LONDON (AP) – A bomb-sniffing army dog who died in Afghanistan on the day his handler was killed has been honored with Britain’s highest award for animal bravery.
Springer spaniel mix Theo was posthumously awarded the Dickin Medal on Thursday at a London ceremony.
Theo worked for five months in Afghanistan with Royal Army Veterinary Corps Lance Cpl. Liam Tasker, searching out roadside bombs.
Tasker was killed in a firefight with insurgents in Helmand Province in March 2011. Theo suffered a fatal seizure hours later at a British army base, likely brought about by stress.
The soldier and his dog were brought back to Britain on the same military flight.
Since 1943 the Dickin Medal has recognized wartime gallantry by animals, from carrier pigeons to a World War II commando collie.
(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)