Bomb disposal expert, Sean Laidlaw, pulled Barrie, an Asia-Shepherd cross, from a bombed out building in February of 2018 while he was working for a private contractor in Syria. Read on for more about this touching tale of both human and animal rescue.
The Story Begins In February of 2018
Sean Laidlaw, a bomb disposal expert stationed in Syria, was clearing a bombed out school when he heard whimpering from beneath the rubble, At first, the sound did not seem animal-like and Sean was cautious, knowing it could have been a tactic used by Islamic fighters. Sean and his men had to first make sure that the building was safe before entering. (See: Tale Of Double Rescue.)
The cries continued and after some digging, he pulled out a tiny Asia-Shepherd mix puppy that lay amid four dead siblings. She was at first fearful of Sean, but after he cordoned off the area and brought her food and drink for three days, a bond of trust formed between the two. They became inseparable over the next few months while he was working in Syria. (See: Lucca: A Dog For All Seasons.)
A Man And Dog Who Served Their Country Well
Sean spent eight years in the army as a Royal Engineer, carrying out two tours in Afghanistan. After leaving the military, he served as a bomb disposal expert in Syria, which is where, while clearing a government building, he found Barrie and their paths permanently crossed. The dog soon became an important member of the team, accompanying Sean and his men on their dangerous tasks. (See: Injured Hero Dog Gets Second Chance.)
An Unbreakable Bond
The Asia Shepherd cross changed his life forever. Barrie helped the team cope with their mental health, and Sean with his PTSD, distracting them from the terrible life in Syria. In his own words:
"It was always someone's job to look after Barrie. If something went wrong, you would grab Barrie and head straight for the car. There were weeks when we would see 10 to 15 bodies a day ...but just to come back to to the office and see Barrie and have a play around...made everything better." (See: Military Dog Takes Bite Out of Isis.)
Photo: Sean Laidlaw
Three months later, when Sean was slated to return home on leave, he knew he and Barrie would have to part, but he was determined to find a way to reunite with his furry friend. He contacted War Paws, an animal charity based in Iraq that specializes in finding forever homes for dogs from areas ravaged by war and destruction. Together, they established a fund-raising campaign, but Barrie's journey to England was still a far away dream. Colleagues looked after the dog after Sean departed and Barrie was eventually removed from Syria, sent to Iraq and then to Jordan, where two attempts to get her out were thwarted. (See: Military Dog Given Second Chance In Life.)
After seven months apart, a three-thousand-mile journey, lots of red tape and a 12 -hour trip from Essex, England to Paris to collect the dog from a vet who was traveling to Europe from the Middle East, the two were reunited and inseparable once again. (See: Soldier Who Rescued Cat And Vice Versa).
In Sean's own words: "It may come across that I saved Barrie's life, but I feel like she save mined. You can only imagine how bad Syria is, and to have a companion, it kept my mind away from all the things I was seeing and doing out there."
Now back together for always, the two remain inseparable.
Good job, guys!