He came out of the woods.

The first thought was a neighbor who'd been moving out that day had mistakenly left him behind. But on a return trip for a left-behind sofa, that notion was proven false.

Knocking on doors turned up no leads.

The leasing office at the apartment complex offered no solutions.

The choice was clear -- instant adoption or he'd have to take his chances at the shelter where, if he wasn't adopted he might be put down.

There wasn't any choice at all.

A flea bath and a few hundred-dollar vet bill later, Finn had a home.

His soft brown fur soon began to give way to patches of white under his chin and on his chest. His back and tail revealed glimpses of black.

He gained weight rapidly and learned even faster. He sat on command and knew to stay, lie down and fetch instinctively. His hard head and wide grin gave the impression -- especially to the leasing office which banned certain breeds -- that he might be part-pit bull. The vet assured us he was most likely a mix, half-lab, half German shepherd.

Potty training was a struggle until the crate, then it was just a matter of days. He chewed things incessantly and to this day it is believed that a lost wallet might have been what that hunk of half-digested something or other was that he vomited up on a walk weeks after it went missing.

But within a year he gave up chewing household furniture and socks for chasing sticks, and birds and squirrels and deer -- he really loves going after deer whenever the leash is off and the woods are near enough.

There have been illnesses and scary moments -- like the Fourth of July -- or a nearly-severed upper claw after one of his gallivants into the woods.

But there have been a greater abundance of good times spent, walks in the park, rides in the truck bed, trips to the beach -- a short-lived move to Pennsylvania where more than a few groundhogs met their fate -- and then the sweetest of homecomings when we returned to Goldsboro to be reunited with the friends and loved ones who've watched him grow.

Finn is a rescue, not in the typical sense such as from a shelter or an abusive owner but rather from circumstances unknown.

He came at a time when he needed help the most, and when he, unbeknownst prior to his arrival, was needed much more.

And the cliche rings true, he might have been a rescue but in truth he did the rescuing.

If you read today's front page then you are now acquainted with some kind hearted people in Goldsboro who are doing their best to create more stories like his. If you can't give them a hand or take in a pet who needs a home, at least keep the paper clipping nearby in case you run across someone who can.

It makes a difference, but don't take our word for it.

Take Finn's.