Heartbroken dog dies after seeing his master killed in action
We know that the dog is man's best friend and that a dog is most
often the saviour of humans in war ravaged areas. One could not help but
be amazed at the courage of military and police dogs that run during
gunfire and save people, walk on explosives and find them, or spot
Thousands of military and police dogs are working all over the world
in war-affected areas, including Sri Lanka. A heartbreaking story
emerged recently from a war zone, about an unusual true love between a
soldier and his military dog.
The British Military working Dog Regiment plays a key role in counter
insurgency and improvised explosive device (IED) detection; searching
and helping to clear routes, buildings and vehicles in Afghanistan and
helping to guard and patrol key installations to assist and enhance
United in death: Lance Corporal Liam
Tasker with his dog Theo. They died within hours of each
other. Both their bodies are to be paraded together through
the streets as a hero’s farewell.
It also provides a range of other capabilities wherever its skilled
force is needed in the rest of the world.
This regiment comprises 284 soldiers and officers and about 200 dogs.
While the number of American Military dogs working in Afghanistan is
Army dog handler Liam Tasker, a Lance Corporal in the British army,
was said to be inseparable from his 22-month-old spaniel, Theo. Liam
Tasker was shot dead while on patrol north of Nahr-e-Saraj in Helmand
province in southern Afghanistan.
Theo, who was trained to search for bombs, survived but, seeing his
handler dying, on returning to the British base at Camp Bastion, died of
a brokenheart.The two best friends were united in death through tragedy.
The dog and the soldier were stars in the Army, as they had uncovered
14 home-made bombs and hoards of weapons in just five months - a record
for a dog and his handler in the conflict.
The 26-year-old soldier recently spoke about his friendship with Theo
to the Ministry of Defence website saying: 'I love my job and working
together with Theo. He has a great character and never tires, he can't
wait to get out and do his job and will stop at nothing.'
Theo has always been the 'front man' in Army missions, sniffing out
any hidden IEDs, weapons and bomb-making equipment.
The British military also has released a statement saying that Theo's
and L/Cpl Tasker's work have helped save thousands of lives.
Recently they took part in a mission in the Nahr-e-Saraj district in
Helmand, but a shooting broke out with the Taliban and L/Cpl Tasker was
After his body was flown back to Camp Bastion, his beloved Theo, who
was healthy and strong is thought to have died of a broken heart (from a
L/Cpl Tasker joined the Army in 2001 as a vehicle mechanic in the
Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers but after learning about the
dog unit and seeing a video of them in action, the animal lover
transferred to the Royal Army Veterinary Corps in 2007.
He has spent 15 weeks on a handlers' course with Theo, where they
learned to work as a team and developed their bond.
Theo was very successful at detecting explosives and his tour of duty
at the war zone was due to be finished in a month.
Unfortunately, neither he nor his handler ever could leave
Afghanistan alive.Animals like Theo save thousands of lives around the
world. One could not help but pay tribute to such noble animal heroes
that save the lives of cruel and flawed humans.
- Chamari Senanayake