For Colleen’s weekly challenge.

Finbar Cristmas

Big dog

with big nose and

big ears, looking older,

some grey hairs, still lithe and racy,

but four

circuits of the field are enough

these days. Fleet feet, fleeting

years, one life not


Published by

Jane Dougherty

I used to do lots of things I didn't much enjoy. Now I am officially a writer. It's what I always wanted to be.

34 thoughts on “Finbar”

  1. Handsome fellow! Give him a hug and scratch from me.
    Poignant: “Fleet feet, fleeting
    years, one life not
    It’s so true. Son-in-law’s dog, the dog he had before he met my daughter, is starting to slow down.

    1. I’ll do that πŸ™‚
      He’s starting to slow down too and he obviously resents it. Still runs like a well, like a greyhound I suppose, but he gets tired and he never used to. He’ll be thirteen next birthday so I suppose it’s just a sign of the times.

      1. Yesterday he was racing round and round like a mad thing, raced down towards the stream, slipped, skidded and rolled right into the ditch and got soaked. It’s so humiliating for him!

      2. Hahaha. It happens. Our cats have slipped, too. Though the funniest thing was actually when our white cat, Mickey, was a kitten and he couldn’t control his freakishly long legs. He did one of those cartoon cat slides across our coffee table with his legs stretched-out. πŸ™‚

    1. It seems so unfair that their lives are so relatively short. When I think of all the human monsters who live almost a century, wreaking their evil almost up to their deathbeds, it makes me angry

  2. No, one life is not enough. Finbar wants his to go on forever. His vivacity and curiosity are lively in the text and the photograph.

    still lithe an racy

    That’s grand. I’ve no doubt you and he are great company for each other.

    1. He has always been a handful, too big and strong for me and my back is in almost permanent discomfort (or pain) from pulled muscles when he decides he’s going to imitate a kangaroo. This place should be ideal for him five acres to run around in, but it’s too open. He sees something move on the lane (rare but it does happen) or in a field and he’s off. They’re like wind up toys, have no control once the urge to run gets them. It isn’t hunting, it’s the sheer pleasure of running. A joy to watch but terrifying as well.

      1. I understand. My dogs were never huge but they weren’t tiny, either. I’ve taken care of dogs that are too big for me. I had two once; thank goodness, they were old and mostly docile.

        Your dog should be enjoying a charmed life, and I guess he is. But you have to fear every time he runs off, which he does so well. I can appreciate how hard that must be and to go through so often.

        i have a vicarious situation in my building. The neighbor upstairs has gotten a dog too big for her and in such a building too big for anyone. The dog is cooped and so barks and whines all the time. Why she got this dog I do not know. She never has seemed happy with her, even the first time I saw them when the dog was small.

        Sighs all around, I guess. But I’d really like an easier time for you and your back and other muscles.

      2. People who buy dogs from a catalogue using the same reasoning they apply to buying a new sofa or kitchen unit should ask themselves why they want a dog at all. There are so many dogs wanting to be adopted, the ethics of buying from a breeder at all are dubious. I chose Finbar on the strength of his profile pic (a big nose) on the Spanish refuge site and decided if I was going to get one dog out of hell it would be this one, and he would free up the place for another survivor of the killing fields. It’s been hard work, but it’s not his fault. He never asked to be ill-treated and threatened with hanging when he became surplus to requirements. We do what we can. I don’t regret it, not even the strained muscles.

      3. You’re absolutely right, dogs are being dogs. That’s their job. Goodness, you saved yours from such a harrowing life. My dogs (and cats) were nearly always mutts. My sister saved a cat from a trap for a fox or something. The cat was Siamese and lived on three legs for many years. So many animals to save. We domesticated these creatures. We on the planet owe them and ourselves to keep them well. I’ve no doubt you don’t regret providing Finbar with a home.

        Over here (I don’t know universal this is, they are), there are what are called puppy mills, places where dogs are bred in terrible environs, then sold as breeds. Which they are, though often sickly for the treatment. And it’s only recently dog fighting for money was outlawed. I’m sure it’s happening somewhere. Too little progress but some, I guess.

      4. That’s exactly how I feel too. We have made dogs, cats, horses, cows what they are and owe them our protection from abuse. Animals we eat deserve that protection too, and what applies to puppy mills should apply to all animal ‘production’. Eat less meat, breed fewer fashion accessory pets and there would be less for people like us to get apoplectic about!

      5. Our nearest neighbours adopted a cat that they found in a trap. The leg had to be amputated. Unfortunately last summer she caught another leg in a trap and they had to have her put to sleep. Two legs was just too much.

  3. He’s so beautiful! I love lurchers – and greyhounds, of course. I only have the one greyhound now, she’s 11 and she has slowed down considerably. It seems the bigger the dog, the shorter the life, which is just wrong.

    1. He’s a handsome lad. Yes, big dogs don’t have long lives, heart and articulations problems usually. Galgos given their pariah status don’t suffer from inbreeding and they come in all sizes and colours, rough coated and smooth. Finbar is big for a Galgo, though slighter than a greyhound and he’s beginning to slow down too. I’m not complaining as he’s too strong for me to control when he decides he wants to run. He’ll be thirteen this summer…

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