Part 1 - Written 4th of August 2007

My Friend Finlay

It had been a very emotional few weeks in my life. I felt like my life was in tatters. To loose Dexi had been bad enough, to loose Seffe 3 weeks later had left me devastated. I cried so much I thought I'd never stop, but with 7 others to care for and love I found I could carry on, but only just! Feeling emotionally unbalanced I returned to work and caring for the animals there helped me to cope with my loss. Then on the Wednesday came a call from a council-run pound. The kennels’ owners may well have denied their statement later; but I was in the room when the call came in and I heard the list of 25 dogs due for destruction on the Friday read out, and later saw it all written down. Cross breeds, Sheepdogs, a Labrador bitch and a white German Shepherd to name but a few. After a quick word with "him indoors" we decided to offer a foster home to the GSD. How could I pick one knowing there was little hope of a future for the others? I even had to refuse the request to take two Labrador crosses as well as I simply don’t have the room. Still the morning was spent "texting", phoning and "e.mailing" to assure a future for the other dogs. Through the hard work and dedication of a few individuals I'm glad to say that within 48 hours alternative accommodation was found for all the other dogs.

It was Friday morning when one of our charities volunteer arrived with the dogs coming to this area. As a GSD enthusiast I’ve had little time for whites, but I do like a black and tan long coat. I remember so clearly my thought when I first set eyes on him. "OMG, not just bloody white but a long coat as well.....and he's full of knots!!!"
It’s not snobbery you know! There are practical reasons why “white” is an unrecognised colour in the G.S.D breed standard. A German Shepherd herding his sheep on the hill needs to be easily distinguished from it’s flock, imagine the difficulties if the dog was almost the same colour as the sheep! Also a white dog working within the forces, (yes, I ’m aware there are a few) would stick out like a sore thumb during night duties. The gene pool for whites is so small that character has to be questioned; especially when the “white” enthusiasts are choosing to breed white to white and avoiding using standard coloured dogs to try and produce pure “snow” white dogs and eradicate cream animals.


As I’m a George Michael fan one of my work mates suggested I call him “Freeek.” (a George song) I really did think about it, but just couldn’t. Eventually I christened him Finlay.
Finlay is most things I consider incorrect in a GSD, he’s white, (well cream) he’s long coated, he’s got small, almost Samoyed like ears, and he’s unbelievably long....... Here’s my head my arse is coming!!! But he’s calm, self assured and totally non-confrontational, funny, bubbly and so easy to live with.
Now I know it's only 2 weeks since I met Finlay but he really is quite a stunning character. To be honest this young man has charmed me. Oops....looks like Rhian “read the breed standard” Stanley has fallen in love with a "white long coat." I keep telling him "you could have been a dead man now you know!" Still I defy any “dog lover” to say that this is not a good-looking dog. He may not be a good example of a GSD but he’s a very good-looking dog. So now that’s how I look at him as a lovely looking dog with a cracking character, I hope others will do the same.
Actually maybe I did the wrong thing for me in fostering Finn so shortly after the death of Seffe and Dexi. The wounds where too raw, I was not emotionally equipped to deal with fostering at that moment. I've let him in, I've fallen for the "white boy." I keep thinking of Seffe and singing the lyrics to "Please send me someone to love," and bursting into tears. Anyway, equipped or not, he's here now and had I not taken him.....well it really doesn't bear thinking about does it.
Today I've decided that I'm keeping Finlay. I really couldn't possibly give him up now. This wonderful dog is helping me heal, basically maybe he was just what I needed. He makes me smile and warms up my heart, his brown eyes and soft expression melt me, and he looks nothing like the wonderful family that I've lost so I will never make comparisons.
How could anyone have even been able to give him up? His owner knew where he was, they had been informed of his plight but they refused to pay the “fine” to get their dog back. Sometimes I really don't understand people, I would go through hell and high water to keep this wonderful dog safe.
I will never breed a litter of whites, and since Finn has lost his “bits” this week an accident will never happen here. I feel strongly about breeding to try and improve on what I’ve got and that means I will always adhere to the breed standard. But still I’ve opened my heart to this wonderful dog as an individual. He is now my friend. You know I find it so strange because in the past some “fosters” have been here for 18 months and I still managed to re-home them. I have fostered GSD's and kittens many times before without any difficulty in letting go when the time is right, but Finlay, well ....He has found his forever home here with me. I guess I needed him when he needed me.

Part 2 - Written 26th of July 08

My Sunshine

This time last year I was in the middle of my misery...Dexi had died late June and the shock of loosing Seffe on the 15th of July had left me in tatters. Thank God I didn't know what was yet to come!!!!
So it was a year ago to this week-end that a little bit of "Sunshine" came into my life.  To  think back now, that up until then he was just a "dead man walking" still haunts me. He was just 2 days away from death when I agreed to "foster" him. This morning, as he often does on a week-end, fat boy Finn climbed onto the bed cuddled up for five minutes or so before rolling around biting at the duvet..."time to feed me please!" I did winge a little as I though of "what could have been," Thank god it never was!!!! (and that kennel is still putting health dogs to sleep on a regular basis) I look at this beautiful dog and I just can't get my head around it...I just can't.
I show GSD's so I honestly have never had time for "Whites" but where rescue is concerned colour really doesn't come into it. I love this dog for who he is.This is not an aggressive dog nor a nervous dog...this is not in any way a problem dog. This is Finlay, goofy, funny and playful. His only crime was to have owners who just didn't care! His life was simply not worth the £45 fine to them, and now he means the world to us. Finlay was my "sunshine on a rainy day."
So...One year on and four beautiful friends lost....but never ever forgotten.
Now there's no more time to dwell on the past....Brand new friendships have been made...and memories of those that I was privileged to have loved usually bring a smile instead of a tear.
To End....I thank god for my new friend...My "Sunshine."



Finlay - Sticking Out Like A Sore Thumb!

Out with his family In Cwn Dulyn 

28th July 09

As the second half of the year begins the painful anniversary's of 2007 still haunt me. They approach quickly and thankfully pass me by with less vigor this year. With two gone and another two to face My sunshine shines brightly and keeps my feet firmly on the ground. No doubt there where very few smiles in 2007. George was one moment of sheer pleasure. The 15th of June 2007 was certainly a day to remember. George Michael dancing in the rain was truly a sight I will never forget. I dream of seeing him again..but if I'm not that blessed my memories will stay with me forever.

This week there is also another anniversary, during that painful year a little sunshine came into my life. There are question that will never be answered. Why does he dislike large black dogs? Who hit him across the face ...and why? What reason is there to ever justify that? What is the fascination with flashing light? Who encouraged him to play with a torch light? Why does he have to be invited or almost persuaded into a strange room or building? Lots of questions but I guess there will never be answers ... But really as long as he's happy now then really the past is of little importance. He certainly seems to be a happy chappy, and my God he makes us happy. Yeah 2 years "Older" but he'll always be the Sunshine that came into my life on a rainy day...