• Saving Private Sarbi

  • The True Story of Australia's Canine War Hero
  • By: Sandra Lee
  • Narrated by: Peter Byrne
  • Length: 7 hrs and 58 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Release date: 03-02-12
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: Bolinda Publishing Pty Ltd
  • 4 out of 5 stars 4.1 (19 ratings)


The amazing true story of Australia's canine war hero.
Lost for 13 months in the wilds of Afghanistan, this is the dramatic, heart-warming and truly amazing story of Sarbi, the Army's most famous explosives detection dog - the miracle dog of Tarin Kot. 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.
©2011 Sandra Lee (P)2011 Bolinda Publishing Pty Ltd
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Kate on 23-04-14


What did you like most about Saving Private Sarbi?

Well read, very interesting, good details on the subject

What did you like best about this story?

Kept me listening until the last word, I just had to keep getting back to it!

What about Peter Byrne’s performance did you like?

Good voice to listen to

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Both laugh and cry

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2 out of 5 stars
By Steven on 26-01-14

a hard listen

I love dogs and so does my girlfriend , we bought this for a long trip we had planned , we fair looked forward to his story but we got an hour or so into and couldn't listen no more , it doesn't half drag on , very droll , its a very hard listen , it might be just us but in my view your better off spending your credit/money on something else

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0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By Pamela Dale Foster on 25-12-14

My Life is Yours, So That You May Live

Sarbi is a Labrador/Newfoundland mixed breed. She became Private Sarbi when her owner had to move and she was adopted by the military. The military will go to rescue center's to choose specific mixed breeds that could possibly prove to be the next dog going to Afghanistan or any war zone where needed.

Sarbi had been trained and given the green light for deployment to any war zone. Sergeant D had joined the army in 1995 at the age of 19 to become a military dog soldier. However, he was not selected and had to fulfill his duty wherever he was deployed to. But this was his lucky day. Sergeant D was chosen to train for deployment to Afghanistan with Sabri. His training session was shorter than required. He absolutely loved dogs and had all of his life.

Dogs do wear life saving armor. Sabri sees her world through her nose. A dog breathes in and out at the same time. There are side slits that allows a dog to smell even more scents. A dog has millions of receptor sites. A dog is able to detect ovarian cancer in women by smelling her breath.

One of the most important evaluations, to know if a dog could become a military dog is how much she likes to retrieve a tennis ball. Sabri associated the scent of the tennis ball to her cage. When she did a good job her, while out in the field or at the base, her reward was for Sergeant D to throw the tennis ball for Sarbi to retrieve. She never tired of this game.

Military dogs have to be taught that man is the top dog. A K9 dog and human compliment one another and of course, man and dog need to love one another.

Sabri has excellent skills in seeking out and finding IED's. Dogs are still considered to be the best identifier of an IED, they are 80 to 90% effective. Sabri and Sergeant D go ahead to insure clearance of the area for the soldier's behind to be safe.

Sabri and the Australian soldier's were battling beside the American's during one of the worst encounters with the enemy, operation Anaconda.Sergeant D had Sabri hooked on the leash that keeps her beside him but unfortunately the snap opened and Sabri was gone. She had moved away and was in an open space with no cover. She attempted many times to pass through but there were too many bullets flying all around her. Sergeant D and his fellow soldier's, tried to find Sabri but she was gone. The soldier's sent out viable information about Sabri and her picture. This information circulates throughout the many FOB's throughout the area, which extends wherever soldier's are. Their hope was to get her back safe. The Middle East does not have any respect or love for dogs. I have read that they hate them. Sometimes dogs are used for fighting one another but not to live with one.

The book was a good listen. The book does not provide a lot of information on how to find Sarbi but more on how to train a dog, what a dog's duties are and the types of things a military dog is good at finding. The narrator was good and made the listen better. This book illustrates nationality makes no difference where brother's are concerned. There are many initials used throughout the book. I'm becoming familiar with some but not all. Sabri is one awesome dog who deserves all the love he receives and more. Sabri has a well of love inside of her.

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