Finnegan of Riley River

Finnegan as a puppy - White and Red Irish Doodle

Two weeks ago, when we lost Rylee, the pain and the feeling of loss were unexpected. The thought of another dog was simply not in the cards. For so long, I had limited my life due to Rylee, so I was going to take this opportunity of once again being an empty nester to start traveling and doing all the things that I was not able to.

We have another dog.


What I didn’t expect was the somber empty feeling of our house without a dog. We had always said that Rylee would have been a great therapy dog, and now we know she was our therapy.

To Doodle or not to Doodle

One of Rylee’s most noticeable features is that as an F1B Goldendoodle (theoretically 75% Poodle), she had almost no characteristics of a Poodle. While we were disappointed (slightly) in her non-doodle appearance, she more than made up for that in every other aspect. So the question now was should we want another doodle? Yes, we should.

Decisions, Decisions

We knew if we were going to get another Doodle we would once again go back to our breeder of choice McKenzie Doodles in Winchester, Virginia. Now the question was, what type — Golden, Sheepa, Irish, Berna, or the adorable McNuggets? Originally we planned on the Sheepadoodle. The Old English Sheepdog is so adorable and the stud Huck is a beautiful dog. Our second choice was an Irishdoodle and it just so happened there were three puppies left from the latest litter. The pictures were cute and the fact that the mom’s name is Riley pulled on our heart strings and encouraged us to go look. We knew that once we were there, walking away would be almost impossible.

I Choose You

Like our choice of Rylee, we decided to let the puppies choose us. Rylee picked me almost immediately, but this time none of the puppies were interested in me — Sheepadoodle here we come. However, one puppy was immediately drawn to Rita and then came and sat on my feet (like Rylee had done). The choice was made. Interestingly, the puppy that chose us was our last choice based on video and pictures we had seen, but face to face, he was the clear choice.

Introducing Finnegan of Riley River


Allow me to introduce Finnegan of Riley River — Finn for short. Finnegan was the most popular as we worked through a list of possible names, with Zeke being the alternative if the name seemed more appropriate. Since Finnegan is an Irish surname meaning “Fair-Haired,” it was an obvious choice. The “of Riley River” comes from the names of the parent, Riley is a four-year-olf Irish Setter, and River is the Poodle stud. It also tugged on our heartstrings as a reminder of our lost Rylee. Finnegan was born on Veterans Day, 2022.

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