Finnigan is a red smooth haired dachshund who is not quite standard size and not quite a miniature. In spite of his “Mr. In-between” status, and undocumented lineage, he has excelled at Therapy Dog work by virtue of his very big personality.
I initially entered volunteer work without Finnigan, visiting a local facility's closed Alzheimer's ward. A short time thereafter I learned that Ottawa Therapy Dogs were also visiting the facility and thought it would be a great way to incorporate “Fin” into my visits. We have been a team for two years now and Finnigan is very much the star player. Even though there are some whom we visit that do not always remember me, they always remember Finnigan.
By nature, Finnigan is a vibrating bundle of energy, but he also has an innate sense for when to be very gentle if the situation requires it. Through his comical antics, his infatuation with his red rubber ball and his size, he provides an opportunity for non-threatening interaction even with those who may not initially be convinced that they like dogs.
It is always a delight to me to observe the instant transformation in patients when Finnigan enters the room. This little guy is definitely a smile magnet who receives as much enjoyment from his visits, as he gives to others.