This book got me crying after the first few chapters. Gosh. If the author isn’t a police dog handler, he might as well consider a career as a writer. This true story of how Finn (the police dog) got viciously stabbed by a criminal he was helping to apprehend, and how he miraculously recovered, will probably have you sobbing a couple of times before you reach the end of the book. The bond between the writer (PC Dave Wardell) and his dog PD Finn is an admirable one – no matter how dangerous the situation, Finn would always ensure he takes care of his ‘dad’ and that no harm would come to Dave. Even after being gravely injured, he bounces right back and goes back to protecting ‘dad’ and catching the baddies. When Dave mentions how his wife had once asked him to send one of the dogs away or she’ll leave him, he says he’ll help her pack her bags. Though he’s very likely joking (British humor OMG), I’m sure his wife also knows that nothing will separate this guy from his beloved furry friends.
I believe one of the aims of this book is to bring to people’s attention the sad fact that police dogs aren’t valued in the eyes of the law as equal to that of, say, a police officer. They’re regarded as ‘property’ so stabbing a police dog would be the rough equivalent of kicking over a flower pot. You don’t get put behind bars for that. But for the ‘dad’ of the dog, how does one deal with that outcome? Your beloved crime-fighting partner, the one who’d risk his life to save you any day of the week, gets stabbed right before your eyes, and the perpetrator gets little more than a slap on the wrist for that. If I’m the police officer, I’d certainly feel like stabbing the criminal myself, if not for the recording devices officers have to wear on their uniforms. I’m not sure if any progress has been made with regard to Finn’s Law but hopefully it has.
In Singapore, I don’t think we protect animals enough. Community cat feeders get harassed, cats get abused, and even in Parliament, things get said which ruffle some feathers. I do still insist that cat feeding is necessary – animals in our community ARE our responsibility. Feeders just need to ensure they don’t leave the food unattended, and always to clear up after the cats are done, and bin any trash. Hopefully, there’ll be a reduction in pet abandonment cases too. Just follow a couple of Facebook groups regarding our street animals and you’ll get a sense of how severe the issue is. I’m just glad this year is the year of the pig – people won’t be getting pigs as gifts for their kids. Just wait till the year of the dog comes round again. Sigh.
‘Fabulous Finn’ is easily one of the best books you’ll read this year so please go grab a copy at any bookstore near you. Prepare some tissues too as the waterworks will certainly be turned on. Not suitable for reading in public places such as within an MRT train carriage – I had my eyes welling up with tears. Good grief.