Meet Finn, a Small Munsterlander. Born to a litter of seven, Finn was the runt. His brother that was born right before him was the largest puppy, making the breeder believe that Finn was pushed up against his mother’s ribs, which caused his back legs to not form correctly. Small Munsterlanders are common to Germany, with less than 1,000 dogs living in America. The breed is well known for hunting and with Finn’s back legs not being formed correctly, the breeder was at a loss as to what to do with him. She consulted other breeders for their opinions and most of them told her that he should be put down. Who would want to buy a purebred hunting dog that may not be able to adequately perform hunting duties?
The breeder didn’t want to put this poor puppy down, so she began looking for a family that would take Finn in. She came across my parents who were still grieving after recently putting our 12 year old dog down. The breeder told them about Finn’s condition and they agreed to come see him. For them, it was love at first sight. Finn and his brothers and sisters were finally walking and it was clear that he was different. Instead of using all four legs independently, he used his back legs at the same time, which made him hop. Imagine a three-legged dog walking, that is almost what Finn looks like when he walks. You almost want to feel sorry for his predicament but at the same time he wasn’t letting it show that it bothered him.
After much consideration, my parents decided to adopt him. He was the last puppy to be picked up and he was excited to start his life with his new family. It took awhile for my parents to adjust to having a puppy in the house. They enrolled him in obedience classes where he quickly excelled and even showed the teacher up at times. But that didn’t stop him from being a rambunctious puppy. He was known to rip up toilet paper rolls and to go through the bathroom trash. On more than one occasion he tore up the newspapers that were meant for the recycling bin. When Halloween came around, we bought him multiple costumes, none of which he liked as he would run around the backyard, trying to bite them off. At Christmas, we spoiled him with new toys. We quickly learned to not buy toys with stuffing or squeakers as he would rip them apart within a week. My parents resorted to buying sturdy, hard rubber toys but if you gave Finn time, he would start to tear them apart as well.
You would think that with his back legs being disabled that walks would be a breeze. Do not let that fool you; he likes to pull so hard on his leash that you might think your arm will pop out of its socket. He also loves to play fetch and runs like any other dog. Because to Finn, he sees himself as just another dog. He doesn’t let his disability slow him down or get in the way of anything. Other people may see Finn and see the way he walks and think about how unfortunate it is that he has to live like that. But for my family, we feel very fortunate that we were able to give him a second chance at life. Just because a dog has a disability doesn’t mean that we should treat him differently. After all, he is still a dog on the inside.