I don’t read many dog stories, but I have enjoyed past books by Dan Walsh, so when Rescuing Finley came up for sale for the Kindle app, I got it.
Many dog stories are designed to be heartwarming, and Walsh is known for his heartwarming stories. My heart needs warming as much or more than everyone else’s, but when I know a story is aiming for that, I can find myself kind of resistant. But, they got me. I was touched and even in tears for part of the story.
The book tells the story of a few different people. One is Amy Wallace, a young woman who has been in trouble with drug addiction and stealing. Her family has cut ties with her, and when she’s caught shoplifting, the value of the item she stole lands her in prison.
Chris Segar is a minesweeper while in the Marines in Afghanistan, who steps on a silent mine, losing a leg and coming home with PTSD.
Then there’s Alicia Perez, whose son is killed in Afghanistan. She had been taking care of his dog, Finley, but she can’t handle him any more and takes him to the pound.
Kim Harper is an “Animal Behavior Manger and dog trainer” for the place where Finley is taken.
And then there is Finley himself, depressed by the loss of his owner and confused by his circumstances.
Walsh weaves their stories all together into a very satisfying book. You may even be able to guess where the story goes, but it’s worth the journey.
The sections from Finley’s point of view could have come across as cheesy, but I thought Walsh did a good job suggesting what Finley might be thinking without going that far.
I enjoyed the Author’s Note at the end, where he explains that, after his wife finished homeschooling all of their children, he encouraged her to do something she enjoyed. She wanted to train and be certified as a dog trainer. He explains that the book isn’t directly based on her or the organization she works with, but they greatly informed his story, along with the other research he did.
There are a few odd mistakes in the book (accept for except, bare for bear, our for are, etc.) that I was really surprised at. I don’t remember seeing anything like this in any of the author’s previous books: I’m wondering if something weird happened when formatting it for the Kindle. But I know it’s possible for little things to be missed in the process between writing and publishing.
This was a really nice read. It would make a great Hallmark movie.
Genre: Christian fiction
My rating: 10 out of 10
Objectionable elements: None.
Recommendation: Yes, I gladly recommend it.
(Sharing at Semicolon‘s Saturday Review of Books)