July 11, 2016 marks the day we brought home Finnegan. I was not really a dog person at that point in my life. Needless to say, this has changed. Over the course of the past year, my life has adjusted to a routine built around companionship. In the morning while I eat breakfast, eyes follow my every move. There is no sitting down without the expectation of play time. Walks are mandatory, the longer the better. Being away from home the past few weeks has been all the more of a reminder of how much I have grown to enjoy my dog. German dog owners commonly train their dogs to the point where they can take them anywhere. It is perfectly normal to see a dog under a table in a restaurant or waiting, on its own — not tied up, just sitting — for its owner to come out of a store. I have learned to ask, “Kann ich dein Hund streichen?” Can I pet your dog? Finnegan isn’t yet well trained enough that he would rest at my feet in a restaurant, but I hope he will be some day. Watching people with their dogs, and being away from mine the past few weeks has given me a fresh appreciation for the furry friend who came into my life this past year. About a week into being here I did a google hangout with my family back home. As soon as he heard my voice over the computer, Finnegan jumped up and ran to the door. It was awful to hear his bark change from excitement to confusion as he listened but could not see or smell me there. I didn’t know that having a dog could be like that. When I see him again, I think my tail will wag as well.