Real Life Rainbow Bridge Stories'My Lab, Finney'
We brought Finnigan, a white English lab, into our family when I was only 2 years old. We were the best of friends growing up, and he was there for everything. My first day of kindergarden, my first day of "real" school (grade school), and even when I graduated elementary, and began my journey into high school. No matter how stressful these times were, Finny's loud wagging tail would always make me feel better.
But, as Finny got older, he began to slow down. First it was the jumping that stopped. Then going for family walks. Then walking the stairs. He had slowed down so much that we would sometimes have to physically lift him up the stairs. At 12, he was no puppy, and for a big dog, he was known as an "old man."
On September 2nd 2010, Finny was no longer himself. The day before, we took him to the vets office to get a medication to ease the pain of walking the stairs. The vet also took a blood test to check for any sickness. The medication made him fall fast. It did the opposite of what it was supposed to do. Finny could not even stand up.
As he lay on an opened up sleeping bag in our kitchen on the morning of September 2nd, my mom looked at me with tears in her eyes and said "I think we're going to have to bring him in, Honey." Earlier that morning, the vet called with the blood test results: Finny had liver failure and cancer.
I refused to believe it. I begged and screamed to not take Finny away from me. I didn't remember a life without him, so I was scared to face my life without him by my side. I remember the tearful phonecall to the vet when my mom made an appointment to bring Finny in. The vet told her to bring him in whenever we were ready that day.
My mom, my sister, and I lay in the kitchen with Finny, crying and apologizing for all the times we were firm with him. I'll never forget that day. At 15 years old, I was facing the biggest pain in my life.
A few days after it happened, my mom saw a bright red cardinal while she was gardening. When she moved closer to the cardinal, it did not move. It just looked at her and stayed that way. My mom searched what that meant on the Internet. Seeing a cardinal is a sign that someone who has recently passed is watching over you and loves you.
Almost a year later, I always see signs of Finny. The loud thump of his wagging tail is constently heard throughout our house. The panting, too. And everynight for the past few nights, I've had dreams of him. One was very vivid, and was about us getting him back. He looked healthy and happy, and real. I know that something as small as death could not break somthing as big as our family bond.
Finny, I love you and I think about you everyday. You are, and always will be, my polar bear dog. I know that you are with us everyday, and you will never leave us. I can't wait until I can hug you again.