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Welcome Home Mama & Boris: How a Sister's Love Saved a Fallen Soldier's Beloved Dogs    by Carey Neesley order for
Welcome Home Mama & Boris
by Carey Neesley
Order:  USA  Can
Readers Digest, 2013 (2013)
* *   Reviewed by Jessica Maguire

Carey Neesley and her younger brother, Peter, are very close. Even though he is younger, Carey refers to Peter as her 'big little brother' for the way he always looks out for her and helps her raise her son, Patrick. So when Peter joins the United States Army, Carey is proud, scared, and heartbroken all at once.

On yet another tour to Iraq, Peter befriends a dog, Mama, and her puppies. Soon all the puppies, save one, dubbed Boris, perish. Life is hard for both the soldiers and the dogs. Stray dogs, so common in war zones, 'will be ordered to be put down if they are found to be engaging with soldiers'.

Christmas Day comes, bringing tragedy for the Neesley family. Army Sargeant Peter C. Neesley has passed away. Through her grief, a devastated Carey focuses on a seemingly impossible task: bringing Mama and Boris, her last connection to Peter, home.

Although this book is first and foremost a touching memoir and tribute to a brother and fallen soldier, the issue of the impact of war on stray dogs and the soldiers who bond with them is brought to light. Carey not only brings Mama and Boris home; she has also helped other families bring home dogs befriended by other soldiers.

I found this book to be an emotionally difficult read that I am glad to have finished. I found it both touching and heart wrenching, as well as happy and sad, rather like sunshine and shadow.

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