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Saving Cinnamon    by Christine Sullivan order for
Saving Cinnamon
by Christine Sullivan
Order:  USA  Can
Griffin, 2010 (2009)
Hardcover, Softcover, CD

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* *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

In Saving Cinnamon: The Amazing True Story of a Missing Military Puppy and the Desperate Mission to Bring Her Home, Christine Sullivan tells the feel good story of the impact of a stray puppy on a military base in Afghanistan, and of her brother Navy Reservist Mark Feffer's efforts (and those of his family and friends, including Christine) to get it back to the United States.

This true tale makes clear how much contact with a loving animal can mean to people in stressful situations, in this case in wartime. When Mark Feffer ended up in Qalat, Afghanistan, a small tawny puppy was there first. Though the 'scrappy camp dog' was called by many names, Mark settled on one of them, Cinnamon, and encouraged others to use it too. He emailed a photo of the pup to his wife Alice who was 'taken with Cinnamon from the start.' When his tour of duty ended, Mark made arrangements (through a dog handling company that provides 'working dogs to the military for security work') to ship Cinnamon home.

However, when a difficulty arose, the dog handler entrusted with Cinnamon's care abandoned her in Bishkek Airport in Kyrgyzstan. Mark learned that an airline employee had given the dog to an unknown man at the airport, but could find out nothing more. The story might have ended there, except that Mark's sister Christine decided to get involved. She started networking, using contacts made during animal rescue volunteer work after Hurricane Katrina, and using the Internet. What follows shows what good will (from people all over the world) and persistence can achieve.

It's a sweet story, inspiring in that it reminds us that good people do often make good things happen despite all the bad news we're bombarded with every minute of every day.

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