Pet of the Week: Mellow Finnegan ready to bounce back

Tibetan terrier mix Finnegan, shaved clean and happily clad in his winter sweater to keep him warm, sticks by Humane Society of Warren County kennel attendant Dorothy Butler. Rachel Mahoney/Daily

FRONT ROYAL – With his long coat freshly shorn off, 5-year-old Tibetan terrier mix Finnegan is bundled up in a sweater to ward off the winter chill.

Finnegan came to the Humane Society of Warren County on Dec. 31 after his previous owner passed away. He was looking a little worse for wear, so shelter workers decided to shave off his matted coat shortly after he arrived to give him a fresh start. The shelter suited him up with the sweater after kennel attendant Dorothy Butler said she saw that he was shivering in his kennel.

“When I went to vaccinate him, it was hard for me to get to his skin, there were so many mats,” she said.

She said that, given some time and loving care, Finnegan will grow back his shaggy medium coat and vaguely resemble a moderate-sized Westie. She said his “marshmallow fluff” will require a bit of upkeep to keep from matting up.

Butler said Finnegan is not the most responsive to treats and isn’t a toy hog, but the previous owner’s relatives reported that he understands some basic vocal commands and directives. They also said that this mellow dog will especially enjoy accompanying his future owner on car rides.

Despite not being the most suitable dog for a particularly active owner or family, Butler said he’s still attentive and eager to share his love with a new home.

“His energy level isn’t down or anything,” she said. “He’s definitely alert.”

A few visitors have paid Finnegan a visit during his stay so far, and Butler said he’s been amiable through and through. He may not greet visitors wagging his tail and chomping at the bit to play, but he’s inquisitive and curious as to what’s going on around him.

“He’s a sweet soul; he’s very accepting of anything,” she said.

Finnegan lived alongside another dog with his previous owner, and Butler said he has been extremely tolerant of that other dog while sharing a kennel with her. Although he hasn’t really spent time with the other shelter dogs, Butler said Finnegan has had no qualms investigating and saying hello to his shelter co-habitants when out on walks. When he’s come to nose to nose with some of the more aggressive dogs, she said he’ll back away and leave them be.

“He wants to walk right up to other dogs,” she said. “He’s seen a cat walking around outside and didn’t do anything, but I didn’t let them meet.”

When approached by kids wanting to poke their fingers through his cage, Finnegan didn’t snap or react negatively. Butler said he’s a one size fits all kind of dog that will stay loyal as his owner’s best canine friend.

“He does kind of attach himself to one person,” she said. “He likes to sit right by your side.”

As a neutered adult dog, Finnegan’s adoption fee from the Humane Society of Warren County after the application process is $30. Butler said he’s up to date on vaccinations for distemper, rabies and bordetella and has been treated for worms. Contact the shelter at 540-635-4734.

Contact staff writer Rachel Mahoney at 540-465-5137 ext. 164, or rmahoney@nvdaily.com