Adoption Update: Finneas

“My husband and I adopted Finneas (formerly known as Victor/Buddy) from the Somerset Regional Animal Shelter in October 2019.

Finn was originally born in Virginia, and he had been brought up to NJ with his litter mates at 2 months old. He had been adopted once before at the age of 10 weeks, but then his original adoptive family returned him to the shelter at the age of 5 months for what sounds like typical puppy behavior.

Anyway, that particular Monday afternoon in October, I decided to stop by the shelter to make a donation. That’s when I saw Finn through the glass door, while I was standing in the reception area. I remember that he was staring at me with these big, soulful eyes that appeared to be outlined in black eyeliner.

I wasn’t planning on adopting a dog at the time.

We had just lost Mars, our beloved, 15+ year old Labrador Retriever, to Lymphoma following a valiant battle, which included 6 months of chemotherapy. Our hearts were broken. No dog could ever replace him.

I finally brought myself to gather up his remaining medications, and since I didn’t want them to go to waste, I went to the shelter in the hope that they might be able to make use of them.

Well, once I saw Finn there, I asked if I could go inside and meet him. I remember that he was inside of his kennel where he had an elevated dog bed, some blankets, and toys. He put his paws up against the door of the kennel and nibbled on my fingers.

I asked Hailey (the hard-working, kind-hearted tech at the shelter) to tell me more about him, and she filled me in on his history. When I asked about what kind of dog he is, she explained that he’s a Pyrenees/Hound mix. I was immediately surprised because we also have a Great Pyrenees at home, Maximus, who we rescued as a puppy. I immediately noticed that Finneas has rear dew claws just like our Pyr, Max.

It was hard to leave the shelter, and I thought about Finn on the drive home. When I got back to the house, I told my husband about him and suggested that we go back to the shelter together, so he could meet him.

We arrived in time to take Finn outside on a little walk. I remember he had a leash that said, “Adopt me!” He was really interested in laying on the grass and chewing sticks. He even tried to play with a large rock, as if it was a ball, but I took it away from him because I didn’t want him to get hurt. He also liked to roll on his back, while I pet his stomach and sang to him.

My husband wasn’t quite ready to adopt another dog just yet, so we left the shelter and took some time over the course of that evening and the following morning for “internal discussions.” I couldn’t stop thinking about Finn– like how he had chewed on my hair before we left the shelter!

Well, by noon the next day, we agreed that we wanted to adopt him! We were so excited to go back to the shelter and see him again!

I had already filled out the adoption paperwork before leaving home, including the names of various references, like the woman who founded the rescue organization from which we adopted our two other dogs: Max, our Pyr, and Zephyrus, our other Black Lab.

But first, we wanted to make sure that Finn would be a good fit with our pack, so we brought each of our dogs to the shelter one at a time to meet him. Zephyr came first. We knew that he and Finn would get along fine, and they did! Zephyr is a very sweet boy: a true “Ambass-brador” (Labrador Ambassador). Then we took Zephyr home, and Max came next. Finn seemed surprised by Max’s size. At 130 lbs, Max is probably the biggest dog that Finn has ever seen! They got along nicely, too, so it was a done deal! We took Max home and returned to the shelter to get Finn.

We brought a collar, harness, and leash for him. We were so excited to bring him home with us! After we had exited the building, we stopped to take a photo with Finn next to the chrysanthemums and the pumpkins in front of the shelter sign. Then we said our thank you’s and goodbyes, as we got into the car and brought Finn home on his freedom ride!

We had made sure that everything was already set up for him– several comfy dog beds, including a Tempurpedic one, lots of toys (Kongs, Galileos, Lambchops, etc)., and an extra large crate, so he wouldn’t chew anything while we were away at work.

Finn has fit into our family seamlessly.

Our other dogs, who had been mourning the loss of our most senior pack member, seemed more cheerful, as if having a new puppy in the house lifted their spirits.

We knew that Finneas would never replace Mars. Each dog is a unique individual– loved as a member of the family– and irreplaceable.

Finn has brought playful puppy energy into our home where there had been an enormous hole filled with heartbreak and sadness following the death of Mars. We are so thankful to have Finn– a joyful new soul– and we have come to see the world through his eyes. Everything is new and exciting!

He adores his big brothers, Zephyr and Max, and he copies everything they do (yawning, play bowing, even rubbing along the sofa like Mars used to do when he was happy).

Our daily walks around the neighborhood are always an adventure with so much to see, smell, and experience.

Finn has also benefited from attending weekly training lessons. In fact, he’s already completed his beginner class, and he’s since begun his intermediate one. He wears a backpack to school, carrying essential items like training treats, a clicker, extra bags for picking up poop, a squeaky toy for playing tug, etc.

Finn loves to go for walks, play chase, run around our fenced-in backyard, go to the dog park, chew sticks, fetch tennis balls, watch birds/ squirrels/ neighborhood cats, sit on the sofa, sleep in the bed, and snuggle with his big brothers (just to name a few).

We absolutely love and adore him! We’re so impressed by the compassionate care that he received at the Somerset Regional Animal Shelter.”


The Friends of Somerset Regional Animal Shelter (FOSRAS), a 501(c)(3) corporation, is a volunteer group designed to support the Somerset Regional Animal Shelter (SRAS).

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