A hero stray dog who saved the lives of British troops has been rescued from the Taliban in a daring raid by Afghan commandos. Brin the Afghan hound was adopted by Coldstream Guards and handed over to Gurkha Rifles troops after wandering on to their base several months ago. The friendly desert dog, who looks like a cross between a Staffordshire Bull Terrier and a Jack Russell, then started following them on patrols into the Taliban badlands. Soon the clever pooch started barking at suspicious-smelling mounds in the dirt which were found to be deadly Taliban roadside bombs. It meant soldiers were able to avoid the explosives and in some cases destroy them.
For the past few months Brin has made himself at home at Patrol Base 4, where B Company, 1st Battalion, Royal Gurkha Rifles are based, surrounded by Taliban. British troops began to value Brin’s company and locals heard the Taliban were becoming angry the Brits had flown in a “specially trained SAS dog”.
Brin would accompany soldiers on security patrols around the villages and into the insurgent-infested Green Zone, flanking the Helmand River. But while tagging along with a recent patrol, plans changed at the last minute and his Gurkha comrades were extracted by helicopter. Poor Brin was left behind as the aircraft made a hasty departure and Taliban forces were able to take the dog prisoner, bragging to locals they had “kidnapped an SAS dog”. The soldiers expected Brin to find his way back to base as he usually did, but when he failed to return they asked the Afghan National Army to lookout for him.
Last week Afghan commandos arrived at camp with little Brin after seizing him from his captors in a raid on Taliban positions. Captain Mark Townsend, who looks after the dog, said: “Brin’s very cheerful and our folks have sent anti-flea and de-worming tablets. “He’s finally got toys and dog treats, all things he’s never seen before. It’s nice to have him with us. He’s a big morale booster. He’s a reminder of our pets in the UK and it’s nice to have a bit of a break once in a while and have something that’s like a comfort from home.”