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What Kind of Dog is in Finch?

Nicole Cosgrove Profile Picture

By Nicole Cosgrove

irish terrier dog standing in the park

In this simple story about human and dog bonding set in extraordinary circumstances, Tom Hanks stars as Finch, and Seamus the dog plays Goodyear. As a result of human neglect of our planet, solar flares begin wreaking havoc, with extreme weather events that last for weeks on end and a sun that is deadly to stand beneath. To survive, Finch uses his ingenuity and intelligence to care for his dog, Goodyear (Seamus).

As time passes, Finch’s health deteriorates as a result of radiation poisoning. He knows his time—and food—are running out and his sole purpose in life is to help Goodyear survive after he dies. If you’ve watched this movie, you’ve fallen in love with the character of Goodyear, and the scrappy, plucky dog who plays him, Seamus.

But what kind of dog is Seamus? Read on to find out all about his breed background, life, and backstory.

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A Mixed Breed Dog

There’s no doubt that Goodyear is emotively played by Seamus, a mixed-breed dog, with a fascinating tale of his own. Seamus is an Irish Terrier Mix, and we’ll get to his story in a moment, first let’s look at the Irish Terrier breed and the impact of mixed breeding on dogs.

Irish Terriers

irish terrier dog lying in dog bed
Image Credit: congerdesign, Pixabay

Irish Terriers are a breed of dog known for their distinct red coats. They are typically medium-sized dogs and are considered to be one of the most versatile terrier breeds. They are popular pets and are often used in hunting. Irish Terriers have several physical features that distinguish them from other breeds of dogs. They have a long, narrow head with a bearded muzzle, and their ears are triangular in shape but flop over their eyes in an endearing way.

Personality

Like, Seamus, the Irish Terrier personality is one that is loyal, courageous, and playful. They make great pets and are always eager to please their owners. These dogs are always up for a good game of fetch or a rousing round of tug-of-war. They are also known for their independent streak, which can make them a bit stubborn at times. But overall, the Irish Terrier is a great dog breed with an endearing personality.

Suitable For

Households that are looking for a playful, energetic, and loving dog should consider an Irish Terrier. These dogs are best suited for active families who will provide them with plenty of exercise and stimulation. Irish Terriers thrive when they have a job to do and are excellent companions for people who lead active lifestyles. Irish Terriers will most enjoy households that have a large yard in which the dog can roam and play.

Irish Terriers are also well-suited for households with older children who will be able to handle the dog’s energy and playful nature. These dogs are not recommended for households with small children, as they may be too boisterous and active for little ones. They are also good dogs for guarding property, as they are brave, devoted, and liable to bark.

irish terrier dog having treats
Image Credit: LRuss,Pixabay

Mixed-Breed Dogs

Mixed-breed dogs can be quite variable in terms of their overall health and temperament. However, on average, mixed breed dogs are considered healthier than purebred dogs, since they are not as prone to the genetic health problems that can occur in purebred dogs. Additionally, mixed breed dogs typically have more variable looks and personalities than purebred dogs, which makes them more interesting to own. In addition, mixed-breed dogs typically live longer than purebreds.

While those trends are more likely, mixed-breed dogs can have their drawbacks compared to purebred dogs. For example, the variability in terms of their personality, behavior, and appearance may not always be a good thing.

The Story of Seamus

The writers, filmmakers, and actors of Finch clearly understand and respect the vital role dogs play in our lives. Goodyear’s role in the film is heartwarming and central to the action. For such an exceptional canine performance, some real-life experience is required. Seamus isn’t some posh Hollywood dog, conditioned to pull heartstrings to the fullest extent. A once malnourished stray, he failed temperament testing, was declared unadoptable, and was destined to be put down.

Roadside Discovery

It was the compassion of dog lovers and professionals that saved Seamus from this fate. Two women played a crucial part in Seamus’ story: Melissa Ryan, the owner of Daly Dog Care in Montana, and Mara Segal, founder of Redwood Pals Rescue. While traveling through California, Ryan found Seamus and Josie. It took her an hour to gain enough trust with the dogs to lure them into her truck after she saw them on the side of the road in the rain. Seamus was severely malnourished, covered in ticks, cold, and starving when she found them.

As a result of her personal circumstances, Ryan was unable to take the dogs in herself, but fed them, cleaned them up, removed their ticks, delivered them to an animal shelter, and kept in touch with animal control.

Search for a Home Begins

A temperament test was conducted at the animal control shelter for Seamus and Josie. Josie passed and was adopted quickly, but Seamus failed. The anxiety of the shelter often leads to aggression between dogs, and Seamus’s fiery Irish Terrier genetics were in full force. Redwood Pals Rescue was ready to take this good boy in. Segal and her crew spent time with Seamus, gaining a better understanding of him outside of the abandonment and shelter trauma he had experienced. His photo was advertised in local and national papers once it was determined that his alleged aggressive behavior wouldn’t hinder his adoption. No one could have predicted what happened next!

Hollywood Comes Knocking

After seeing Segal’s listings for Seamus, Jennifer Henderson, a Hollywood animal trainer in search of a pup for Lady and the Tramp, contacted Redwood Pals Rescue. It didn’t take Seamus long to win over Henderson. She had a few emails, videos, and photos, then headed north to meet Seamus. The next day, he was in Hollywood.

All-Important Chemistry with Tom Hanks

As it turned out, Seamus wasn’t in Lady and the Tramp, but another Hollywood trainer, Mark Forbes, became interested in him. Seamus sparked an instant connection with Tom Hanks, even rolling around on the floor with him during his audition. Unfortunately, the next part didn’t go as smoothly. From its initial October 2020 release date, the film was delayed until November 2021 due to the pandemic and Seamus’ surgeries to clear a blockage in his intestines.

It is to be commended that Apple TV Plus and the production provided Seamus with the surgery he needed and cared for him throughout his recovery. The production also followed the American Humane Association’s “No Animals Were Harmed” initiative to the letter, with representatives on set throughout. They even found him a forever home afterward.

Happy Ending for Seamus

As for Seamus, he now lives the good life on a California ranch with a dog trainer named Angela. She welcomes both Ryan and Segal to visit him at any time. His story is more glamorous than the life of most rescue dogs—but if you are looking for a furry companion to love, there are hundreds of millions of dogs across the world awaiting adoption. One dog’s story could be changed forever if you act now.

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Conclusion

The breed of dog in Finch is an Irish Terrier mix. This means that the dog, Seamus, has some characteristics of the Irish Terrier breed, such as its reddish fur and pointy flopped-over ears, but also has some characteristics of other breeds, such as the mix of black and brown fur. The result is a unique-looking dog that is often loved by many people. The full background of mixed breeds is often difficult to determine based on their physical appearance, so it is most likely Seamus is a mix of two or more breeds.


Featured Image Credit; Radomir Rezny, Shutterstock

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