As reported in the Guardian, an heroic British dog handler and his dog died this past Tuesday in Afghanistan.
Lance Corporal Liam Tasker was working with his spaniel, Theo, to search out explosives ahead of a company of British soldiers on patrol in Helmand province. Tasker was described as having a “natural empathy with dogs,” and his work in Afghanistan had already been credited with saving many lives. He was also described as being inseparable from his dog, Theo. Major Alexander Turner is quoted as saying that: “At the most hazardous phase of an advance, he would be at the point of the spear, badgering to get even further forward and work his dog. He met his fate in just such a situation – leading the way that we might be safe.”
The 26 year-old soldier was hit by gunfire and died from his wounds. Theo, his spaniel, was uninjured, but after being returned to the British base of Camp Bastion, he also died — apparently as a result of a heart attack.
“If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went.”
And dogs, it seems, often feel the same way about their owners. Rest in peace, both, and thank you to all NATO servicemen, women and canines in Afghanistan.