Wednesday , February 21 2024
Carey Neesley shares the highly emotional story of her brother's loss in Iraq and the fight to bring his beloved dogs home to the states

Book Review: ‘Welcome Home Mama and Boris: How a Sister’s Love Saved a Fallen Soldier’s Beloved Dogs’ by Carey Neesley

Welcome Home Mama and Boris is a story about love,loss, courage, and a seemingly impossible mission to rescue a couple of very special dogs from Iraq.

mama2Carey Neesley and her brother Peter, though two years apart in age, were as close as twins. They enjoyed an idyllic childhood together and then weathered their troubled teens when they were rocked by their parents’ divorce and Carey’s single motherhood. Through it all, they were best friends and solid support for one another. When Peter joined the army and was eventually sent to Iraq, Carey was terrified but comforted when Peter formed a close bond to a stray dog and her puppy, whom he named Mama and Boris, and sent home pictures and shared stories of his mission to keep them safe.

But then, on Christmas day, 2007, Carey’s worst fears were realized. Peter died mysteriously in his sleep in Iraq. The entire family was devastated. The reader will be brought to tears as the Neesleys struggle to deal with their devastating loss. Only the need to be strong for her son Patrick and some signs that Peter may still be near in spirit form keep Carey going until she finds a new mission: bring Mama and Boris to the states, thus saving them from being shot as army regulations would demand.

It’s a nearly impossible mission. The story of how strangers bond together to honor the fallen soldier and rescue the dogs is inspiring and exciting and eventually has helped to save many other wartime strays.

The story will thrill animal lovers in particular but will touch the hearts of any reader and certainly brings home the reality of the cost of war to soldiers, families, and even innocent animals. It is a quick and intensely emotional read which will keep the reader engrossed and invested to the very end.  You will come to know both of the Neesley siblings in an unusually intimate way and you will rejoice in the good fortune and joy in living of Mama and Boris despite all of the trials they have to overcome. Just keep the hankies handy because you will need them.

About Rhetta Akamatsu

I am an author of non-fiction books and an online journalist. My books include Haunted Marietta, The Irish Slaves, T'ain't Nobody's Business If I Do: Blues Women Past and Present, Southern Crossroads: Georgia Bluesand Sex Sells: Women in Photography and Film.

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