Finn Brings Nature Closer



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Sally Foster, one of our valued former board members and a longtime monthly sustaining member, has a furry trail buddy.

You might meet her Terrier mix named Finn along the Nature Center loop trail. Sally thinks he’s fun and loyal —an Old Soul that fits right in with her family.

“From the moment we enter a trail, Finn is on high alert, ears perky and nose going a mile a minute,” shares Sally. “He watches Egrets stalking prey in the shallow waters, a mama duck shoo her ducklings into deeper waters when we pass by, mullet swimming under the old foot bridge, and butterflies flitting from bush to bush.”

The 1000-acre San Elijo Lagoon Ecological Reserve is a sensual place to be. Dog walkers can tell you it’s a journey of discovery for their four-legged friends, too. When the weather cools or when the winds pick up, Sally observes that Finn gets frisky. “He notices the changing seasons by sniffing the changing smells—grasses being one of his favorites,” she adds.

“San Elijo Lagoon is a smorgasbord of scents, sights, and experiences for my dear little Finn and I am more aware and more open to all the life there because of him,” says Sally. “When Finn and I are out walking I find that I notice more than just the birds that I’m typically on the lookout for. Finn notices everything, and enthusiastically pursues smells under bushes and in grasses.”

She and her son adopted Finn as a puppy from a rescue center in Oakland, CA. True to the Terrier family, Sally describes how his avid hunting skills instinctually draw him to the scents or sightings of smaller mammals and especially darting lizards. (Sally is wary of snakes, and to her relief Finn has not pointed one out to her!)

It’s why Finn is leashed: for his safety away from prickly plants off trail, and for the protection of scurrying, slithering or flying animals. 

Two years ago, Finn was touring with Sally on the boardwalk over the riparian area by the Nature Center. Finn spotted a Desert Cottontail in the woods. “To this day, when we cross that spot, Finn stops and looks to where he first saw that bunny. He’s got a memory like an elephant,” adds Sally.

After walking the loop trail, Finn is passionate about visiting the rangers at the Nature Center. Sally admires how he sprints to the Visitor Desk and obediently sits, with an imploring look, until his prized treat is presented. He’s also distantly curious about Franklin, the resident desert tortoise outside in his area.

Sally and her expert sniffer trail pal, Finn, are nature heroes—and part of our supporters’ stories we share to inspire us all to connect, experience, and protect nature.

Thank You October Supporters!

Judy + Dadla Berlfein  
Michael + Nan Criqui
Joan Davis  
Ilse Epprecht*  
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