Talking Dogs with Henry Friedman of @keepingfinn

October 15, 2019 Henry

What celebrity would you cast to play your dog in a movie?

Probably Matt Damon, because they have the same coloring and are both insanely handsome. If it was an animated film, I’d probably cast Michael Cera to do his voice.

What is Finn’s greatest fear?

Finn's greatest fear has to be bathing—he hates it. And the worst part about it is that I have to inflict bathing upon him through trickery and deceit—so it’s miserable for both of us.

What is something no one knows about your dog? A story?

Haha To this day, I’ve never seen his “red rocket”—even when he’s feeling friskee.

When did you know your dog was your dog?

When the family that was originally supposed to keep him, dropped out. It wasn’t immediate, but it became clear that we both needed each other at exactly the right time and it was meant to be.

What is one misconception about your dog?

That he’s a perfect dog--he’s not. He can be protective about HIS food/treats with other dogs.

If your dog could answer one question in English - what would it be?

I’d ask him to describe to me what exactly he thinks we’re doing together.

What is your dogs love language?

Gift giving… (food)

What is one terrible habit that you enable because you think it is so darn cute?

Probably jumping—he learns it from all of the meet ups that we do. When he meets people for the first time that know and love him, I can’t help but give him/them that moment of embrace. It’s a bad habit, but he only seems to do it when he meets someone who knows him and is excited to see him. I enable it by letting it happen.

What is the most frustrating thing that your dog does?

When he starts smelling something on the ground and ignores my commands—I know he hears me. I have very little tolerance for being ignored since I let him off leash so much—it’s a privilege. He doesn’t do it often, but it’s insanely frustrating when he does.

What is the hardest part about having a dog?

Not being able to walk into certain shops/stores because they’re not dog friendly.

What is the best part about having a dog?

Meeting new people when you don’t know anyone.

If your dog could eat one thing for the rest of their life, what would it be?


How has getting a dog changed your outlook on life?

Getting a dog has helped me slow down and simply enjoy the moments around me. Dogs teach you this by example—they literally stop and smell the flowers. 

When did you become a dog person?

I’ve been a dog person my whole life! My family grew up with chunky labs and I’ve always enjoyed seeing/talking to dogs on the street.

Any plans to get Finn a sibling?

As long as it’s just me in my current van, I don’t think so—But circumstances can certainly change. If I met a nhyce laydee, or changed vans, I could see myself getting another dog!

Henry - what’s your favorite thing about Finn?

How well he takes cues from my energy and the moment—he’s really great at being chill in the van, following directions on the trail, going crayzee when it’s safe/appropriate, and being obedient when we’re walking through public spaces. This comes from being together 24hrs a day, but I’m grateful for it. 

Have you ever had a “sleepover” in the van? How does that work?

Yes! My brother has stayed with me in the van for about a week. It can feel tight and cluttered at times, but the key is to actively be conscious and considerate about giving each other space and privacy. For example, not getting ready for bed at the same time (brushing teeth, changing, whatever it is). 

What’s your favorite nickname for Finn?

“Finnbo Slice” 

Would you have done the same traveling route if you didn’t have Finn?

Great question. More or less, yes. That is, you don’t want to be in the south for the summer—too hot—or in Canada for the winter—too cold. If I didn’t have Finn, I’d spend a lot more time exploring the national parks and I’d do more skiing!  

How did your family react to you taking that path in life?

I don’t think they were surprised but they were definitely concerned as well—they probably thought I’d do it for maybe a year, have a blast, and return back to a “normal” life. My brother (Elias, The Dogist), certainly made it easier for them (and me) to see it was possible to be successful doing something outside the box. They also thought keeping Finn was a bad idea—they assumed I would eventually leave him at their house for them to take care of.

What does Finn like better? Balls or sticks?


Ever thought about traveling around the world?

Of course! But it would need to be part of a bigger project and likely van based as well. Would need to get sponsors for a trip/project like that.

What would your life be like if you didn’t get Finn and weren’t on the road?

Oh boy… I’d probably still be in NYC. I’d be way less healthy (drinking, staying out late, all of the bad habits, not taking care of myself). Probably still be working a 9-5 media/advertising job. Finn certainly came at the perfect time.

What’s your favorite meal to cook for yourself on the road?

Probably Steak. It’s fast, filling, not super expensive, not much clean up, and tastes nhyce 🙂

What is Finn’s favorite toy?

Stuffed Bones for sure!

Tell us a time you were scared on the road.

The scariest moments are always when I’m in a very remote area without cell service. For example, driving on primitive and narrow mountain roads in the back country—I get very scared about confronting terrain on the road that I can’t pass with my 2wd van—this would put me in a scary position where I’d have to reverse on that narrow road until I got to a safe place where I could turn the van around. Also, I get nervous about changing weather conditions in the mountains or running out of time/daylight. Since I’m always by myself, I have to be super careful and honest to avoid putting myself and Finn in dangerous situations. 

How often do you get recognized on the road?

In big cities, all the time. In smaller mountain cities, maybe once a week. 

How do you support yourself financially on the road and what do you do to save money?

We are 100% supported by brand partnerships—So when you see an ad in the feed, please like/comment, because that’s how we support ourselves! When we need to save money, or money is running low, we simply hunker down in one place and do less driving to spend less on fuel!

When is Finn the most tenduur?

In bed after a long day and it’s cold—that’s when he’s most cuddly and we’re most connected.

Are you interested in getting Finn a DNA test?

Personally, I don’t care—I know he’s 100% good boyee. But, if one of these DNA companies wanted to partner with us for a big reveal—I think it would be fun for everyone!