Saturday, May 12, 2012

No Buddy Left Behind: Bringing US Troops' Dogs and Cats Safely Home From the Combat Zone, by Terri Crisp (author), Nicole Vilencia (reader), Cynthia Hurn (collaborator)


Blackstone Audio, ISBN 9781455121630, October 2011

Terri Crisp creates an organization to US troops' pets home Iraq almost by accident; it starts with responding to one plea from one soldier who has adopted an Iraqi dog and has realized that a)the dog has no chance if left behind when he's rotated home, and b)there is absolutely no existing legal mechanism for getting his pet out of Iraq. After months of contacting every American rescue group he can find, he reaches Terri and her group--and she decides they're going to try. Just this once, just this one dog.

Of course, the whole undertaking proves enormously complex, requiring Terri to build contacts and relationships with US, Iraqi, and Kuwaiti military officers, government officials, airline employees, and transport companies. Once those relationships are in place, there's always another dog or cat, or three, or a dozen, dearly loved by American soldiers who've put their lives on the line for this country, and desperate need of private rescue because there's no way for the soldiers to take them out on military transports.

It isn't just the complexity. The Iraqi end of the effort is actively dangerous for everyone involved, for the pets, the soldiers, the Iraqis who help them, and Terri and anyone else who accompanies her into Iraq to pick up the animals. Even after they are out of Iraqi airspace, the animals aren't truly safe until they are on American soil. It's an exhausting, frequently terrifying, emotionally draining, but ultimately emotionally rewarding undertaking. Terri Crisp tells her story beautifully, and Nicole Vilencia narrates it beautifully, too.

Highly recommended.

I borrowed this book from a friend.

Click the cover image to buy this book on Amazon.