On Tuesday, British Lance Corporal Liam Tasker died in a firefight with the Taliban in Afghanistan. Shortly after, his devoted 22-month-old bomb-sniffing dog, Theo, who was with him when he died, suffered a seizure and also died.
While some say it may have been the trauma of being fired at repeatedly that killed him, Taskers mother is among many who believe that the healthy springer spaniel mix died of a broken heart to be with Liam, as she said on MSNBC.
The two had formed an incredibly strong bond during their time together. Tasker, 26, of the Royal Army Veterinary Corps, 1st Military Working Dog Regiment, spent 15 weeks at a handlers’ course with Theo. They learned to work as a team and developed their deep bond. They then went to Afghanistan. In their five months there, they recovered 14 home-made bombs and huge numbers of other weapons. According to the Daily Mail, it was a record for a dog and his handler in the conflict.
They clearly had something special together. “I love my job and working together with Theo. He has a great character and never tires,” the Daily Mail reports Tasker as saying in an interview. “He cant wait to get out and do his job and will stop at nothing.”
The two are credited with saving countless lives because of the finds they made as a team.
Tasker’s family issued a statement about Tasker. You can see why his dog would be so devoted: “There are three words that best describe Liam: larger than life. He lit up every room he walked into with his cheeky smile.
He died a hero doing a job he was immensely passionate about. We are so proud of him and everything hes achieved. Words cant describe how sorely he will be missed.”
With any luck, Tasker is going off into the next world with a dear, devoted dog who didn’t want to give up his rightful place at his best friend’s side…