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A Soldier's Best Friend: The canine heroes of Afghanistan

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Military working dogs are silently winning the war against the world's deadliest insurgents; day after day saving soldiers' lives in the most dangerous country on the planet. Many have been rescue animals, neglected or mistreated by their owners before being given a new lease of life on the front line. From the featureless plains of Helmand and Kandahar to military bases i Military working dogs are silently winning the war against the world's deadliest insurgents; day after day saving soldiers' lives in the most dangerous country on the planet. Many have been rescue animals, neglected or mistreated by their owners before being given a new lease of life on the front line. From the featureless plains of Helmand and Kandahar to military bases in Germany, Army dog teams work day and night to keep us safe but, until recently, their courage and sacrifice has not been fully understood or appreciated. In A Soldier's Best Friend, award-winning journalist Stephen Stewart employs in-depth interviews together with years of research and frontline reportage to tell their gripping and emotional stories for the first time, an unprecedented account of the dogs' close relationships with their handlers, their extraordinary heroism and action-packed lives.


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Military working dogs are silently winning the war against the world's deadliest insurgents; day after day saving soldiers' lives in the most dangerous country on the planet. Many have been rescue animals, neglected or mistreated by their owners before being given a new lease of life on the front line. From the featureless plains of Helmand and Kandahar to military bases i Military working dogs are silently winning the war against the world's deadliest insurgents; day after day saving soldiers' lives in the most dangerous country on the planet. Many have been rescue animals, neglected or mistreated by their owners before being given a new lease of life on the front line. From the featureless plains of Helmand and Kandahar to military bases in Germany, Army dog teams work day and night to keep us safe but, until recently, their courage and sacrifice has not been fully understood or appreciated. In A Soldier's Best Friend, award-winning journalist Stephen Stewart employs in-depth interviews together with years of research and frontline reportage to tell their gripping and emotional stories for the first time, an unprecedented account of the dogs' close relationships with their handlers, their extraordinary heroism and action-packed lives.

47 review for A Soldier's Best Friend: The canine heroes of Afghanistan

  1. 4 out of 5

    Leigh

    In A Soldier’s Best Friend, Stephen Paul Stewart provides an insight into the lives of police and military working-dogs, both present and past – focussing on the role of explosives-tracking dogs on tour with UK forces in Afghanistan. He includes details about their training, handlers, work, health care, and retirement. Stewart obviously loves dogs – his enthusiasm and fascination for their work shines through – but his adjective- and adverb-laden writing style is gushing, and countless references In A Soldier’s Best Friend, Stephen Paul Stewart provides an insight into the lives of police and military working-dogs, both present and past – focussing on the role of explosives-tracking dogs on tour with UK forces in Afghanistan. He includes details about their training, handlers, work, health care, and retirement. Stewart obviously loves dogs – his enthusiasm and fascination for their work shines through – but his adjective- and adverb-laden writing style is gushing, and countless references to “doggy”-this and “doggy”-that, quickly got annoying. The editing is dire: there is a lot of repetition, often in consecutive sentences (e.g. “…a live camera mounted between his shoulders, specially adapted earphones to hear whispered commands…,” then in the next sentence, “…a live camera between his shoulders…” and two sentences later, “a small earbud…to allow his handler to give whispered commands…”); this was exasperating, and I lost count of the number of times I said, “Oh, FFS,” out loud. If I see one more reference to the devoted “bond” between dog and handler I might just scream. And Stewart’s descriptions of female interviewees (e.g.: “her slim figure… and well-tended hair”) border on the creepy. The book did have a few gems (the section on training was good), but they were hard to filter. Read it if you love dogs, and want to hear about how wonderful they are, etc. (But if you want a more objective account of working dogs, I recommend What the Dog Knows by Cat Warren.) 2.5-stars

  2. 4 out of 5

    Paul

    A journalistic in-depth view of the lives of service dogs and their masters in Afghanistan and elsewhere. Stephen was highly entertaining, concise and hit that tone of endearment and intimacy that makes you fall in love with these canine heroes.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Rubery Book Award

    This is a book about dogs, the dogs that are trained and do active service with the British Army in Afghanistan, sniffing out drugs and IEDs. The book is packed with real stories with the dogs at the centre of the action, going back again and again, saving lives and proving that they really are best friends to their handlers. There are pictures, successes and tragedies here, astonishing and moving. A very well researched book, well edited and compelling. Rubery Book Award

  4. 5 out of 5

    Natalie Rea

  5. 4 out of 5

    J

  6. 5 out of 5

    Julie Mcalpine

  7. 4 out of 5

    Pat

  8. 5 out of 5

    unknown

  9. 5 out of 5

    Jessie L.

  10. 5 out of 5

    James Bragdon

  11. 5 out of 5

    J.J

  12. 4 out of 5

    Brittany Farrell

  13. 4 out of 5

    Chris

  14. 4 out of 5

    J.J

  15. 4 out of 5

    sarah mitchell

  16. 5 out of 5

    James Lynam

  17. 4 out of 5

    John Mewett

  18. 5 out of 5

    Catgirl (in Perth)

  19. 4 out of 5

    James Leddy

  20. 4 out of 5

    Rachel Corey

  21. 5 out of 5

    Cassandra

  22. 4 out of 5

    N.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Nicola Fantom

  24. 5 out of 5

    Julie Drucker

  25. 5 out of 5

    Gordon Bingham

  26. 4 out of 5

    Whitney

  27. 5 out of 5

    Andrea

  28. 4 out of 5

    Miosoti Negron

  29. 5 out of 5

    Isabel

  30. 5 out of 5

    Kimberly

  31. 5 out of 5

    Rachel Hall

  32. 4 out of 5

    Barbara

  33. 5 out of 5

    Seanna Yeager

  34. 5 out of 5

    Cal Littlehales

  35. 4 out of 5

    Christine Hatfield

  36. 5 out of 5

    Vykki

  37. 4 out of 5

    Pam

  38. 4 out of 5

    Lauren Pike

  39. 4 out of 5

    Lisa Henderson-Farr

  40. 4 out of 5

    Cheryl

  41. 5 out of 5

    V

  42. 4 out of 5

    Dr. Cole Marie Mckinnon

  43. 4 out of 5

    Frederick Rotzien

  44. 5 out of 5

    Jackie

  45. 4 out of 5

    Richard Randall

  46. 4 out of 5

    Ms. Reader

  47. 4 out of 5

    Tammy Pooser

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