I generally judge a book by the number of sessions it takes me to complete it. By that measure alone One Dog At A Time fully deserves 5 stars as I was unable to put it down from the moment I opened it. Every emotion was tweaked along the way - anger, despair, hope, disappointment, frustration, sadness, relief, joy - they all came at me in an unpredictable and sometimes overwhelming onslaught. This is partially an inevitable consequence of the subject matter but a great deal of credit must also go to the author who did a truly excellent job of telling the story.
The plight of the dogs is obviously the focus of the book but you also get a very personal insight into what life is really like for our troops serving on the frontline in Afghanistan. You also get a fair and honest view of what life is really like for the local population, the challenges they face and why it's essential we give our forces the support they need to see this job through. It's very humbling and inspiring to know that we have men like Pen and his mates who have the professionalism to serve in such an inhospitable and culturally backward environment without ever losing touch of their own humanity.