowing Finn decided it was time for him to go ahead of this big life change we are about to encounter.

If you’re looking for a way to give back this holiday season, I encourage you to consider donating to your local shelter or to one that’s close to our heart, PAWS Chicago. Finn was a huge fan of sharing (mostly in the form of anything we were eating or drinking) so we’re honoring him this year by helping out those dogs and cats who weren’t as spoiled as he was.

Finn, greater swiss mountain dog, finnegan, swissy, gsmd, puppy

 

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3 thoughts on “To Finn, with love

  1. Aunt Barb December 16, 2017 at 11:01 am Reply

    I’m so sorry to hear this, Sarah. No matter how many years we have with them, it never seems like enough when that time comes. That deafening silence will last for awhile and you’ll see him out of the corner of your eye for a bit, and you’ll likely call the new baby Finn for the first month or so accidentally because love that strong just doesn’t leave you soon. I’m sorry you guys have to go through this at such a happy time in your lives, but what wonderful memories he left you with and such true devotion!

  2. Anonymous December 16, 2017 at 11:40 pm Reply

    He was a beautiful dog, and I know he was much loved by you and Matt. I am so sorry to hear of his passing on to doggie heaven. You captured his heart and soul in your pictures, and he will remain in your hearts forever, He had a wonderful life, and provided much laughter and joy – even to those of us who knew him through your blog, Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat. You were good parents to Finn, so I know he left this life knowing he prepared you well for Baby Z.

  3. Michael Murphy December 17, 2017 at 3:31 am Reply

    Sarah & Matt:

    Pets never write memoirs, just leave scratches on floors and teeth marks on furniture. They listen all the time to theirs owners and families. But who knows what they may be saying to themselves — when they leap and yap with enthusiasm … growl and rough house on the rug … cozy up next to you like some huge, hairy external organ … maybe worrying about the discovery of that last piece of clothing that is somewhere in their lower intestines.

    Just some personal thoughts Seeing the pictures, trying to read that ultra expressive dog face, makes me wish I could have interviewed him from time to time.

    Love ya Finn

    Your pill-slurping partner, Papoo

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