A soldier has been reunited with a puppy he saved from rubble in Syria and has spoke about how it was the dog that saved his life.
Pup, Barrie was brought to Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris, France last weekend to be reunited with bomb disposal expert Sean Laidlaw.
Sean, 30, was stationed in Syria in February 2018 when he found Barrie surrounded by rubble after a building had exploded around her.
Barrie was surrounded by four dead puppies and because she was so terrified she was fearful of Sean and rejected any help.
But, Sean didn’t give up and made sure she was safe and brought her food and drink, and shut off the area as it wasn’t safe from IEDs yet.
After three days the furry pooch grew to trust Sean and the two became inseparable in the three months he was in Syria.
The pair have gone through five countries, two war zones, 3,000 miles and a 12-hour drive to be together in what he says is his ‘happiest moment ever’.
Sean, from Hornchurch, Essex, said: “I feel like it may come across that I saved Barrie’s life, but I feel like she saved mine.
“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.
“It gave me a bit of normality, she definitely kept me sane.
“Having a companion, is one of the best things to help with PTSD. A dog always makes you happy, always wants to be with you.
“Going to Paris was both exciting and nerve-wracking, but I left the house at 6am and just sped there.
“Meeting her at the airport, seeing her in the flesh, was one of the best moments of my life. I’ve never been so happy.”
Barrie followed Sean on jobs in Raqqa, and had an adorable harness made from a bullet-proof vest, which she has definitely grown out of now.
When his contract was near to running out, Sean, contacted War Paws – a charity based in Iraq who specialise in bringing dogs home from war-torn areas – to find a way to bring Barrie back with him.
He also set up a gofundme page to bring Barrie to the UK and raised £4,500.
Sean said: “All the help we’ve received to bring us together has been amazing, just to bring one dog to Essex, it’s been incredible.
“Thinking about having Barrie with me now, the life we can have together – it’s surreal.
“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.
“I’d be willing to travel across the whole world to have Barrie with me.”
Featured Image Credit: Caters