South East Wales

Gun shy Afghanistan sniffer dog book to inspire new readers

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Media captionRetired Army sniffer dog inspires readers

The story of a sniffer dog who was retired from the front line in Afghanistan after becoming scared of loud noises will be used to inspire those who struggle to read.

Vidar, a Belgian Malinois, hunted out roadside bombs and weapons with the Army in Helmand Province.

Medic Angie McDonnell, from the Vale of Glamorgan, adopted him and wrote Gun Shy about his exploits.

It was launched on Tuesday as part of the Welsh Book Council's quick reads.

After two years of service, five-year-old Vidar suddenly became "gun shy" - a term used in the Army to describe dogs who are scared of loud noises.

Image copyright Wales News Service

Ms McDonnell of 3 Medical Regiment described sniffer dogs as "the real heroes, they do the job of several soldiers".

After finding Vidar cowering, she said: "I couldn't bear to think of him being left in the kennels.

"He is such a big, frightened dog, I was worried that he might not get re-homed, that he would get overlooked and might end up being put down."

The story launched at the Senedd as part of the quick reads initiative, aims to encourage adults who struggle to read to pick up a book.

Image copyright Wales News Service

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