Bomb-Sniffing Spaniel Collapses, Dies After His Handler Is Shot in Afghanistan [VIDEO]

Army dog handler Liam Tasker, a Lance Corporal in the British army, was said to be inseparable from his spaniel, Theo. On Tuesday, Tasker was shot dead while on patrol north of Nahr-e-Saraj in Helmand province in southern Afghanistan. Theo, who was trained to search for bombs, survived but, on returning to the British base at Camp Bastion, he suffered a heart attack and died.


The Guardian describes 26-year-old Tasker as having a ‘”natural empathy with dogs”‘: 

Born in Kirkcaldy, Fife, Tasker joined the Royal Army Veterinary Corps after starting his career as a vehicle mechanic. A member of 1st Military Working Dog Regiment, he was attached to 1st Battalion Irish Guards in Afghanistan.

Major Alexander Turner, officer commanding 2 Company, 1st Battalion Irish Guards, said: “He used to joke that Theo was impossible to restrain but I would say the same about Lance Corporal Tasker. 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.” 

Tasker’s family said that he ‘”died a hero doing a job he was immensely passionate about.”‘ 

May Liam Tasker and Theo both rest in peace knowing that they are both heros.

A photo of Tasker and Theo can be seen at the Guardian’s site; the photo of a spaniel very much in action and alert in the desert that illustrates this post is of ‘Harvey’ the Springer Spaniel is an Arms Explosive Search (AES) dog, who was serving in Afghanistan in 2008. 

The video below depicts how dogs like Theo are trained to detect bombs.

Photo of 'Harvey' the Springer Spaniel is an Arms Explosive Search (AES) dog, currently serving in Afghanistan by Defence Images.

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Calliope S.
Calliope S.3 years ago

My question is why did this young man and his dog have to die at all? For what? A young man with all his life ahead of him, missed terribly by his loved ones. An image comes to mind of him romping around with his dog happily and enjoying his gift of life with his parents and his girlfriend. I cannot make sense in this death or any death as a result of war. I am deeply saddened even though the bond of love between man and dog plays out here for all to realise that there is only one meaning to life and that is love.

Patricia A.
Pat A.3 years ago

God bless them both - and all like them.

jane richmond
jane richmond4 years ago

Love is love even the canine kind.

Valerie G.
Val G.4 years ago

Oui, vraiment triste...

Helene S.
Helene S.4 years ago

Vraiment triste

Loo Samantha
Loo sam4 years ago

thanks for sharing.

Neal S.
Neal Skrenes4 years ago

Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge.
When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge. There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play together. There is plenty of food, water and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable.

All the animals who had been ill and old are restored to health and vigor. Those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by. The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing; they each miss someone very special to them, who had to be left behind.
They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. His bright eyes are intent. His eager body quivers. Suddenly he begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, his legs carrying him faster and faster.

You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again. The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart.

Then you cross Rainbow Bridge together....

Author unknown...

Athena C.
Athena C.4 years ago

This is just so sad.

carlee trent
carlee trent4 years ago


Karilyn K.
Karilyn K.4 years ago

I hope they live on together in spirit ~