A Soldier's Best Friend
The Canine Heroes of Afghanistan
Stephen Paul Stewart
Military working dogs are silently winning the war against the world's deadliest insurgents; day after day saving soldiers' lives in the most dangerous country on the planet. Many have been rescue animals, neglected or mistreated by their owners before being given a new lease of life on the front line. From the featureless plains of Helmand and Kandahar to military bases in Germany, army dog teams work day and night to keep us safe but, until recently, their courage and sacrifice has not been fully understood or appreciated.
In A Soldier's Best Friend, award-winning journalist Stephen Paul Stewart employs in-depth interviews together with years of research and frontline reportage to tell their gripping and emotional stories for the first time. In this unprecedented account of the dogs' close relationships with their handlers, Stewart reveals their extraordinary heroism and action-packed lives.
‘The dogs are prized not just for their noses, they also serve as a morale booster and a reminder of home in harsh conditions. The Taliban are in no doubt as to their value. Attacks on Army dogs have soared and, in February the insurgents released a video of a captured military dog.' ’
-Francesca Angelini, Sunday Times
‘Just when you thought that there was no longer anything interesting to say about the British armed forces in Afghanistan, Stephen Paul Stewart produces this brilliant book. A fascinating insight into a little-known subject, A Soldier's Best Friend is a harrowing, moving and engrossing read. A story that wags its tail from start to finish.' ’
-Niall Edworthy, author of Main Battle Tank
‘The bonds forged between men under fire have long been a preoccupation of literature – comparatively scant attention has been paid to the often profound relationship between military handlers and their dogs. With verve and historical sweep, Stephen Paul Stewart reveals the extraordinary, life-saving role played by these highly-skilled soldiers and their canine comrades.’
-Matthew Green, author of Aftershock