Saturday, June 30, 2012

Farewell to Finn

For years now, I have gotten most of my news from the internet. I'm still amazed at the instant access to an infinite variety of information and opinion that is available with a few clicks. As I have mentioned, my husband, John, is English by birth, and since I am American to the marrow, I am acutely mindful that our countries of origin, while deceptively similar, are actually distinct and different. So I am always interested in reading English reaction to things American. My favorite English reporter of American events is Toby Harnden, who was writing for the Telegraph when I first encountered him, but has since moved to the Daily Mail. I learned yesterday that I like much more about Toby Harnden than just his excellent reporting. He is a very good human being. How do I know? I know because he rescued a scruffy dog, endured said dog's destructive expressions of separation anxiety, took the dog with him on his world travels, incorporated the dog into his new life when he married and became the father of two children. Believe me. In my work in dog rescue, I know all too well that there are all too many people who would have decided that any one of those life events posed too many challenges and would have given up the dog. Finn, the dog in question, lived a long and eventful life, fulfilling the role in Harnden's life, and then his wife's and childrens' lives that dogs were designed by our Creature to fulfill. But inevitably, since dogs' life spans are shorter than human's, Finn's life is now over. But Toby Harnden, being the great reporter that he is, has made an important contribution to the select body of literature about the unique and powerful bond between dogs and humans. I would love to provide a hot link to Harnden's tribute to Finn, but I continue to have technical problems doing that. So please, take the time to go to Harden's byline, and be sure to have your Kleenex handy. UDATE: Here is a cold link to cut and paste to access Harnden's tribute to Finn:


  1. Thank you so much Portia for your very kind words about me and about Finn. I would sooner have sawn my leg off than have dispensed with Finn at any stage over the past 14+ years! The past few days have been desperately hard but the overwhelming response from readers and dog lover writers like you has made an enormous difference.

  2. You are more than welcome, Mr. Harnden. To love a dog is to open oneself to excruciating pain. They never live long enough.