Technically, a seizure is responsible for the death of Theo, the British explosives detection dog who held the record for finding the most IEDs in Afghanistan. Consider, however, that he passed away just hours after witnessing the shooting death of his handler and best friend, and you’ll understand why many are openly speculating that he died of a broken heart.
Lance Corporal Liam Tasker, 26, was killed by small arms fire while he and Theo were on patrol in Helmand province on Tuesday. If they sound familiar, you may have seen a report from the British Forces News that recognized the record breaking performance of the dog for having made fourteen finds in his first five months on the job.
L/Cpl Tasker had recently praised the dog for his dedication. “I love my job and working with Theo. He has a great character and never tires. He can’t wait to get out and do his job and will stop at nothing,” he said last month.
Just hours after his death, L/Cpl Tasker’s body was flown back to Camp Bastion with Theo at his side. Shortly after arrival a fatal seizure took Theo, and members of the British press have openly speculated about broken heart syndrome, as have commenters on numerous news sites.
Said Leah Walters, L/Cpl Tasker’s girlfriend: “LT never met anyone without touching their lives in some way. The amount of support both I and his family have received in the last day alone pays testament to this. I am the proudest girlfriend there could ever be and there will be an LT-sized hole in my life forever. Sleep well, my darling, my soulmate, my best friend.”