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Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Book Review - RESCUING FINLEY by Dan Walsh


I've read a few books by Dan Walsh--enough to know he's definitely a gifted writer--but this has to be my favorite so far. If you buy this one (and I hope you will), buy a box of kleenex too. Guys, you might need to get a box as well. You know how those pesky allergies make your eyes leak.

Okay, there's this girl, Amy, who knows better, but she gets hooked on drugs and needs the money, so she becomes a thief. She has stolen from friends and family until they no longer want anything to do with her. She goes with two other girls to shoplift an expensive piece of jewelry from a department store. Gets caught. Gets sentenced to prison for a few years.

She's frightened there. She's young, and she's not all that big. Lots of women there are hardened criminals and Amy doesn't win any popularity contests with them. Most nights, when she sleeps at all, nightmares haunt her. One letter from her little brother's new wife steers her to Christianity, a piece of light within the dark walls. She knows she earned this sentence, but she earnestly prays she will survive until she's served her sentence.

There's also this wounded warrior, Chris, one leg missing thanks to a plastic IED on a road in Afghanistan that their old metal detectors didn't find. Memories of that explosion give Chris nightmares too. He's learned to walk with his prosthetic leg, but he hasn't mastered dealing with the nightmares--sometimes occurring while he's wide awake.

And finally there's Finley, a rejected mostly-golden retriever. His master is killed in Afganistan, his master's mother doesn't want him, and he's in a humane society shelter, severely depressed, losing weight and not responsive.

A program that matches inmates and rescued dogs for training specifically for returning vets suffering from PTSD may be a life-saver for all three. Amy has been selected to be one of the trainers, even though she's never even owned a dog before. Finley is one of the dogs chosen to be in the program. And Chris--well, he's inspired by a buddy to try getting one of these dogs.

On second thought, get two boxes of kleenexes. You might need them.

Available from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Christian Book Distributors.