I never planned on adopting Finn. Or as he was named when I first met him, Gin. I planned on fostering him for awhile, teaching him some manners and showing him what a loving home could feel like. I needed a distraction from some of the major changes I was making in my life, and taking in a dog for a couple months seemed to me like the perfect way to get out of my apartment and the training a perfect project to throw myself into.
The first time I saw Finn in person he was desperately trying to shrink himself into the corner of the intake room at the Secondhand Hounds office. There were about 10 dogs, and 20 people crammed into that office, and he looked like he would rather be anywhere else. Considering that’s how I feel at like 90% of social gatherings, I immediately felt a connection with him. Our first night together was spent at the 24 hour vet in St. Paul with his brother, because their stitches from being neutered had opened on the transport vehicle to Minnesota. I stayed up all night with them, heart exploding over the connection they had formed as strays and how much they relied on the other one.
Taking in a dog with 6 months of life before me was a bit of an adjustment. He hadn’t been in a home before, never had toys to play with, and in the first week of having him he didn’t even wag his tail. He slept a lot, which is normal. Between being a stray, living in a shelter and then taking the long trek up from Missouri, he never really had a lot of time for peace and quiet. I had to learn his fears (water, loud noises, being in a kennel…) and he had to learn to trust me.
Other than a brief stint at my older sister’s house (her family almost adopted him…but in the end it just didn’t work out) we spent practically every moment I wasn’t at work together. He slept as close to me as possible at night, somehow managing to take up an entire queen sized bed. The dog bed on the floor was barely used, but the spot next to me on the couch was always warm. We spent early mornings out for walks, and I tried to take advantage of every opportunity I had to get him out on a patio or in a store in hopes of finding him a forever home- because I was still going through the motions of getting him adopted.
It was a few months of deflecting questions about whether or not I was just going to adopt Finn before I got word that an application was submitted for his adoption. Now I am sure that the person who sent in that application is a wonderful person. I mean, they made the decision to adopt a dog, so of course they probably are. But the moment I saw that application I knew that Finn wasn’t going to be going to a forever home. He had already found one. I immediately emailed Secondhand Hounds and told them that I would be adopting him instead.
When I told Finn that I was officially going to be his owner he just looked at me, wagged his tail, and laid his head back down on my leg. It didn’t make a difference to him. I had belonged to him since that first night in my apartment, and he knew it well before I did.