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."

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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. (Read more British Lance Corporal Liam Tasker stories.)

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