Finnegan’s Story- a dog making a difference at Talahi Senior Campus!

finn3[1] finn1[1] Finn


Meet Finnegan, one of the Opportunity Services Team Members at Talahi Senior Campus in St. Cloud, Minnesota. Finn has become an integral part of the team and the entire environment at Talahi, but it wasn’t always an easy journey for him. Finn was introduced to OS by Brittney Domeier who joined the St. Cloud team as an intern last summer, now she has re-joined the team as the Ticket to Work Supervisor in Minneapolis. Brittney’s mom has fostered rescue dogs for years so when they rescued Finnegan and his brother, Huckleberry she wasn’t shy to tell her co-workers and the clients all about the puppies!

Finnegan was in rough shape when Brittney and her mom took him in. He was located at a high-kill shelter in Tulsa, Oklahoma- one of 38 puppies that was going to be euthanized. Happy Tails Rescue of Fridley, Minnesota was the organization that traveled to rescue the puppies. Finnegan was in worse shape than his brother, Huckleberry- he had kennel cough, pneumonia and had to have several IVs of fluid. Multiple times Finn was sent to the ER Vet where Brittney and her mom where told he might not survive.

Once Finn started feeling better, Brittney would bring him into Talahi Senior Campus to interact with the residents and clients. Everyone loved him immediately! He was always very respectful while he was on-site at Talahi- never chewing anything or making any messes! Quickly, many of the residents and staff started to keep dog treats around so Finn would stop by and visit. Everyone became attached to Finn very quickly and all the residents, employees and Opportunity Services clients appreciated Finn’s therapeutic benefits.

John Hollingsworth, Opportunity Services job coach at Talahi, had a realization that he wanted to adopt Finn. John practically watched Finn grow up at Talahi and couldn’t imagine life without him. The very day Finn become available for adoption John placed an application! In late August, right before Brittney was done with her internship- John officially adopted Finn. Everyone at Talahi was so happy that Finn could stay on-site and continue to visit!

Originally, Talahi Senior Campus had a policy that all dogs must remain on the leash in the building. Luckily once Finn proved himself, this rule was re-written for him. Marlene Smith, Talahi Senior Campus Administrator has seen the benefits of Finn firsthand. “Having dogs around the residents and staff is very therapeutic,” says Marlene. “Finn is an extraordinary dog and we are happy to have him visit multiple days a week. Everyone looks forward to seeing him- it’s made such a difference to everyone here at Talahi!” John Hollingsworth is happy to have his dog on-site as well. “Finn is well loved,” says John. “Residents and staff actually get a little mad at me on the days he stays at home!” Finn’s story is a great example of our team effort in St. Cloud. Everyone came together to continue providing this positive outlet for our clients and business partner!