Sargent Pen Farthing’s tour of Afghanistan changes his life in ways he couldn’t imagine. After putting a stop to a local dog fight, one of the victims finds its way into the Marine compound where Farthing is based. Soon other stray dogs appear and Farthing puts together a makeshift pound and starts to look after the dogs. But a military outpost is no place for dogs and as Farthing’s time in Afghanistan draws to an end he begins to hatch a plan to help the dogs escape to a better life.
One Dog at a Time is an incredible true story. It’s sometimes surprising as there are surely bigger problems than stray dogs that are forced to fight but at least Pen Farthing and the other soldiers can do something for the dogs, while differing cultures, the short amount of time troops are stationed in the area and the Taliban often stop them helping the people of Afghanistan.
As well as Pen’s encounters with different dogs you also get to see what the everyday life of the military in a remote outpost in Helmand Province is like. There’s the constant threat of the Taliban and people you’ve come to know do get hurt and killed. But also there’s the camaraderie between the soldiers and how they learn to deal with the elements and how they interact with the Afghani Police.
One Dog at a Time touches all the emotions; shock, outrage, sadness and joy as you follow Pen as he tries to help these dogs in a place where there’s not a lot of hope.
I’d recommend One Dog at a Time: Saving the Strays of Helmand to any dog or animal lover in general. 3/5.