HAILSHAM: Brin misses top award

Brin, Afghanistan resuce dog with Sally Baldwin
Brin, Afghanistan resuce dog with Sally Baldwin

A HERO SOLDIER DOG has come second in a national top dog award contest after he struck fear into the hearts of Taliban militants.

The story of Brin the trooper hound who is supported by teacher Sally Baldwin has been told before by the Gazette. Brin was a stray dog who became friends with British soldiers in the Afghan warzone and saved lives by sniffing out landmines. The Taliban gave him the name ‘SAS dog’ as his fearsome reputation spread across the front line.

Sally Baldwin, from Ersham Road in Hailsham, launched a campaign to get the dog back to England. He became a minor celebrity and someone put him up for the Hero Dog Award run by the Dog’s Trust.

Jennifer Blaber, from the Dogs Trust, said: “Brin was not selected as winner, but he was a very close second. The winner is Theo the dog who died in Afghanistan. Brin’s story is really inspirational. He has certainly landed on his feet now.”

Sally Baldwin said that in a way she was very relieved that Brin came second as there was a lot of media interest. But the teacher said she was very proud the once stray dog had made it into the top five in the UK.

She told the Express: “Theo died in combat with his soldier and I feel it is fitting that the recognition should be with him and the family. I sincerely hope that this honour will bring a moment of happiness in the light of all they have lost. Brin is still here and lucky to be so and with that in mind I will be able to share his story and the plight of so many animals in war torn countries in my effort to raise awareness.”

Mrs Baldwin has applied for Brin to become a ‘PAT dog’ supporting people in homes who are elderly or suffer various disabilities. He has already visited Chiddingly School as part of its ‘Heroes’ project.

Mrs Baldwin added: “For a skinny stray from the streets of Helmand to the life he lives today is his medal and every day is an adventure. He continues to raise funds to help others. A necklace I made when I was trying to get him home called ‘Brin’s Necklace’ raised more than £250 via an auction.

“I am proud of Brin.

“I am grateful to all those who came with me on his journey by donating and helping me so much. I am honoured at the way he moves people to tears and helps them to share their own stories and memories.”

She said she was lucky to know such ‘an amazing soul’, adding: “I’m proud he has had the chance to show the world that it can be done however impossible it may seem at the time and to be recognised as the hero he was in saving lives and being a companion to so many while out in Afghanistan alongside the late Theo is something that will remain with us all our lives.”