Deceased Theo, Was A Bomb-Sniffing Springer Spaniel, Has Now, Been Awarded, The Top Prize For Animal Bravery, The Animal Victoria Cross.
He was given the Animal Victoria Cross for saving soldiers’ lives in Afghanistan where he worked with his handler to detect roadside bombs.
Sadly Theo and his handler Lance Corporal Liam Tasker died while on patrol in the country in 2011.
The Medal was accepted by Sergeant Matthew Jones and search Dog Grace, who served with Theo and his handler Lance Corporal Tasker.
Since 1943 the Dickin Medal has been awarded to animals serving with the military, police or rescue services for acts of bravery.
Pigeons, horses and cats have all been awarded the medal in the past.
British military Dog, Theo Gets Posthumous Medal
The British Military Dog called Theo Died in Afghanistan has been awarded the highest bravery award for any Animal for finding hidden weapons and improvised explosive devices planted by the Taliban.
Theo, a Springer Spaniel, Died from an Undiagnosed Seizure Hours After his handler Lance Corporal Tasker was killed on March 1, 2011 in a firefight.
Theo worked for five months in Afghanistan with Royal Army Veterinary Corps, searching out roadside bombs.
Theo has now been recognised with the Dickin Medal by the People’s Dispensary for Sick Animals (PDSA).
It is the highest award any animal can receive and is given for gallantry or devotion to duty in military conflict.
The PDSA Dickin medal recognises that in finding IEDs and bomb-making equipment, Theo prevented soldiers and civilians from being killed or wounded.
Tasker’s mother, Jane Duffy, said she was “so, so proud” of the award given to Theo.
“It’s like they were a team. “
“One couldn’t have worked without the other out there, doing the job they were doing.”
Theo still holds the record for the most operational finds made by an arms and explosives search Dog in Afghanistan, with 14, the BBC reported.
Theo is the 64th Animal to receive the PDSA Dickin Medal.
Other recipients include 27 Other Dogs, 32 pigeons, three horses and a cat.
Bomb-sniffing military dog honored with Britain’s highest animal bravery award
It’s never too late to say, “Thank you, for saving our lives,” and today in London a gathering of British soldiers and military dogs honored a fallen hero named Theo, a Springer Spaniel who died the same day his soldier partner was killed in Afghanistan.
The soldier and his canine partner lived together, served together and died together.
From London’s AP:
Theo, a bomb-sniffing Springer Spaniel who died in Afghanistan on the day his soldier partner was killed, was posthumously honored with the Dickin Medal, Britain’s highest award for bravery by animals.
Theo worked alongside Lance Cpl. Liam Tasker, searching for roadside bombs in Helmand province, a Taliban stronghold.
Tasker, 26, died in a firefight with insurgents in March 2011, and Theo suffered a fatal seizure hours later. Tasker’s mother, Jane Duffy, says the pair were inseparable. She’s convinced Theo died of a broken heart.
“They’ll be watching us, and they’ll be so proud,” she said. “I just wish they were here to get it themselves.”
During their tour together, the successful soldier and dog team uncovered over a dozen bombs intended to kill British soldiers. Tasker, a Sagittarian, was reportedly an excellent dog handler and trainer and the dogs he worked with were exceptionally responsive to him.
ABC World News reported in March, 2011:
Tasker and Theo had worked together uncovering roadside bombs in Afghanistan and were remarkably successful, finding 14 bombs meant to kill and maim British soldiers.
They had more operational finds than any other individual team in Afghanistan to date, the Ministry of Defense said.
They were featured in a video released by the Army before Tasker’s death, showing a perky Theo on patrol with his handler.
The two were so good at what they were doing that their tour of duty had been extended by a month.
Theo, 22 months old and on his first tour of duty, was with Tasker when he was felled by a sniper’s bullet during a firefight and died.
Watch the video to see this heroic team in action. These animals serve us the same way they love us…unconditionally.
Other animal heroes
Dogs are not the only animals used in the military and honored with awards for service and heroism. Over the years, there have been pigeons, horses and one rat-killing cat bestowed with bravery and service awards.
While these animals may not consciously understand their valuable roles during these dangerous missions, something in them must sense the importance of their life-saving tasks, as they seem to perform them with incredible courage, determination and flawless skills.
Perhaps it’s just simple, unconditional love in action.
The Dog in Chinese Astrology
Dog people possess the best traits of human nature, just like their animal counterpart. They have a deep sense of loyalty, they’re honest, and inspire other people’s confidence because they know how to keep secrets.
Dog people care little for wealth, yet somehow always seem to have money. Dog people make good leaders.
Occupying the 11th position in the Chinese Zodiac, the Dog symbolizes character traits such as loyalty, compatibility and kindness.
Dogs frequently offer kind words and useful advice, always listening and lending a shoulder when necessary. Dogs often become deeply involved in others’ lives and are sometimes perceived as nosy. Ensuring others are happy is more important to the Dog than wealth, money or success.
Dogs are determined individuals; always wanting to master a new subject before moving on and always finishing what they start. Dogs value friendships; they’re loyal, honest, trustworthy and reliable and have strong morals and ethics.
People born during the following years are considered Dogs in Chinese Astrology: 1910, 1922, 1934, 1946, 1958, 1970, 1982, 1994, and 2006.
Lance Corporal Liam Tasker and Theo, thank you…may you rest in peace after having lived and served with such courage.
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