7/25/2009 - 10/9/2019To our boy Finnie,

There are some who would say that writing this note makes no sense. After all, you aren’t a reader; preferring the outdoors as a source for entertainment and knowledge.

Those holding that view, though, don’t know you the way we do, your mom and me.

Like any communication between us, the language and format are unimportant. A letter, a whisper, a hug, a look, a moment of silent closeness. In all these, meaning flows in a vocabulary that has no need for structure; no clumsy limits.

Despite your intolerance for reading, and despite your being a dog, and even despite your having departed us, Finnegan, I know that my words reach you now. As they always have. As they always will. Thoughts, like these assembled, bridge our universes. I only need to steer these thoughts from my heart to yours.

You are that miracle. A wonderful example for every creature living this journey together. For each of us, the odds of existing at all are hundreds of trillions to one. How then is it that so few set your example? You were born into indifference; cast aside coldly, and cruelly left unable to show your deeply genuine, trusting, and loving heart. But you were driven by a right to live a purposeful life. You fought. You survived. You never gave up as it would have been so easy to do. As so many have done. Your miracle, Finnegan, is your determination to have joy and to bring joy. To never feel sorry for yourself. To never give up until you face existence on an even footing and declare that whatever may come next in life for you, it’s yours to live. My boy, you’ve shown us all.

You have suffered under human ugliness, and blossomed in the fullest embrace of love and caring. You prefer love.

As I watched you grow and learn to become whom you were meant to be, I was amazed that there was always more joy unlocked year after year. No matter how the echoes of your early life took their toll on your body later, still there was an ocean of warmth, kindness, generosity, and serenity that poured out of you into everyone who met you. For if they really listened to you, and spoke through the separation to your heart, they knew you, and they were drawn to you.

Children love you the most. I think because children are like tuning forks of the eternal connection we all share. They can hear the vibrations, and feel from you the healing soul. They must sense that only someone who has been so wounded can truly heal, and only someone who has recovered from being unloved can offer love so willingly.

I have to resist a temptation here to attempt to relive with you in this letter some of our best experiences and times together. There are too many, and you know I’d forget the best ones and tell the others badly. For what it’s worth, I’ll tell anyone wanting to know more about you that they only need to picture how it feels on a sunny day. Feel the sun. Smell the air. Let the breeze wash over. Pause. In that moment is your gift. Like a rechargeable battery, you take in joyfulness from the simplest of life’s moments, store it, and then discharge it in a pure form on those fortunate enough to know you, bringing them sunny days even on the coldest of nights.

Finnegan, you are my son, my boy. Just as your brothers are. All my boys. I’m proud to be your dad. Your mom loves you beyond words. We regret only there wasn’t enough time to give you more and to see you continue your transformation. Our sadness, though acute now, pales beside our great fortune to have received your love these years. Thank you so much.

None of us will again howl alone or lonely. This is not goodbye - because you did it. You won. You prove that even the least of us can achieve what we’re all here for; Finnegan, you matter.

Dad & Mom
Lori KniselyEden Prairie, MinnesotaOctober 16, 2019
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What a beautifully written memorial and what an amazing bond you all share! I'm so happy that you and Finnegan found each other and you were able to give him so many years of love. You rescued him from a rough start and gave him a life any dog would envy. All the best to your family and kisses to Forrest!

Dr. Kara
Kara Fuchs - October 17, 2019
We hold each of you in our hearts as we mourn with you over the loss of sweet Finnie. You brought him out of the darkness, showed him love, true friendship and a wonderful life. Now he shall forever be in the light. We will all miss him and will remember the joy he spread to everyone who had the pleasure of knowing him.Sara & Guy Kitchell - October 17, 2019

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