Abandoned and starving outside of a British Army base in the perilous deserts of Helmand, Afghanistan, stray dog Brin roamed the area, in search of food and water. When two Coldstream Guards discovered the pooch wandering along a road in Lashkar Gar, the sweet dog looked dangerously thin.
As the soldiers approached to help him, Brin sensed something was wrong. Stepping in front of the guards to block their path, Brin started barking urgently.
When the guards realized what Brin was trying to tell them, they were shocked — without any Military Working Dog training, the homeless dog had detected a deadly Improvised Explosive Device (IED) buried in the sand near their feet, saving both of their lives. It seemed that Brin had an innate talent for sniffing out danger.
Brin, believed to be a Terrier and Afghan Kuchi Tiger mix, was taken in by the British Army soldiers and often accompanied them on risky patrols. He developed a knack for finding deadly explosives, finding roadside bombs, and protecting his new army friends.
In fact, the brave canine became so well known for his skills that he became a target for the Taliban. Taliban forces captured Brin during a raid, holding him at one of their hideouts for weeks. When Special Forces launched a daring mission against the Taliban compound, they discovered Brin, his nose and several ribs broken.
Though the soldiers had managed to save Brin from the Taliban, the hero dog’s plight was not over. The British Army unit that had been caring for Brin was set to relocate, and, per British Army procedure, Brin was scheduled to be put down.
That’s when Nowzad stepped in. Nowzad, an organization that rescues animals in Afghanistan, heard about Brin and posted information about him on their site. They hoped that someone somewhere would take an interest in Brin and save the courageous canine’s life.
Halfway around the world in Halisham, East Sussex, England, teacher and animal lover Sally Baldwin learned of Brin and knew she needed to step in. Baldwin sold her car and managed to raise more than £4,000 to adopt the loyal pooch.
“Brin has been through so much but this never stopped him being loyal, loving and brave,” Baldwin tells the Sussex Express. “Despite being starved and abandoned, he found new humans to love and saved the soldiers’ lives.”
After Brin’s heroic deeds, Baldwin feels honored to call Brin a member of her family.
“Having survived being captured by the Taliban, he came back to the UK and made the most loving pet,” says Baldwin. “He is one in a million.”
Brin is now one of six canine heroes who will be honored in the Kennel Club’s Friends for Life Competition at the prestigious Crufts 2013 Dog Show this weekend. Baldwin is delighted that her buddy is being recognized, and that his story will shed some light on the many animals who need help during times of war.
“He is the voice of animals who have no voice in the theatre of war,” Baldwin says of Brin. “Very little thought is given to the suffering of animals through no fault of their own. Brin being on that center stage is that voice.”