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Saying Goodbye to My Best Friend Finn

Saying Goodbye to My Best Friend Finn

Nine great years together.

If you don’t follow me on Twitter, you may not have heard that my best friend Finn has passed away. He was 12 years old. To say I am sad about this is an understatement. He has been with me for nine great years.

I got Finn in the spring of 2014. Once I decided that I wanted a dog, specifically a Dachshund, I reached out to a rescue in New England that deals specifically with the breed. I was in luck. They had just received almost 40 dogs that were discovered in the home of someone who was a breeder and had recently passed away.

I went to a house in Middleboro, MA where most of the dogs were being kept until they could be placed in homes. Finn gravitated to me and I loved him instantly.

After the rescue conducted a visit to my home, I was able to pick him up. I’ll never forget the day I brought him home. He looked around my kitchen and living room, then looked at me as if to say, this looks great.

He was three years old, and he was so little.

Finn had very simple tastes. He loved food, especially carrots and his wet food, going for walks, and sitting on my lap when I was trying to work.

Most of all, Finn loved curling up in his bed.

Like all Dachshunds, Finn was an expert mouser, and since I live in an old New England house, Finn had opportunities for mousing over the years. He probably caught a dozen mice in nine years. If Finn spotted one, he would chase it until he got it. If it ran under an appliance, he would stand in front of it for an hour if needed, until it tried to make a run for another spot.

In the early days, Finn didn’t like many people other than me, but he got used to my family by spending time with them, especially my mother, who loved to stuff him with treats. Before I knew it, he was demanding a place at the holiday table.

On Tuesday of this week, I noticed that Finn was breathing a bit on the heavy side. I called the vet to tell them about it. I told them I would check in with them again the next day if he was still doing it. I went to bed early that night and woke up at about two in the morning. I went to check on Finn and he had passed.

On Friday, I went to the vet to talk about his passing. My greatest concern was that he had possibly suffered. The vet did a great job of allaying my fears, which made me feel a little bit better.

Since then, I have moved on from devastated to just incredibly sad. I live alone and work from home. Finn was very much at the center of my daily life. Hug your dogs, because you never know when that hug will be the last one.

I think about Finn all the time and I miss him every single day.

Until we meet again, Finn. You will always be in my heart.


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William A. Jacobson | May 27, 2023 at 10:50 pm

Finn was a beloved member of the Legal Insurrection family. Over the years you would send me many photos of him and had great stories about him. I also know that you rescued each other and the bond was very strong. R.I.P. Finn.

Conservative Beaner | May 27, 2023 at 11:01 pm

Sorry for your loss. Our furry friends are not just our pets but family members as well.


The Gentle Grizzly | May 27, 2023 at 11:24 pm

My condolences.

I’m so sorry for your loss. I get it. Our pets are so much more than mere animals. They are a constant delight, a source of smiles and unconditional acceptance. When we’ve had a rough day, they comfort us.

I grieve for you. And I thank you for taking in Finn and giving him a wonderful life.

You have my sympathy and be sure to read the Rainbow Bridge poem if you are not familiar with it.

We had a Yorkie-poo that we rescued at 9 and made it to 18. That dog helped save us when we had a family tragedy. They really are our best friends, loving us unconditionally and expecting little in return. I know you can’t imagine it now, but Finn would want you to get a new companion in a few months.

I’m sorry, Mike. It’s heart-rending to lose such a treasured and unconditionally loving friend. May fond memories be a comfort to you.

I feel much the same about my friend Peep, although she’s a cat. She’s been my friend and companion since she wandered into my life many years ago as a newly weaned kitten.

henrybowman | May 28, 2023 at 1:50 am

“Finn gravitated to me and I loved him instantly.”
As breeders, we tell people who come to “choose puppies” that you don’t choose puppies; puppies choose you. If you go with the puppy that keeps coming back to play with you, you will have a wonderful life.
Dogs are love — the most faithful companions on earth.

I’m so sorry for your loss.

In the last 15 years I’ve gone from 7 dogs to one. I call her the last dog standing and she’s a 13 year old German Shepherd mix. She had a stroke 3 weeks ago and I thought I was going to lose her but she’s made an amazing full recovery. I know we’re on borrowed time but I just want to give her the best damned life possible for whatever time she has left. And then, when the time is right, I’m going to the shelter to get a couple of older dogs.

Very sorry to hear of your loss.

This is Jimmy Stewart from back in the day , reciting poem he wrote about his own dog.

AF_Chief_Master_Sgt | May 28, 2023 at 5:48 am

RIP Finn.

May you bring joy in doggie heaven!

RepublicanRJL | May 28, 2023 at 6:45 am

Mike, sorry to hear about the loss of such a friend in the family. We had a mini dachshund, or should I say, my wife had the dachshund before she met met. Dog hated me with a passion!

But over time, the Chrissy began to love the heck out of me and became my bud preferring me over the wife until she became sick.

Twelve years is a long time and Finn will forever be you best bud.


I am so very sorry for your loss.

Finn was a good boy.

OwenKellogg-Engineer | May 28, 2023 at 7:17 am

It’s never easy losing one of our four legged family members. Been there many times & I’ve bawled my eyes out when they leave. I am, however, convinced we will see them again.

Dogs are our loyal companions who just want to be part of the team. They bring so much joy to our lives and constantly remind me of the virtues of simplicity. Going for a walk, some time for play, a nap or two, regular food, a warm and dry place to sleep and of course good scratches.

LongTimeReader | May 28, 2023 at 8:28 am

My condolences. Pets are all benefit. They are a respite from the ugly in the world, unconditional love with little ask in return. It’s wrenching to lose them, even when you know it’s coming.

I’m so very sorry, they are Gods gift to humanity

casualobserver | May 28, 2023 at 8:43 am

Dogs are family, pure and simple. And their loss is no different. May he RIP.

Finn sounds like a great dog, and you provided him with a great home and life. You are both very lucky. I’m very sorry to hear of his passing.

My condolences, Mike. RIP, Finn.

texansamurai | May 28, 2023 at 9:20 am

am sorry to hear of his passing–dogs are incredibly intuitive and loyal–in all this life, how many living things just want to be with you?–to nudge you, to play or to just sit with you?–to just love you as you are?–lord

we’ve lost several pups and a couple of cats over the years and it hurt every time–sometimes they passed on their own and others needed help from our wonderful vet

mourning/grieving is natural and proper but, like our vet told us several times over the years, “it’s ok to be sad, to feel their loss but it’s important be grateful they chose to live with you”


Thanks for posting this. My heart goes out to you in the loss of your best friend.

I’m sorry for your loss. I’m looking at something similar coming up in the near future. My miniature greyhound, is about you dog’s age, and he has an ugly-looking, big mole on one of his legs. The thing is, he’d had a flush of smaller moles all over his body, which shrank and nearly disappeared as this one grew.

This is what a cancer does; one tumor will grow, and suppress all of the others This one is not in the way and not bothering him. I know that if I have it removed, he will need medication every day of his life and have other side effects. Sometimes I can see the cataracts in his eyes. Right now, he still sees well. Meanwhile, he sleeps more often but still chases squirrels and takes joy in life.

My cat’s a few years younger, a feral hunter. He’s less active, sticking closer to the house, and getting fat. He also is getting affectionate, in his schizoid way. This could all be perfectly normal, but I know from past experience that cats don’t tell you if they’re sick,

So, I’ve got this nagging little fear at the back of my mind for both of them, but it’s spring, and they both enjoy going outside when sun when it peeks out from the clouds.

I offer my condolences, Mike.

Losing a beloved pet is always hard. I still miss my brother’s adopted Yellow Labrador-German Shepherd mix, who was euthanized in 2012. The apartment complex that I grew up in in NYC didn’t allow dogs, at the time, and, so, my brother’s dog felt like my first dog, as well.

Remember the good times with Finn and the joy that he brought to your life. And, in time, you will be ready to adopt, again.

We have always had pets and know the sadness when they go.

Sincere condolences.

inspectorudy | May 28, 2023 at 11:36 am

I found this poem that helped me get past losing my Maggie. It’s called “Asleep in my heart”
If I could have just one more day,
we’d walk again in our favorite way,
two friends as before,
but no, alas, you are no more,
no ball to throw, no bowl to fill,
your leash hangs limp, your toys are still,
no welcome bark, no peaceful snore,
an empty space upon the floor,
If I could hold you once again,
I’d kiss your head,
I’d call your name,
I’d whisper gently as we part…..
You’re safe asleep within my heart.

I hope you find peace, my friend.

    TrickyRicky in reply to inspectorudy. | May 28, 2023 at 11:56 am

    So sorry. The loss of a pet is devastating.

    TrickyRicky in reply to inspectorudy. | May 28, 2023 at 11:57 am

    Oh my, I just went through a box of tissues……

      inspectorudy in reply to TrickyRicky. | May 28, 2023 at 2:19 pm

      I too cry everytime I read this peom because it brings back all of the wonderful four legged friends that have enriched my life. They truly are God’s gift to us for the friendship and comfort they bring into our lives.

        It’s a beautiful poem, and definitely tear-inducing, but at the end, I got goosebumps remembering all my beloved pets I’ve lost over the years and will one day be with again! I just hope my childhood dog Sandy doesn’t mind that my cat Chelsea is very dog-averse. 😛

Close The Fed | May 28, 2023 at 12:19 pm

I did not know dachsunds are good mousers. Hmmmm….

I’m sorry to hear of your loss of your loyal pet…..

    Dachshunds are better mousers than cats. If you ever have a mouse problem or know someone who does, bring in a Dachshund. They are relentless in their pursuit of mice. Brutal. The mouse does not stand a chance. The Dachshund will not stop until it gets the mouse in its mouth and wriggles it until it is dead or so stunned that you can pick it up with a bag and take it outside. I did not get Finn for this reason but I was amazed to see this instinct kick in when the opportunity presented itself.

      Massinsanity in reply to Mike LaChance. | June 1, 2023 at 1:46 pm

      Interesting. My cat is a sample of 1. He has almost no ability to catch mice. In fact, the year we got him we had more mice than ever before or since. He may have caught 2 in his 14 years. My dog is way too big and clumsy to catch anything so small and nimble makes sense.

      Very sorry for your loss.

      That was such a beautiful tribute you wrote, thanks for sharing it.

      Close The Fed in reply to Mike LaChance. | June 1, 2023 at 7:25 pm

      I have a mouse problem. Big time! So I am thinking about this….

Sympathies, Mike.

Sorry for your loss Mike, the pictures are great, looks like you two had a lot of happy times together.

The loss of the innocence and unconditional love of a pet is a special kind of hurt.

But Mike, you gave him a great life and he gave you every bit of life he had. He’ll always be with you.

Condolences. Finn is already waiting for you on the other side.

FrankJNatoli | May 28, 2023 at 2:10 pm

With Finn dying in his sleep, you were “lucky”.
Our part Maine Coon Sammy had metastatic cancer, throughout his body, lost half his body weight, and we decided to euthanize him a month ago.
He was my buddy and the “right” thing for us to do was kill him and I’ll feel guilty for the rest of my life.
We are told that God loves us always, and for me, so did Sammy, something more God-like about a cat or dog than a human.

    CommoChief in reply to FrankJNatoli. | May 28, 2023 at 4:20 pm

    My English Mastiff, Maebell who I got as a six week old puppy had a similar situation just as she turned nine. She started losing a little weight for a week, then shallow breathing so I took must in for X-Ray worried about cancer. She was still active but the prognosis was could be 12 months, 12 weeks or 12 days. She was riddled with it. Tried the steroids to get her lungs opened up and it helped for about a week. Back to her self, appetite returned and no shallow breathing.

    We had a very good week, lots of her favorite activities and places. Then on a Friday evening the shallow breathing returned. She lost her appetite no matter what I gave her. Finally she stopped eating from my hand. I sat with her and held her, her head on my lap for the next two days. By Sunday afternoon she was having very pronounced breathing so I called the Vet and he came in and we put her down.

    I tell you this so you know there probably wasn’t anything you could have done. I tried all the palliative care medications but once the cancer metastases there really isn’t anything to do but make them comfortable and help them pass in peace. I still feel a little guilty but honestly there wasn’t anything to do.

    The best news is that about four months later as I was getting ready to begin looking for another Mastiff these two German Pointers showed up. No collar, or ID. I live in the sticks so I suspect they are Covid Dogs turned out by their former owners. These two adopted me as if they knew I was a Dog person without a Dog. There will be another Dog that captures you as well.

      Great post! When my first cat I ever had as an adult on my own died, I was so devastated, and I ended up not getting a new one for a couple years. I thought I wasn’t ready, but the second I had my new fur-baby, I was so transformed. Not that I don’t still love and miss all my beloved pets I’ve lost over a lifetime, but I realized I can love anew and that it doesn’t in the least bit diminish my old loves. Hearts, souls, love . . . so expansive. It’s not a disloyalty thing, it’s not a “I’m not ready” thing, it’s a whole new experience.

      Since then, I have tended to advise people who have lost pets, especially if he’s a solo loved one, to dive in and get a new dog (or cat) right away. The sooner you are loving and being loved, the better. But I think this may be a YMMV thing.

        I definitely second this. The best treatment for losing love is to find more.

        gonzotx in reply to Fuzzy Slippers. | May 31, 2023 at 10:47 am

        I don’t h think people should “dive in “ right away

        There is a time for everything and everyone

        A time for mourning…

        It honors our pet and allows us time to heal and yes, love another…

          I thought that, too, but I realized when I had my new cats that I had waited far too long. As I said, everyone’s mileage may vary, but I am definitely not waiting years again. Weeks, months, yes, years, no.

          Talking to people, it seems the guilt is the biggest factor in that they think they are “replacing” their beloved best friend, family member, fur-kid, but that’s not what is happening. Our dear departed pets can NEVER be replaced, but we can find our hearts opened and souls soothed by embracing a new addition to our family.

          But again, we are all different on this. Some people can’t face ever having a new pet because they know they are certain to out-live them and suffer the devastating loss all over again. That’s sad to me since we bring such joy and love to our pets’ lives just as they do to ours, but I completely understand not wanting to put yourself out there when you know they will die in a decade or so. Having been there, though, it’s my experience that a new pet really helps fill that bleeding hole in our heart. Others, of course, may have had different experiences or advice. That’s okay, too.

    4rdm2 in reply to FrankJNatoli. | May 28, 2023 at 6:00 pm

    My part Maine coon is in fact named Finn, and is a pure incarnation of love, to be honest.

    texansamurai in reply to FrankJNatoli. | May 29, 2023 at 2:30 pm

    He was my buddy and the “right” thing for us to do was kill him and I’ll feel guilty for the rest of my life.

    understand–we had to do this with several of our rescued greyhounds–unbeknownst to us, their life on the track had been vicious and abusive, particularly due to the drugging and their atrocious diet–their livers and kidneys were severely damaged and hence their life expectancy was much shorter than normal–they were (and are) beautiful–to watch them run was to understand the true nature of speed–not the kind men make with gears and engines but the kind the almighty makes with flesh and blood–a wonder to behold–over the ten or so years we rescued greys we had to put down three of them–terminal kidney / liver issues and each painful and debilitating–cried like a baby each time–we held them at the vet’s office as they left this life and, after the third one, we finally had to stop rescuing greys–just too traumatic for us–like you, felt guilty each time but also realized that we couldn’t ask one of their gentle spirits to remain here, living in pain, just to keep us company out of love and loyalty to us–better to set them free to run again / fly again–i hope (but am still not certain) we did the right by them

Civilization was in great part founded from the bond of humans and dogs. Sharing the fire at night, warding off the fear and joining in the hunt. Now many are “just’ companions… that fill you heart with joy…continuing the share the night and the day as before recorded history. RIP FInn…. job well done.

Finn is going to be missed by you and everyone around you who knew him. You gave Finn such an amazing life. He was lucky you found him.

You two had such a special bond. It is clear how much you loved Finn and he loved you. I realize your home will feel very empty without Finn and I am so sorry for your loss. Hold your memories of him close to your heart.

I too have a best friend Finn – this one’s a cat. Having someone always happy to see you is a precious gift.

“That day” is never a good day.

Most all of us know it.

Sorry for your loss, Mike. Think of the good times with Finn and try to smile. Dogs are a gift from God and truly are man’s best friend.

My condolences these friends are family to.

I’m so sorry, Mike. Kipling wrote something that I so hope and believe is true.

“She did not know that she was dead,
But, when the pang was o’er,
Sat down to wait her Master’s tread
Upon the Golden Floor,”

“Then flew Dinah from under the Chair,
Into his arms she flew–
And licked his face from chin to hair
And Peter passed them through!”

So sorry for your loss, condolences


I lost Dante (my Persian [male] kitty) just last year. Cesar (my Maltese [male] poodle) send his condolences. RIP

” I live alone and work from home. Finn was very much at the center of my daily life.:”

Finn showed you how to live as a good friend to others. Job well done too, I’d say. Go and do likewise.

I am so sorry. I understand your pain. I lost my 15 y/o Cardigan Welsh corgi last year. He and I had so much fun herding sheep. Learned so much about dogs, sheep, and myself! I had to have him put down last year. My husband was murdered trying to stop a methhead transient who had set year to our barn and arena. I had so many people in and out for weeks and it completely overwhelmed the old guy and my old horse. They both crossed The Bridge within days of each other. It’s been a hard year.

“Set fire” to our barn. I hate autocorrect!

    gonzotx in reply to JoAnne. | May 31, 2023 at 10:53 am

    Your a much better person than me, especially with your hope he finds himself

    I will pray for you but you seem a well centered lady with solid shoulders.

RIP, Finn.

BierceAmbrose | May 29, 2023 at 3:57 pm

Snif. Dusty in here.

caseoftheblues | May 30, 2023 at 7:39 am

The pic of you and dear Finn together… with Finn smiling😍

🥹💔 so sorry for your loss… I can’t even…

SeiteiSouther | May 30, 2023 at 10:22 am

I am so sorry for your loss.

I am sorry for your loss. Pets fill are hearts with so much love, it is hard to find the space for goodbye’s.

I wish to say thank you to everyone at Legal Insurrection for helping me get through this hard time with your comforting words. Thank you to Professor Jacobson, my fellow authors and editors, and our great commenters. It means more than you know. Thank you so much.

Lost my Doxy last fall. Still hurts. Rip to your little friend and mine too.