They were finally reunited after several months…
A 30 year old Bomb disposal expert named Sean Laidlaw, was finally reunited with a puppy named ‘Barrie’ that he had saved while he was stationed in Syria on Saturday, November 3, at Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris, France. Laidlaw had heard whimpering before digging out the rubble and found an Asian Shepherd cross puppy. Laidlaw, originally from Hornchurch, Essex, did 2 tours in Afghanistan for 10 years with the Royal Engineers before returning to war zones as a bomb disposal expert. When Sean found Barrie, she was found nestled in some rubble from a collapsed school that had exploded. Barrie had been terrified and was surrounded by 4 other dead puppies. She had so much fear that she initially rejected Sean’s advances, but he refused to give up on her.
Over the course of 3 days, Laidlaw ensured her safety and continued to bring her food and water. He even cordoned off the area as it wasn’t safe from explosives. After three days, Laidlaw had earned the puppy’s trust and named her Barrie while bringing her back to his camp. Laidlaw had initially named her Barrie as he thought that the puppy was a male but later found out that Barrie was actually a female. Barrie and Laidlaw were inseparable and spent time together everyday in Raqqa Laidlaw even made a harness from a bullet-proof vest and a plush teddy bear from a pair of jeans just for Barrie. The other men at Laidlaw’s camp also liked Barrie and would give her new toys to play with everyday.
Laidlaw was thankful for Barrie’s company and said: “Working in a war zone, coming back to camp you sit in your room on your own. To have a companion you can play with and train, it kept my mind away from all the things I was seeing and doing out there. You can only imagine how bad Syria is, and to be able to come back to the camp and train her for three hours, take her for a walk, things like that really took my mind away from where I was.”
When Laidlaw’s contract got cancelled after spending 4 months in Syria, he was immediately upset and was concerned for Barrie. Laidlaw quickly contacted War Paws, a charity based in Iraq that specializes in bringing dogs home from war-torn areas as he wanted to bring Barrie home with him. In February, Laidlaw set up a GoFundme page to bring Barrie to the UK and managed to raise £4,500. Barrie was later brought to Iraq in April and was vaccinated by War Paws before being flown to Jordan in August, where she was quarantined for two months.
Laidlaw was initally prepared to fly to Jordan to pick up Barrie. But the owner of War Paws, Louise Hastie, contacted Laidlaw and told him to meet her in the Charles de Gaulle airport as she was already flying 2 dogs from Jordan to Paris. Laidlaw then made the 12 hour journey from Essex to Paris and arrived at Charles de Gaulle airport at 6am on 3 November. Laidlaw was afraid that Barrie would not recognize him as they have been separated for so long, but was quickly reassured when Barrie asked for a belly rub. Now reunited with her owner, Barrie is finally home at last.
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