Saving Cinnamon: The Amazing True Story of a Missing Military Puppy and the Desperate Mission to Bring Her Home

( 29 )

Overview

Set against the backdrop of the war in Afghanistan, Saving Cinnamon chronicles the love story of Navy Reservist Mark Feffer and a stray puppy he bonded with while stationed outside of Kandahar. When Mark is about to return stateside, he decides to adopt Cinnamon and sets up her transport back to the United States. But the unthinkable happens: Cinnamon is abandoned by the dog handler who was supposed to bring her home and disappears without a trace. Mark and his family start a desperate search for the puppy that ...
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Saving Cinnamon: The Amazing True Story of a Missing Military Puppy and the Desperate Mission to Bring Her Home

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Overview

Set against the backdrop of the war in Afghanistan, Saving Cinnamon chronicles the love story of Navy Reservist Mark Feffer and a stray puppy he bonded with while stationed outside of Kandahar. When Mark is about to return stateside, he decides to adopt Cinnamon and sets up her transport back to the United States. But the unthinkable happens: Cinnamon is abandoned by the dog handler who was supposed to bring her home and disappears without a trace. Mark and his family start a desperate search for the puppy that lasts forty-four days and ends dramatically when Mark and Cinnamon are finally reunited. This is a touching memoir told by Mark's sister, who initiated the rescue efforts.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
When Navy Reservist Mark Feffer reports for duty in Afghanistan, he finds an unexpected visitor on base: a stray mixed-breed puppy named Cinnamon. The mutt quickly becomes a base mascot, and morale booster, for the whole unit. At the end of his tour, Feffer is resolved to take Cinnamon home with him to America; unfortunately, he trusts her with a professional dog handler, who abandons Cinnamon at an airport. With Cinnamon missing, Feffer and his family-including the author, his sister-began an international search for the missing canine. The heartwarming story of a soldier and his dog, Sullivan's narrative isn't polished and occasionally meanders, but draws readers in with her depiction of Cinnamon, whose perseverance and good nature are palpable on each page. Animal lovers may get their hearts broken several times over the course of the story, and will be tempted to get involved with Operation Baghdad Pups, an organization that helps veterans adopt the dogs that gave them comfort overseas.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.\
From the Publisher
"The heartwarming story of a soldier and his dog.... Animal lovers may get their hearts broken several times over the course of the story." —-Publishers Weekly
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780312649555
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Publication date: 11/9/2010
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 602,937
  • Product dimensions: 6.94 (w) x 11.80 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author


Christine Sullivan's true passion in life is caring for animals in need. She is cofounder of New Hope for Animals and continues to work with Operation Baghdad Pups.

Laural Merlington has recorded well over one hundred audiobooks, including works by Margaret Atwood and Alice Hoffman, and is the recipient of several AudioFile Earphones Awards. An Audie Award nominee, she has also directed over one hundred audiobooks.

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Read an Excerpt

SAVING CINNAMON

ONE

THE MORNING BEGAN like most of my days at that time. I opened my eyes, thankful that I didn’t have to get up that early. The ski season was long over. That winter I had taught skiing to three-to six-year-olds at a local ski resort. I had risen out of bed at 4:30 A.M. each morning. It was a necessary evil that allowed me to take care of things at home and still get to the mountain on time for work. There I’d endeavor to inspire little people to venture into the cold and attempt incredible feats of physical acts almost beyond their abilities. It was a lot to take on, but I had to admit getting up early had been enjoyable in unexpected ways.

You see, it seemed not much of the rest of the world was awake at that hour. Often during the winter, there was a new snowfall overnight that made the morning especially quiet and serene. Spirit, my very energetic four-year-old Shepherd/Husky/Collie mix, required a long walk at least every morning, which kept her somewhat calm during the rest of the day. So we’d venture out, just the two of us, into the dark, peaceful morning, exploring and enjoying the winter wonderland while most everyone else slept.

Most important, though, getting up early that winter had afforded me the ability to chat live with my brother, Mark, through instant messaging. That’s not so earth-shattering, until you factor in that he was halfway around the world in Afghanistan, serving his tour of duty in the war that raged on. For months I worried about him day and night. I was thrilled when we learned he had set up a computer and installed Instant Messenger. I could IM with him if I was lucky enough to catch him online. As it happened, because of the time difference, our schedules lined up in such a way that I was starting my day about the time he was ending his. The time was ten hours ahead in Afghanistan. For weeks, we chatted online first thing in the morning, giving me comfort knowing that he was safe another day.

It was June now, and I was no longer working at the mountain. The 4:30 A.M. wake up was a thing of the past. I could sleep in if I wanted to, but today I didn’t. Instead, I popped out of bed, threw on my standard morning attire (sweatshirt and sweatpants) over my standard nighttime attire (whatever T-shirt was on top of the pile the night before). I stumbled down the stairs, readied Spirit to go out into the yard, and sent her on her way. I knew it was a poor substitute for our long, serene walks of the winter, but I was on a mission. I was headed to the computer.

Most days, I’m one of those poor souls who is compelled to turn on the computer before I start the morning coffee. To me it feels like worse than a bad habit, more like a sad habit. Today, though, it seemed acceptable. Today was different. Today, tomorrow, or maybe the next day there would be news—important news, and I had to have it as soon as it came and as soon as I could after waking.

The news I was waiting for would arrive in an e-mail from Mark. He was on his way home from Afghanistan, having been there for six months. I had treasured his e-mails each and every day. They were filled with the latest of what he was up to. The news he sent made his deployment seem less real, less dangerous, less threatening to the life and love that had come to mean so much. And we had gotten plenty of those e-mails throughout his time overseas. But these days I was waiting for an e-mail that would bring news of a different kind.

As my computer connected and I sent for my e-mail, I reflected on how lucky our family was. Mark had left home for training in late October 2005, with orders to spend a year or more overseas. But now he was coming home more than six months early, and his service up to this point was virtually uneventful. Virtually.

It was Mark’s trip home that turned out to be far more eventful than his time in Afghanistan. Mark was in the city of Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, part of the former Soviet Union. He had been there for several days, having spent most of the past ten days on an in-depth search for something gone missing—something very important to him that he was desperate to find. Mark’s final flight home to the U.S. was to leave in just four days. Should he depart Bishkek without finding what he had lost, when he arrived home the distance could make it impossible to locate, and he would have lost a part of him that could not be replaced.

The e-mails started to come in, and, as most people do, I quickly scanned for the ones I would open first. That’s when I saw it, an e-mail from Mark.

I skipped over all the other e-mails, barely even noticing them. I opened his mail, scanned it, and reached the bottom in disbelief. I started over. I read it again. I tried to absorb what it said, but it wasn’t really making sense, wasn’t sinking in. What he wrote couldn’t be true.

The room started spinning. I couldn’t focus. I felt the blood drain from my face and my mouth go dry. My mouth dropped open as my hand slammed over it. I was having one of those out-of-body experiences. I could see my surroundings but felt completely detached from them. I was floating above myself. The room kept spinning.

I took a deep breath and forced myself to start over one more time, to read every word, making sure this time not to miss a thing, to digest every bit of information there on the screen. And there it was—what had sent me reeling, what I didn’t want to believe: the final lines he had written.

At this point, all we’d want is some assurance that Cinnamon is OK and living a life that is better than the one she was living in Afghanistan. The peace of mind that information would bring us is immeasurable, but we aren’t condent that we will ever hear more about her . . . Please pray and hope that Cinnamon is doing well and is happy. That is what we will do. That is what we wanted.

The lump in my throat choked off any air. My eyes welled, and the tears began to flow. I couldn’t stop them or the sobbing that now took over. This couldn’t be happening. We had come too far. She was almost home. My brother and his wife had been through far too much in recent times for Cinnamon’s fate to end this way. She was too special. She meant too much—and so did he.

The words finally registered, but they were hard to accept. The puppy that had kept my brother company and had watched over him during his time serving in Afghanistan, that he helped raise and had come to love enough to adopt and bring home, had been lost on her way to the U.S., abandoned at a foreign airport seven thousand miles away by the dog handler entrusted with her care and who had agreed to bring her home.

It couldn’t be happening. It couldn’t be true. But there it was, plain as day. I’d read the words he’d written but still couldn’t believe them. My mind raced, and the questions flooded in. Where could she be? Was she all right? How could the dog handler have done this? What will happen to her now? But none of it mattered. According to Mark’s e-mail, the answers will probably never be found. I broke down and sobbed uncontrollably.

Copyright © 2009 by Christine Sullivan. All rights reserved.  For information, address St. Martin’s Press, 175 Fifth Avenue, New York, N.Y. 10010.

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First Chapter

Saving Cinnamon

The Amazing True Story of a Missing Military Puppy and the Desperate Mission to Bring Her Home
By Christine Sullivan

St. Martin's Griffin

Copyright © 2010 Christine Sullivan
All right reserved.

ISBN: 9780312649555

SAVING CINNAMON

ONE

THE MORNING BEGAN like most of my days at that time. I opened my eyes, thankful that I didn’t have to get up that early. The ski season was long over. That winter I had taught skiing to three-to six-year-olds at a local ski resort. I had risen out of bed at 4:30 A.M. each morning. It was a necessary evil that allowed me to take care of things at home and still get to the mountain on time for work. There I’d endeavor to inspire little people to venture into the cold and attempt incredible feats of physical acts almost beyond their abilities. It was a lot to take on, but I had to admit getting up early had been enjoyable in unexpected ways.

You see, it seemed not much of the rest of the world was awake at that hour. Often during the winter, there was a new snowfall overnight that made the morning especially quiet and serene. Spirit, my very energetic four-year-old Shepherd/Husky/Collie mix, required a long walk at least every morning, which kept her somewhat calm during the rest of the day. So we’d venture out, just the two of us, into the dark, peaceful morning, exploring and enjoying the winter wonderland while most everyone else slept.

Most important, though, getting up early that winter had afforded me the ability to chat live with my brother, Mark, through instant messaging. That’s not so earth-shattering, until you factor in that he was halfway around the world in Afghanistan, serving his tour of duty in the war that raged on. For months I worried about him day and night. I was thrilled when we learned he had set up a computer and installed Instant Messenger. I could IM with him if I was lucky enough to catch him online. As it happened, because of the time difference, our schedules lined up in such a way that I was starting my day about the time he was ending his. The time was ten hours ahead in Afghanistan. For weeks, we chatted online first thing in the morning, giving me comfort knowing that he was safe another day.

It was June now, and I was no longer working at the mountain. The 4:30 A.M. wake up was a thing of the past. I could sleep in if I wanted to, but today I didn’t. Instead, I popped out of bed, threw on my standard morning attire (sweatshirt and sweatpants) over my standard nighttime attire (whatever T-shirt was on top of the pile the night before). I stumbled down the stairs, readied Spirit to go out into the yard, and sent her on her way. I knew it was a poor substitute for our long, serene walks of the winter, but I was on a mission. I was headed to the computer.

Most days, I’m one of those poor souls who is compelled to turn on the computer before I start the morning coffee. To me it feels like worse than a bad habit, more like a sad habit. Today, though, it seemed acceptable. Today was different. Today, tomorrow, or maybe the next day there would be news—important news, and I had to have it as soon as it came and as soon as I could after waking.

The news I was waiting for would arrive in an e-mail from Mark. He was on his way home from Afghanistan, having been there for six months. I had treasured his e-mails each and every day. They were filled with the latest of what he was up to. The news he sent made his deployment seem less real, less dangerous, less threatening to the life and love that had come to mean so much. And we had gotten plenty of those e-mails throughout his time overseas. But these days I was waiting for an e-mail that would bring news of a different kind.

As my computer connected and I sent for my e-mail, I reflected on how lucky our family was. Mark had left home for training in late October 2005, with orders to spend a year or more overseas. But now he was coming home more than six months early, and his service up to this point was virtually uneventful. Virtually.

It was Mark’s trip home that turned out to be far more eventful than his time in Afghanistan. Mark was in the city of Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, part of the former Soviet Union. He had been there for several days, having spent most of the past ten days on an in-depth search for something gone missing—something very important to him that he was desperate to find. Mark’s final flight home to the U.S. was to leave in just four days. Should he depart Bishkek without finding what he had lost, when he arrived home the distance could make it impossible to locate, and he would have lost a part of him that could not be replaced.

The e-mails started to come in, and, as most people do, I quickly scanned for the ones I would open first. That’s when I saw it, an e-mail from Mark.

I skipped over all the other e-mails, barely even noticing them. I opened his mail, scanned it, and reached the bottom in disbelief. I started over. I read it again. I tried to absorb what it said, but it wasn’t really making sense, wasn’t sinking in. What he wrote couldn’t be true.

The room started spinning. I couldn’t focus. I felt the blood drain from my face and my mouth go dry. My mouth dropped open as my hand slammed over it. I was having one of those out-of-body experiences. I could see my surroundings but felt completely detached from them. I was floating above myself. The room kept spinning.

I took a deep breath and forced myself to start over one more time, to read every word, making sure this time not to miss a thing, to digest every bit of information there on the screen. And there it was—what had sent me reeling, what I didn’t want to believe: the final lines he had written.

At this point, all we’d want is some assurance that Cinnamon is OK and living a life that is better than the one she was living in Afghanistan. The peace of mind that information would bring us is immeasurable, but we aren’t condent that we will ever hear more about her . . . Please pray and hope that Cinnamon is doing well and is happy. That is what we will do. That is what we wanted.

The lump in my throat choked off any air. My eyes welled, and the tears began to flow. I couldn’t stop them or the sobbing that now took over. This couldn’t be happening. We had come too far. She was almost home. My brother and his wife had been through far too much in recent times for Cinnamon’s fate to end this way. She was too special. She meant too much—and so did he.

The words finally registered, but they were hard to accept. The puppy that had kept my brother company and had watched over him during his time serving in Afghanistan, that he helped raise and had come to love enough to adopt and bring home, had been lost on her way to the U.S., abandoned at a foreign airport seven thousand miles away by the dog handler entrusted with her care and who had agreed to bring her home.

It couldn’t be happening. It couldn’t be true. But there it was, plain as day. I’d read the words he’d written but still couldn’t believe them. My mind raced, and the questions flooded in. Where could she be? Was she all right? How could the dog handler have done this? What will happen to her now? But none of it mattered. According to Mark’s e-mail, the answers will probably never be found. I broke down and sobbed uncontrollably.

Copyright © 2009 by Christine Sullivan. All rights reserved.  For information, address St. Martin’s Press, 175 Fifth Avenue, New York, N.Y. 10010.



Continues...

Excerpted from Saving Cinnamon by Christine Sullivan Copyright © 2010 by Christine Sullivan. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 29 )
Rating Distribution

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 29 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 27, 2011

    Feel Good Book

    This book will make you cringe at humanity and feel good about them all within a few pages. Wonderful story of a soldier and what him, his friends, and strangers went through to bring a dog to America.

    10 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 28, 2011

    Heart warming

    Amazing story of love for a stray puppy in a war zone ot finda a forever home Simply amazing If you ever recsued a pet this is a must read none of my rescue animals had a journey like cinnamon Warms the heart

    8 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 22, 2011

    Very moving book!

    What an experience! The hope and faith that allowed this to happen. It makes so much sense how a dog can make so much difference in a persons life, especially soldiers and others who are in stressful situations! Such an exceptional book!

    8 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 27, 2011

    Ooooooooh

    It is so sad l

    6 out of 15 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 14, 2012

    Melted my heart

    Words alone cannot describe how this book makes a animal lover feel. My heart was racing with every turn of the page .

    4 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 3, 2011

    Thanks

    I have never read this dook do u recomend it

    4 out of 14 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 8, 2011

    Looks great.

    I only got the sample, but it looks great!

    3 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 29, 2012

    Peaple

    Greatest book ever

    2 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 18, 2011

    very good book

    It was very good book.It was writen like a book you would like to read.

    2 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 20, 2013

    It is very touching

    I am very touched but i realy like the book i also have a dog named raider dumbow charboneau why his midle name is dumbow is becase he is supid and dumb!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 24, 2013

    Book pages

    How manny pages is this book?

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 11, 2013

    Ndhd

    This book is so touching and i recommend it for ages 10+. I also hope you enjoy reading it as much as i did!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 4, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    This book was an outstanding book and a passionate book about pe

    This book was an outstanding book and a passionate book about people who love animals!! It also opens your eyes to those who don't care so much about animals. you will find out how america values their dogs and animals much more than other countries do. It's a good read. You won't want to put it down!@!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 31, 2013

    Underwhelming

    On its face, this is an interesting story but it is not well told. The author is a first timer and it shows. She uses cliches, pet words and is often overly dramatic. The book is badly in need of a good editor in that at least 50 pages could have
    (and should have) been cut. When I finished it, I was relieved that the ordeal was over. I love dogs but this was much ado about very little.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 14, 2013

    Nicky152

    Yummy!!!!!!time to eat!!!!!!SOCK(media) youre sp
    Oooooo weird:):):)

    0 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 3, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted July 29, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted February 12, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted May 22, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 10, 2011

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