Hairless, Skinny Dog Rescued From the Streets, Becomes the Jokester of His Forever Family

The following story was a finalist in the Pawsitively Picture Perfect photo contest. The top three finishers received $500 in cash, as well as $2,000 in cash and supplies for their favorite shelter. To read more stories, click here!

We adopted Finnegan at the beginning of the pandemic in March of 2020. Although we already had two cats and a dog, we were working from home, and it was an ideal time to help a new family member settle into our home.


We had previously adopted a dog from a wonderful rescue called Compassion Without Borders. They rescue dogs from Mexico and California’s Central Valley in high poverty areas, nurse them back to health, and find loving homes for them. We knew we wanted to adopt one of their deserving dogs again.


When we searched their website, we came across Finn’s before and after photos. He had been discovered homeless on the street in Mexico, living on bugs and garbage. He was nearly hairless from mange, skinny, and anemic. His after picture showed a much different dog: healthy, hairy, and bright eyed. We knew he was the one that we wanted to love and care for for the rest of his life.


When we brought him home, it became apparent that he had never been inside a house before! Although his rescue typically has dogs spend time in foster, we were eager to adopt him before that happened. He started doing joyful zoomies within minutes of coming home!

Since that first day, we have discovered what a joyful boy he is, and what a fast learner! He taught himself to play fetch, and it is absolutely his favorite game. He has learned to wait politely for his meals, to sit, shake, stay, and lay down. We have found that we only have to show him once, and he remembers.

He has also surprised us by teaching himself how to climb the floor to ceiling indoor cat tree. He goes up and down it as easily as the cats do (much to their dismay). But seriously, he gets along well with the cats, and in fact is a tiny bit intimidated by them. He is also the best brother to his sister chihuahua, Rosie, who is twice his age and half his size. He even lets her be the boss of him and is very gentle and sweet when they play together.


Finnegan is so funny, loving, and sweet. Now that we are back to work, he excitedly greets us when we get home. He runs over to the couch and climbs up on the back of it, so he can be “tall” enough to look us in the eyes and smell our faces as part of his greeting ritual.

He is affectionate and will rub his head and face on your shirt as his version of a hug. One of his favorite ways to be silly is to roll over on his back and kick his feet in the air as he pretends to bite you, making silly puffing and snorting sounds. He makes us laugh — a lot!

We are so fortunate to have Finnegan in our family!

This story was submitted by Deborah Cates in support of Napa County Animal Shelter. To read other stories from the Pawsitively Picture Perfect photo contest, click here!

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