Loyal Dog Follows Soldier to Death
They'll rest in peace together, says pal of Liam Tasker, Theo
By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser User
Posted Mar 11, 2011 4:03 AM CST
Updated Mar 13, 2011 4:04 PM CDT

(Newser) – A soldier's loyal bomb-sniffing dog died just hours after his master was killed in an Afghanistan firefight, and his family believes the pooch died from a broken heart. British Lance Corporal Liam Tasker, 26, was shot dead in Helmand Province with his springer spaniel, Theo, at his side. Theo had a seizure and died hours later after he was returned to an RAF base. "I truly believe when Theo went back to the kennel, that was a big impact because Liam wasn't there to comfort him," Tasker's father, Ian, said in an interview. Tasker's mom, Jane, said she believes Theo "died of a broken heart to be with Liam."

The soldier's body and dog's ashes were returned yesterday to the UK, where Tasker's coffin was saluted by residents and RAF dog handlers. "Tasker was a larger than life character," said a friend. "Theo truly was man's best friend and they rest in peace together." Tasker and Theo were a remarkably successful team, and found and defused 14 bombs during their work together, reports ABC News.