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Saving Private Sarbi

Powerful, dramatic, heartwarming, this is the true story of Sarbi, the scruffy black Labrador-cross trained by the Australian Army as an explosives detection dog for the most dangerous combat mission imaginable.

Thirteen months after Australia’s most famous canine warrior went missing in action following an historic battle between the elite SAS and the Taliban in Afghanistan in 2008, she was found by an American Special Forces officer patrolling a village in a region known to be a Taliban stronghold. Against all odds, Sarbi had survived her injuries, the enemy’s weapons, a bitter winter, one brutal summer and the harsh unforgiving landscape on her own. She was the miracle dog of Tarin Kot.

Sarbi’s story, and those of the other brave Australian Army dogs in Afghanistan, will resonate with anyone who has known the unconditional love of man’s best friend, and understands the rewards of unbidden loyalty, trust and devotion. It will appeal to all those who appreciate the selflessness of serving your country and the inherent dangers of putting your life on the line for others in a war zone. And it will strike a chord with anyone who has experienced the magical connection with a dog.

Starting With Max

My dog has demonstrated a grand theory about life’s simplest activities. He acts out the meaning of life by actively living it. Do not think so much about yourself, he tells me. Know where you’re going, and just get up and go. Be playful and joyous.

Starting a new life in a new city, in a new country, Ying Ying and her family adopt a stray dog, the much loved Max. As changes in Ying Ying’s life bring frustration and sadness as well as surprise and joy, quite unexpectedly she realises that what remains most constant in her life is her dog.

Starting With Max captures the journey of a migrant in mid-life crisis struggling to come to terms with her new identity in a foreign land. Ying Ying finds herself driven by her dog to pursue a life of action and meaning, persistence and determination. She must not just survive, but thrive and it is her faithful four-legged friend who has become her source of wisdom and strength at this most fragile period of her life.

This is not just another book about life with a dog, but a quest for deeper understanding of humans and their dogs. In her contemplation of her four-legged friend and all that he is, Ying Ying reflects on matters of significance such as love, faith, beauty, ageing, mortality and creation.