There wasn’t a dry eye in the house in the studio audience of Britan’s Got Talent after two unlikely contestants appear on the show one evening.
Police officer Dave Wardell, from Buntingford, appeared on stage alone at first, before turning to his side and announcing, “I’ve brought a friend along.”
It turns out that Officer Wardell’s friend was the four-legged variety. It was his dog and partner, Finn.
“Finn is a nine-year-old German Shepherd. He’s been my best friend since he was a puppy,” Dave explained, saying they’d both be going home to a plate of steak if they got four yeses on the show.
“Finn has a bit of a cheeky character. He knows how to get exactly what he wants from me – he knows how to pull all my bells and whistles.
“He’s one very special dog.”
Dave and Finn then amazed the judges with a casual bit of mind reading, involving Dave succesfully guessing David Walliams’ word via the power of his psychic pooch.
But that was only half the act, as a screen behind them began to tell their incredible story, which was a cue for the waterworks to begin.
Many people may recognize the duo from when they were in the headlines last January under much more tragic circumstances after the heroic dog wounded up getting stabbed while protecting his partner Dave.
The two were out on patrol fighting crime when a suspect stabbed Finn with a 10-inch blade.
Finn was immediately rushed to a 24-hour vet but was eventually moved to a specialist unit, where they managed to save his life.
The brave pup was given morphine and oxygen while the vets attended to his horrific stab wound, which had punctured one of the dog’s lungs.
Incredibly, it was only by the grace of God that the blade missed his heart by a matter of centimeters.
After learning about their fantastic tale, members of the audience, along with hosts Ant and Dec, were seen wiping away tears.
An emotional Simon Cowell told Dave:
“If I had a golden buzzer left I’d give it to you. When I hear about animal cruelty, especially dogs, it upsets me. A dog will literally give up its life for you.”
“Finn’s beautiful, I love him.”
Unsurprisingly, Dave and Finn received four yeses.
Dave, who has now adopted the now-retired police dog as his pet, has since campaigned for Finn’s Law, which provides more legal protection to service animals.
“If I can tell Finn’s story, showcase service animals and talk about Finn’s law, I’ve already won.
“My day job is running through gardens at 3am chasing after car thieves, so you can imagine walking out in front of thousands of people in front of four of the most famous people in the land. It was surreal.”
I think some lucky pooch has a big juicy steak in his future!
Here’s a clip of the entire audition, grab a box of Kleenex, enjoy, and share!