Where one went, the other one wasn’t too far behind.
That was the special relationship between British army dog handler Liam Tasker and his devoted bomb sniffing dog, Theo.
And so it was till the end.
Shortly after Lance Corporal Liam Tasker was killed in a firefight with the Taliban, his partner Theo, a 22-month Springer Spaniel Cross, suffered a seizure and also passed away.
On Tuesday they took part in a mission in the Nahr-e Saraj district in Helmand where 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 Tasker was killed.
After Tasker’s body was flown back to camp, his beloved Theo is thought to have died of a heart attack.
It was only last month that Tasker described his joy at the close bond he had developed with Theo.
‘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 Defense website.
‘He can’t wait to get out and do his job and will stop at nothing,’ Tasker wrote.
Tasker joined the Army in 2001 as a vehicle mechanic in the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers. But his passion for animals led to a transfer to the Royal Army Veterinary Corps in 2007.
He spent 15 weeks on a handlers’ course with Theo, where they learned to work as a team and developed their bond.
Major Caroline Emmett, Officer Commanding 104 Military Working Dog Squadron, summed up Tasker’s and Theo’s special relationship best by saying, “Liam and his dog Theo were made for each other.’