Finnegan’s our new puppy.  He’s a 19-month old Soft-coated Wheaten Terrier.  Going on two.  But still a baby.  Our new puppy loves everyone. People. Dogs.  Vet.  Groomer.  Boarding kennel.  Even cats.  Right now.  As I’m writing this.  Finnegan’s lying at my feet.

We picked up Finnegan when he was really a new puppy.  Just two months old.  From a Wheaten breeder just outside of Omaha, Nebraska.  The temperature in January was two degrees below zero.  I drove home.  While he slept in Cheryl’s lap. Wrapped in a blanket.  We had to stop for gas.  I stood outside the convenience store.  Hoping he would pee.  But all he did was shake.  I felt like a heel.  People would go in an out.  Oohing.  And aahing.  What’s his name?  Finnegan.

Bentley, Our First Wheaten

Let me give you some background how Finnegan became our new puppy.  Cheryl and I grew up with dogs. That probably explains everything you want to know.  Cheryl’s sister had a sweet Wheaten named Katie that we really loved.  Her sister’s neighbor had a three-year-old Wheaten named Bentley.  She couldn’t control Bentley.  Bentley was also terrified of her husband and all men.  She gave us Bentley for free.  We put on a pinch collar on him.  And he was a joy to walk.  It took lots of love from me for a couple of months.  Until he became friendly with men.

Bentley loved everyone.  Everyone loved him.  Our vet treated him many times for allergies and stomach problems.  Suddenly he became disoriented. Couldn’t stand.  He had cancer.  Our vet urged us to put him down.  We went to see him for the last time.  He died before we got there.  We were devastated.  Heartbroken.

For a month we came home to an empty house.  We decided to get a Wheaten puppy.  Bentley would have wanted that. Cheryl just called on the way to her class.  She teaches an undergraduate evening class in senior’s ethical care giving.  She said make sure I tell about Finnegan’s tearing up our new bed comforter.  And how he flunked new puppy kindergarten class.

We bought several puppy training books. CD and on-line training courses.  But he refuses to read the books or watch the courses.  Even though we bribe him with treats.

Wheatens originally come from Ireland.  We considered a number of names.  Came down to three.  Deaglan,  Ruari.  Finnegan won out.  He has a lot of nicknames.  “Cutieman.”  “Sir Sniff-a-lot.”  I grew up with my mother saying, “Home again Finnegan.”  So you can guess what he hears after every evening walk.

Finnegan our new puppy

Finnegan and I work in the yard a lot.  He supervises.  I work.  Daily a countless stream of neighbors walk their babies and their dogs. Finnegan goes crazy.  I apologize.  And we’ve met a lot of nice people.  We just formed a group to make a dog park in our small suburban city.  We have three small parks that are rarely, if ever, used. Initial reaction from the mayor and board of aldermen.  “We can’t afford one.” But we’re a determined bunch.  Wish us luck.  Let us know if you have any good ideas.  We’d really appreciate your suggestions.  I’d better sign off.  Finnegan’s no longer at my feet.  And I hear nothing. That’s a red warning flag.  Wish me luck.

P. S.

If you’re thinking about getting a new puppy.  Consider a Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier.  They’re friendly.  Great with kids. Don’t shed. Because they don’t have fur.  They have hair. You love them.  And they love you,

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