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Happy Tail: An anxious dog finds a home and happiness


Poor Finnley! In her first encounter with Taurie Fitz-Gibbon of Easthampton, MA, the dog shook the whole time. She was listed on Petfinder by Great Dog Rescue New England in Andover, MA, but before she came there she’d been found wandering in the woods with four new pups.

“Most of her teeth are broken, and since she is only about two years old, the vet said she probably broke them trying to get out of a cage,” Taurie says. So the pooch had reason to be anxious; she’d been through a lot.

Finnley Fitz-Gibbon

Read the story in Taurie’s own words.

Taurie adopted her, and then became worried because two days passed — but nothing had passed from Finnley. “I took her to the emergency vet twice, but nothing was wrong,” Taurie says. On the third day, the dog finally relieved herself, giving Taurie a sense of relief as well.

The dog quickly became very attached to her new person, so the next hurdle they encountered was separation anxiety, which revealed itself uniquely when a neighbor called Taurie at work to report that Finnley was on Taurie’s roof.

She hurried home and found the neighbors had a ladder propped against the house and were trying to get Finnley down.

“She couldn’t find me,” Taurie said, “[so she had] jumped over her baby gates that were supposed to keep her safe in the kitchen, and climbed out the window in my room.”

Training classes, anxiety medicine and a behaviorist have helped Finnley overcome her problems. “She has gone from shaking uncontrollably when meeting anyone new to wagging her tail and walking up to strangers to sniff them,” Taurie says. “She eats better, she’s happy all the time and is well behaved and sweet.”

Small steps, but they mean a lot to Taurie, who loves Finnley very much. As the challenges are overcome, the bond between them strengthens.

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