It's always {always, always} hard. But sometimes, it's just harder. This time we said goodbye to the best old boy, and in doing so it became apparent it wasn't only him we were letting go of. We were also saying goodbye to the last piece of what remained of an era. Finn came to us as a puppy of 10-12 weeks old, when the kids were 7, 9, and 11. (They are now 23, 25, and 27.) They...we...all grew up together. He'd been with us in Calgary, through our Bowen Island years, on to the emptying nest in North Vancouver, and finally seen us through the transition to a somewhat foreign-feeling home south of the border. Having Finn here in Bend helped stave off the reality of an entirely empty nest.

We have been living the nearly empty nest for a few years now, with the kids coming and going and only sometimes staying longer than it takes to do a few loads of laundry and have a meal. While ol' Findley was in remarkable health for a dog of 13, 14, and then 15 years old, his aging was apparent and in the last few months, rapid. When he turned the corner into 16, we knew his days were numbered. But, when the time came, it was still a gut-wrenching decision to make. It always {always, always, always} is. Knowing something is right and will be hard to do, doesn't mean it won't feel wrong and practically impossible to do.

We've not been without a dog in the house for 25+ years, but we're going to be without one for awhile now. There's a move or two yet to make, a level of uncertainty in our lives, and plans to makes the most sense. (Though, never say never.) As I post this, we are adjusting to the hole Finn has left. He's as dearly missed as the entire stage of life he'd come to represent. But we'll shift our routines, learn to live with the quiet, and move on...I suspect we already are...and there will be many more good things to come in this next phase. I know that to be true.

All that said, there will never be another Finnegan.