Tasker, of the Royal Army Veterinary Corps, was shot while on patrol in Helmand province on March 1. His bomb-sniffing springer spaniel, Theo — though not physically injured in that incident — died three hours later.
“I would like to believe he (Theo) died of a broken heart to be with Liam,” said Tasker’s mother, Jane Duffy.
This week, as the soldier’s body came home, hundreds of mourners lined the main street to pay respects to both dog and master, the Telegraph reported.
The body of Tasker, from Kirkcaldy, Fife, and the ashes of Theo had earlier been flown back in the same aircraft.
Tasker suffered fatal injuries in a firefight with the Taliban, while Theo died after returning to Camp Bastion, the main British military base. Tasker was the 358th member of the British Armed Forces to die since operations in Afghanistan began; Theo was the sixth British military dog killed in action in Iraq and Afghanistan since 2001.
Theo, not quite two years old, had drawn praise for detecting 14 hidden bombs and weapons caches in just five months on his first tour of duty in Afghanistan. His success at finding Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) led to his stay in the country being extended for a month.
Tasker was said to have a “natural empathy with dogs” and was described as a “rising star” within the dog training group. The pair were said to be “made for each other.”
Posted by jwoestendiek March 11th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: afghanistan, animals, bomb-sniffing, bombs, british, broken heart, dog, dogs, ied, killed, liam tasker, military, royal army, seizure, shot, soldier, spaniel, springer spaniel, theo, veterinary corps, war
“The next best thing to having the world at your feet is to have a dog at your heels,” Vogue — the magazine — observed in 1930.
Since 1909, dogs have played a role in the magazine’s portrayal of all things glamorous — as companions to style icons and royalty, as inspiration for fiction, as art (both paintings and photographs), and even appearing on the cover from time to time.
Now their contribution to the magazine has been captured in a book, “Dogs in Vogue: A Century of Canine Chic.”
Author Judith Watt came up with the idea as she was sifting through 100-year’s worth of Vogue (the British edition) while doing research for a special millennial issue in 1999.
“I came across something quite unexpected among the fashion photographs in the magazine’s archive: thousands of canines,” Watt writes in an article in the UK Independent.
In the past century, dogs have served Vogue as “companions, accessories, barely-legible scribbles, caricatures, stars of the grandest photographic portraits and of whimsical fashion illustrations. They are the subject of essays and sometimes treated as celebrities. Taken together, the best of the photographs and features provide a fascinating record of society’s changing preferences for breeds and the evolving role of dogs in women’s lives.”
“Anyone labouring under the delusion that dogs are just man’s best friend and women prefer cats will think again.”
Posted by jwoestendiek October 9th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: 100 years, a century of canine chic, animals, british, century, dogs, dogs in vogue, fashion, glamor, judith watt, magazine, media, pets, style, uk, vogue
A stray dog named “Sandbag” who was taken in by British soldiers in Iraq has been transported to a safe house with his puppy in preparation for their flight to the UK.
Soldiers who adopted the dog as their mascot — he was rumored to have been shot five times by then – returned home earlier this year, according to he Daily Mail.
They were worried he would be put down by local Iraqis or killed by other dogs, but the Society for the Welfare of Horses and Ponies (SWHP) tracked down Sandbag, and his puppy, Dirtbag, around the port at Umm Qasr, near Basra, last week.
The dogs were believed to have been living on the streets for about three weeks.
The Mail reports that three armored vehicles were deployed last Thursday to rescue the dogs and transport them to a safe house in Baghdad where they will be cared for while arrangements are made to fly them to the UK.
A fundraising appeal to bring Sandbag home was launched on August 7 by the Blue Cross, a British pet charity, and the SWHP. Nearly 500 people worldwide have donated to the appeal since then.
Rescuers also found a cat the troops had befriended, named Hesco, and planned to ship him to Britain as well once temperatures cool enough to fly the animals safely to Kuwait, and then Britain.
To donate to the fundraising appeal, visit www.bluecross.org.uk.
(Photo: Sandbag, right, relaxes with Dirtbag in Iraq)
Posted by jwoestendiek September 1st, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: adopted, blue cross, british, dirtbag, dogs, flight, home, iraq, mascot, sandbag, society for the welfare of horses and ponies, troops, uk
A British physician, writing in the Wall Street Journal, says, all in all, dogs may be privy to a better health care system than humans — at least in his part of the world.
“In the last few years, I have had the opportunity to compare the human and veterinary health services of Great Britain, and on the whole it is better to be a dog,” Theodore Dalrymple, a pen name for British physician Anthony Daniels.
“As a British dog, you get to choose (through an intermediary, I admit) your veterinarian. If you don’t like him, you can pick up your leash and go elsewhere, that very day if necessary. Any vet will see you straight away, there is no delay in such investigations as you may need, and treatment is immediate. There are no waiting lists for dogs, no operations postponed because something more important has come up, no appalling stories of dogs being made to wait for years because other dogs — or hamsters — come first.
“The conditions in which you receive your treatment are much more pleasant than British humans have to endure. For one thing, there is no bureaucracy to be negotiated with the skill of a white-water canoeist; above all, the atmosphere is different … In the waiting rooms, a perfect calm reigns; the patients’ relatives are not on the verge of hysteria, and do not suspect that the system is cheating their loved one, for economic reasons, of the treatment which he needs. The relatives are united by their concern for the welfare of each other’s loved one. They are not terrified that someone is getting more out of the system than they.”
The only drawback to the superior care British dogs receive is they, or their owners, generally have to pay for it.
Still, even for those dogs, and owners, without means, there is the People’s Dispensary for Sick Animals, or PDSA, which serves as a safety net, providing free veterinary services for the poor.
The PDSA, he says, more closely resembles the National Health Service for British humans. “There is no denying that the PDSA is not as pleasant as private veterinary services; but even the most ferocious opponents of the National Health Service have not alleged that it fails to be better than nothing.”
The rest of other comparisons and conclusions can be found here.
Posted by jwoestendiek August 10th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: britain, british, care, debate, dogs, health, health care, humans, insurance, medical, medicine, national health service, pdsa, people's dispensary for sick animals, physician, services, socialized, systems, theodore dalrymple, treatment, veterinarians, veterinary
The debate raging here on ohmidog! – and in the rest of the world, too — just had a little more fuel thrown on it: A new British study says dominance-based dog training techniques such as those espoused by Cesar Millan are a waste of time and may make dogs more aggressive.
Researchers from the University of Bristol’s Department of Clinical Veterinary Sciences, after studying dogs for six months, conclude that, contrary to popular belief, dogs are not trying to assert their dominance over their canine or human “pack” and aren’t motivated by maintaining their place in the pecking order.
One of the scientists behind the study, Dr. Rachel Casey, in an interview with ABC News, said the blanket assumption that every dog is motivated by some innate desire to control people or other dogs is “frankly ridiculous.”
Posted by jwoestendiek May 22nd, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: aggression, aggressive, behavior, behaviorists, british, cesar millan, critical, criticizes, debate, disagreement, dog, dog training, dog whisperer, dogs, dominance, leader, mentality, methods, noise, owners, pack, pinning, rewards, ridiculous, study, techniques, trainers, training