Just two weeks after being recognized for superlative duty in Afghanistan, finding 14 bombs in 5 months, this dog team met a tragic end. Heart-breaking.
Bomb-sniffing Army dog dies of broken heart after Taliban kill his master
By IAN DRURY MailOnline
Last updated at 10:37 PM on 2nd March 2011
Tragic loss: Liam Tasker was on patrol with his dog Theo at the time of the attack in Nahr-e-Saraj, Afghanistan
In life, they were united in their tireless work saving countless British soldiers in Afghanistan.
In death, they were united in tragedy.
Shortly after Lance Corporal Liam Tasker was killed in a firefight with the Taliban, his devoted Army search dog Theo suffered a seizure and passed away too.
The pair 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.
L/Cpl Tasker, 26, this week became the 358th British serviceman to die in the ten-year conflict.
Only last month he described his joy at the close bond he had developed with Theo, a 22-month-old springer spaniel cross.
‘I love my job and working together with Theo. He has a great character and never tires,’ he said in an interview on the Ministry of Defence website.
‘He can’t wait to get out and do his job and will stop at nothing.’
Theo and L/Cpl Tasker, an Arms and Explosives Search dog handler of the Royal Army Veterinary Corps, 1st Military Working Dog Regiment, were part of the Theatre Military Working Dogs Support Unit based at Camp Bastion.
On Tuesday they took part in a mission in the Nahr-e Saraj district in Helmand, a hotbed of the insurgency.
Theo’s task was to be the ‘front man’, sniffing out any hidden IEDs, weapons and bomb-making equipment.
But a firefight broke out with the Taliban and L/Cpl Tasker was shot dead.
After his body was flown back to Camp Bastion, his beloved Theo is thought to have died of a broken heart.
The soldier, from Kirkcaldy, Fife, leaves behind mother Jane Duffy, father Ian Tasker, brother Ian, sisters Laura and Nicola and girlfriend Leah Walters.
Dog handler: Liam was a member of the Royal Army Veterinary Corps. Theo also died after the attack