Born Brothers Jack and Finn
Dogs Rule. And these two certainly do.
Meet Jack and Finn – the head-turning duo that have people crossing streets in wonderment - many hoping to have their picture taken with the handsome pair. Often seen on a casual stroll or a night on the town, these calm and well-behaved sighthounds are gentle giants. Known as one of the tallest breeds in the world, the distinguished Irish Wolfhounds are making themselves at home in Newberry – as is the rest of the family, Rosie the Terrier, Kong the Cat, and their people, David and Linda Devaney.
The Devaney’s say Jack and Finn, aka The Boys, are a lifestyle and when planning activities, they always think big and plan-ahead. The Boys have “uh oh” bags because they’re dogs and a mini-van because they’re the size of humans. They like to stretch their limbs and they like to run. They thrive in cold weather and enjoy Main Street walks and socializing with other dogs and people. Trips to Greenville often find The Boys at the center of attention, and hearing their names called in crowds isn’t unusual, it’s the norm, as their striking appearance makes them easily recognizable to friends.
Not shy about their weight, each boy weighs in at about 170 pounds. A sturdy, full-size mattress serves as their bed. Together they gallop outdoors, and upon crossing the threshold indoors, they usually pause for water at their 5-gallon water station, which typically needs refilling daily. Propping their hips on the massive family couch for a casual rest, it’s not long before the boys gracefully move again from one room to another. They are the captains of their quarters and they acquaint themselves to their guests by observing moods or perhaps creating the mood. On call 24/7, The Boys eventually return to the couch and collapse in a blissful heap before settling in for family snuggle time. It’s what they do. This is not your typical family. They work and play together - all day, every day.
Jack and Finn have never eaten people food (or people, in case you’re wondering) and have a very strict diet – daily sharing one can of wet dog food mixed with dry kibble.
Irish history has given the breed this slogan:
"Gentle when stroked, fierce when provoked."
One 35-pound bag of dry kibble lasts one week and then the Devaney’s make their weekly restocking trip and prepare for the next week. Prone to counter surf, there’s nothing that won’t fit into their mouth. The Boys have their own room and usually, the run of the house. With extraordinarily keen senses, they can hear and see at great distances and can function off scent and sound, but their main interest is movement. Not considered watch dogs, Irish history has given the breed this slogan: “Gentle when stroked, fierce when provoked.”
Brothers from the same litter, Finn is likened to a rambunctious teenager and Jack, he’s an old soul. They growl and rumble and play. Every once-in-a-while, Jack decides he’s had enough and that’s it – stuff stops. When Jack lays down the law, even house mom - Rosie the Terrier / Tasmanian Devil – stops in her tracks. The Boys seldom bark, but when they do, it feels like the house is being shaken like a snow globe – windows rattle and small objects roll. Yes, The Boys are big and powerful, but they’ve never intimidated Linda or David. In fact, the couple loves this breed so much, they’re considering adopting two more.
The Boys have every comfort a dog could want and what every dog deserves – an abundance of love. As responsible pet owners, most everything the Devaney’s own was purchased with the boys in mind – the house, the bed, the van. Joining the family at 10-weeks old, they’ll be considered full grown in April when they celebrate their third birthday. They’re home-groomed almost weekly – stepping in and out of the tub. Their spa treatment includes going face-to-to face with a professional dryer that’s equipped with a (quiet) vacuum, a towel, and a brush. Gray in color, Jack has the traditional “wolfy-hair” while Finn’s coat is smoother.
Jack and Finn freely give attention to spectators – so while they naturally and spontaneously captivate audiences with their goliath stature, it’s their impeccable manners, profound compassion, and expressive eyes that capture your heart. Emotional, loyal and eager to please, Jack and Finn are especially fond of children and becoming Newberry’s most fascinating treasure to love and admire.
After 28-years with the Las Vegas police force, David says he and Linda were ready to retire to a small town and Newberry offers them the relaxed lifestyle they hoped for. They say they love Newberry and give praise to The Newberry Opera Houses’ reputation for ultimately bringing them here. By all accounts, they’re here to stay and they’re building their lives around their precious -pups. If you see the Devaney’s around town, chances are you’ll see The Boys, Jack and Finn.
Being together as a family is their favorite lifestyle.
Photographs by Ted B. Williams.