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For many years I worked for an animal rescue charity and saw first hand the wonderful effect a dog can have on a human and vice versa. So as soon as I saw Sean Laidlaw’s book Barrie pop up on my feed it was as good as sold. Former Royal Engineer Sean was working as a bomb disposal expert in Syria when he found a small puppy whimpering in the rubble. Gradually he gained the puppy’s trust and soon the two became inseparable.

When Sean returned home to the UK to celebrate a wedding, he fully expected to be back in Syria with Barrie in no time. However his contract was cancelled and Sean was not able to return. Sean was determined to bring Barrie home, which he managed to do with the help of his friends and War Paws Rescue. This was always going to be a winner for me. Firstly, because I have a tremendous amount of respect for our military men and women, and secondly, I’m a still a sucker for a good animal rescue! Barrie really is a brilliant story, which shines a much needed light on PTSD. Sean shares his experience of leaving the military and returning home as a civilian having served for ten years. On top of coming to terms with the loss of his friends, some of the awful atrocities he witnessed, Sean is then dealt some incredibly difficult blows which ultimately lead him to take the contract that takes him back to Syria. Sean and Barrie’s story is remarkable and just warmed my heart. I really believe that Sean finding the courage to tell his story of PTSD will provide great comfort to others who read this book. Having seen firsthand how powerful and healing the bond between humans and dogs can be I found this one to be very moving and would absolutely recommend it.

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