Incredible Odyssey of a Dog: Crossing Borders and War Zones on a 5000 km Journey to Reunite with His Owner
After a decade of serving in Afghanistan, Sean Laidlaw was deployed to Syria, where he transitioned into a bomb disposal expert.
During a mission in February 2018, while disposing of improvised explosive devices in Syria, Sean heard peculiar sounds emanating from the debris of a bombed school. Investigating further, he discovered a frightened puppy nestled beside four deceased dogs.
Without hesitation, Sean brought the puppy back to his barracks and named him Barrie. Since that moment, an extraordinary bond has blossomed between the valiant soldier and the little canine. Barrie stays faithfully by Sean’s side at all times, accompanying him from the crack of dawn to mealtime, and even during work or travel. As a heartfelt gesture, Sean crafted a necklace for Barrie using a piece of bulletproof vest and a teddy bear.
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While many may see Sean as the savior of Barrie, in reality, he is immensely grateful for his four-legged friend. Barrie is not just a companion; he serves as a source of solace, allowing Sean to momentarily escape the harsh realities of war. Having the dog by his side brings joy to Sean’s life and aids him in coping with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), one of the severe emotional effects war inflicts on soldiers.
“The guys in Syria adore playing and bonding with Barrie. Whenever someone is feeling down or having a tough day, Barrie instinctively seeks them out and sits on their lap,” Sean shared with This Morning.
Sadly, Sean had to part ways with Barrie when he returned to the UK on leave in April 2018, and his work in Syria came to an end due to its cancellation.
In an effort to bring Barrie to the UK, Sean sought assistance from War Paws, an organization based in Iraq that aids soldiers stationed abroad in reuniting with their lost pets. Sean even created a GoFundMe page to raise funds for Barrie’s journey to the UK.
Subsequently, in April 2018, War Paws arranged for Barrie to be transported to Iraq. Once there, Barrie underwent necessary vaccinations and examinations before being taken to Jordan. He underwent a two-month isolation period in Jordan and was then re-examined.
In October 2018, the initial plan was to relocate Barrie to England. However, this plan encountered a setback due to the loss of essential documents. As a result, Barrie was instead taken to Paris.
On November 3, 2018, Sean’s long-cherished wish finally came true as he embarked on a 12-hour flight from Essex to Paris to reunite with Barrie at Charles de Gaulle airport, marking the end of a 7-month separation.
Overwhelmed with joy, Sean was ecstatic to be reunited with his beloved four-legged friend, Barrie, in the heart of Paris. “The moment I laid eyes on Barrie at the airport was undoubtedly the most extraordinary moment of my life,” Sean expressed.
Although Barrie was no longer the tiny, adorable puppy he once was, having grown significantly during the time apart, he still recognized his owner after the extended period of separation. The bond between Sean and Barrie remained strong, transcending the distance and time they spent apart.