Over 8 months ago, a UK-army veteran was on duty in the Middle East, and rescued a poor dog from the rubble of a school that was bombed. Today, he went on national television to discuss his dog’s adjustment to life in England.
Sean Laidlaw is a 30-year-old bomb expert, says that if it wasn’t for the dog, he wouldn’t have survived the constant pressure of a dangerous war zone. He found Barrie lying next to seven or eight of his dead siblings in a school. The dog had been traumatized by the incident but Laidlaw came back to give her food and water for the next four days, before the nervous dog agreed to be picked up and taken away to a safer area.
He apparently named her ‘Barrie’ because he mistook her for a male canine. The name stuck.
An Essex man, Laidlaw left Syria’s minefields thinking he was going to return two weeks alter. But his contract was up and he thought he wouldn’t get to see ‘Barrie’ again. However, they were reunited last Saturday when the young dog the dog was moved from Syria, to Iraq, then Jordan, and then France where Laidlaw came to pick her up.
Today in an interview, Sean said this was “the best moment” of his life.
“She had been in a cage for months and she came over and sniffed me and rolled on to her tummy-that’s when she knew it was me.”
When the interviewer asked him about her new life in the UK, he said she had integrated with other British dogs.
“She’s become an absolute diva-she is a fully-fledged Essex girl now.”
Laidlaw says that taking care of ‘Barrie’ is what kept it sane. Being forced to work in a war zone all day, it was incredibly relaxing for him to just come back to the camp and take care of Barrie. Sean also suffers from PTSD due to his years in a volatile region, and said it helped him keep sane to have ‘Barrie’ by his side.
“You can only imagine how bad Syria is, and to be able to come back to camp and train her for three hours, take her for a walk, things like that really took my mind away from where I was.”
“She stayed with me all day, every day. She did jobs with me, I’d wake up, she’d come eat with me, she’d sit in the passenger seat of my car when we drove to Raqqa.”
When he was told he wouldn’t have to go back for another term, he said that “he might be one of the only people who was unhappy not to go back to Syria”. He just couldn’t imagine leaving ‘Barrie’ behind.
However, Laidlaw contacted a local charity that helped him get his beloved dog out of Syria. The dog was able to get to Jordan, but no organization could get him into the UK. Sean said he would have even flown to Jordan to pick up his best friend.
“I’d be willing to travel across the whole world to have Barrie with me.”
Luckily animal charity “War Paws’ was already flying two dogs from Jordan to Paris, and let ‘Barrie’ tag along with them.
Sean said he drove for 12 hours from Essex to Paris on Saturday November 3rd, feeling nothing but excitement at the prospect of seeing his ‘good girl’ again.
‘One of my biggest fears was that she wouldn’t recognise who I was, or that she would be a different dog to the girl I left.
‘It was pure joy when she realised who I was. She’s exactly as she was back in Syria, it was just great to have my dog again.