Finigan and her life story 28 October 2001 - 22 May 2010
the puppy years....................... PART ONE

Hi there, we are going to tell the story of Finigan, who was a little fighter, strong, loving, cuddly and very happy through out her long life,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

She was a very fluffy little pup, full of mischief like all young puppies, and incredibly teddy bear like as you can see in this picture. This fluffyness carried on throughout her life, as she constantly had to have haircuts like a sheep because her coat kept growing!

We actually start this story, when she went to the vet for her inoculations with her litter mates at 8 weeks old.

All went well for a day or two, then Fin was found outside her box unable too get up on her feet, this seemed a bit strange so she was put next to the rayburn stove for a while to make sure she was warm, as it was December and cold, I wanted to to see how she felt and although she didn't seem to be in any pain she still couldn't walk.


The afternoon came, and she was no different so off we went to the vet to see what they could find with her.

The vet checked her over and said she seemed to be paralyzed on her back end, although she did have feeling when they pinched her toes, so it was all very strange indeed. He sent us home and said to see how she was in a couple of days......

Hmmmm we were not overly pleased with this situation, but we went home and sat by the fire to await the next days events, she ate a big dinner and went back to sleep by the rayburn stove.


In the meantime Finny was quite happy to sit on the armchair watching TV

However, during the next day 2 more pups from the litter went down like her, this was serious! Although they were capable of getting to their feet, they were very wobbly and couldn't stand for long...

I decided to go and see another vet that I had heard of, who was a homeopathic vet as well as regular vet. He examined Finigan, and after looking in her eyes with his light, he stated that it looked like a neurological problem, as he could see swelling. This he felt could be due to the vaccines, as the nervous system of a large breed dog like the Irish Wolfhound, is not as developed as in a little breed, and could cause problems. He also said ''never to give vaccines to large breed dogs under 12 weeks of age'' which since then we haven't done...........

Anyhow he gave her some anti-inflamatory medicine, and she also had some homeopathic treatment along with some acupuncture.

We went home and checked out the other two pups who seemed to be a little better, although not right, but the vet had said they may be able to recover, as it didn't seem to have gotten to them is such a severe extent as little Fin.

We visited the vet for a couple of weeks but although he said she wasn't paralyzed and did have feeling in her legs, the muscles seemed to have been damaged and she couldn't use them.

We decided to take her to a doggy pool where they practiced hydrotherapy, the people were very good with her, and she had a few treatments of this although was not keen on the water! especially when they hosed her off at the end to clean her coat and then dry it with the hair dryer. (she never liked it at all after that when I put the hose on, even to fill the water buckets)

They did put a little life jacket on her, and she was lowered into the pool but only paddled with her front legs, not moving the back legs at all.

After doing three weeks of this twice a week, she was anxious when we drove there as she really didn't like the water, and didn't want me to lift her out of the car. So I decided that this wasn't going to help, and it seemed to distress her so didn't go any more.

I gave her physio every day bending her back legs to keep them moving but eventually the tendons just refused to move and it hurt her to let me bend them so I was at my wits end as what to do for her.

she had a baby walker that she could push herself around in, and it held her up, but that was not a great solution as she couldn't bend her back legs...

The next thing I tried was to go to see a bone specialist in Swansea, which was extremely expensive, but you have to keep going don't you?

He looked at her and said it would cost an awful lot of money to redo her tendons, and do bone surgery, this I figured would not only cost a lot of money, but be painful for Finigan so we decided that it was a no go situation, and again we went home.

The very last thing that happened was a visit to a chiropractor in Haverfordwest about 60 miles from us, he had been recommended by a friend that had been to see him. So again in the truck we went Fin and myself, she was enjoying the outings..............

We got to see the man who looked her over, and whilst she had shuffled over too him to say hello, and was licking his hand (wanting a fuss she loved every one) He said to me ''I think you would be better to have this dog euthanased so that she can come back in a good body! Well I belive in reincarnatione etc. but to say that as she was fussing him was too much to take, and I cried.

Well I picked her up and (by now this was getting a bit of a struggle as she was gowing quite large) and said ''ok Fin, lets go home and have a good life'' and off we went.......

Finny with one of her brothers that also had a problem with his back legs but he recovered quite quickly m





Originally I had decide to keep one of the pups from this litter Ebony, but of course had to keep Finny as well - which worked out quite well as they kept each other company in the kitchen in front of the rayburn stove most of the time.

Once Fin got to about 6 months she had a good voice on her and very often started the other guys off howling

She was doing a lot of shuffelling about on her bum but could get up and hop with her back legs, walking like a tripod

She loved the new puppies and was very good as a surrogate mum for anyone needing looking after - little Sooty here who was a bit of a reject

she also loved to play in the garden with the others, especially Jake the sheepdog




Having a sleep with Ebony who is just out of picture

here she is at 11 months old, looks odd but she was ok by now the back leg joint had fused...


I decided to try another aid for her, ordering a wheel chair for Fin when she was 12 months old, From "dog on wheels" she was fully grown and so we got her measured and it was ordered.

Then one winters day Finigan and I went down to Swindon to pick it up from 'Dog on Wheels' who tailored it especially to fit Finigans needs. She wasn't at all interested in it, but we got it home and tried it out a couple of times, but like the hydrotherapy experience she got anxious whenever I got it out for her to sit in it, we persevered. However, on one of the days after a few weeks of trying it, I got it out for her to sit in, and she leavered herself up and hopped off up the mountain as fast as she could, with me shouting after her ''come back Fin this will help you walk'' well that is a bit ironic isn't it? considering she was hopping off faster than I could catch her.... so again that got put in the shed where it still is today gathering cobwebs. Unfortunately I don't have a picture of Fin sitting in it.....


These pics were taken in the kitchen whilst waiting for dinner one sunday afternoon




Fin and poppy who became great pals here Poppy was only a pup, but already knew who to cuddle up too, or is she looking after Fin? and she continued with Fin being her best friend as Poppy grew up  

12 months  


By the time Fin was 12 months old, she was hopping about all over the place - very often she would go out in the mountain and I would have to go searching for her.

Trouble was, she would be hopping over rocks and on the concrete, so the paw she walked on (which was turned over because of the tightness of her tendons) did get a bit sore sometimes, and she developed a pad on the top of the paw. But I managed to buy her some boots from a company in Ireland, and they made a load of difference to her galavanting.

Here she is with it on.............

here is Fin with her back to us and Ebony laying down amongst some of the other guys, and opposite in the kitchen, they always spent a lot of time together


Finigan loved her food, and as you can see here watching the loaf of bread in the bag on the kitchen worktop, hoping she could wish it down on to the floor!

Finny after a haircut and an op to have her dewclaw removed in 2008


Fin in 2009 wandering around the mountain

(in need of a haircut)




and then she was gone - love you Finny xx

more pics will go on when I can find them