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 John Woestendiek 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
Willis belonged to Karen Martin, of Portsmouth, Va. Four days before Christmas last year, she went out to her back yard to find him gone. After a year of posting fliers and searching, she’d all but given up hope of finding him.
Little did she know, he was hundreds of miles from home, and had a date with death, metro columnist Courtland Milloy of the Washington Post reported last week.
Picked up by animal control officers in Charles County more than a month ago, Willis had been taken to the Tri County Animal Shelter in Hughesville, Md. Shelter workers scanned Willis for an identification chip, but, though he had one, it was not detected. Shelter workers put a photograph of the 7-year-old dog on the facility’s “at-risk” list, meaning euthanasia was ahead.
The at-risk list, including a photo of each dog, is e-mailed to animal rescue groups and other dog lovers around the country in hopes that someone might be willing to adopt the animals listed before they are euthanized.
Terry Walker, an office manager for a veterinary hospital in Calvert County, was one of those who received it and recognized the dog pictured as a Clumber spaniel.
After an Internet search, Walker found an organization called Clumber Spaniel Rescue of America, and forwarded the dog’s photograph to the three contacts whose names were listed.
One of them ended up in the spam folder of Sally Day, of Washington Crossing, Pa. — a friend of Willis’ owner, Karen Martin.
She said she was deleting her spam when something told her to open this one.
“A voice said, ‘Open it,’ and the hair stood up on the back of my neck,” Day recalled. “The e-mail was from a stranger, and there was a photograph attached. I instantly thought I recognized the dog. I said, ‘Oh, my God, that’s Karen’s boy.’ ”
Martin called her friend Day, then e-mailed her the photo, and Willis is back home now — a bit the worse for wear from his journey of more than 200 miles. He had an injured eye, a respiratory infection and a skin allergy that had resulted in scratching off patches of hair.
Martin, who now lives in Williamsburg, said she expected this Christmas to be a lot more joyful than last year’s.
(Photo: By Jay Paul / from the Washington Post)
Posted by John Woestendiek December 26th, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: at risk, charles county, christmas, clumber, clumber spaniel rescue, dog, internet, karen martin, list, lost, maryland, microchips, miracle, missing, portsmouth, rescue, shelter, spaniel, tri county animal shelter, washington post, willis
The bluetick and redbone coonhounds — along with the Boykin spaniel — have been officially recognized as breeds by the American Kennel Club.
The acceptance of the three new breeds brings to 164 the number of breeds fully recognized as such by the AKC.
The Boykin spaniel will join the sporting group while both the bluetick coonhound and redbone coonhound will join the hound group.
The new breeds will be eligible for full AKC registration and competition in their respective groups at conformation shows held on and after December 30, 2009.
The bluetick coonhound gets its name from its coat pattern, which is dark blue in color and covered in a ticking or mottled pattern. The bluetick is noted for its skill in trailing and treeing raccoons and other small animals. The breed has origins in the English coonhound. In 1945, bluetick breeders broke away to form their own slower-working dog that could pick up older scent trails.
The redbone coonhound is noted for its speed and agility and its ability to hunt and swim over a variety of terrain. The redbone dates back to red foxhounds brought to the U.S. by Scottish immigrants in the late 1700s and red foxhounds imported from Ireland before the Civil War.
The Boykin Spaniel, in addition to being the official state dog of South Carolina, is a medium-sized hunting dog with a cheerful, energetic personality. The breed was developed in South Carolina in the early 1900s by L. Whitaker Boykin, originally to hunt wild turkeys.
The road to full AKC recognition requires non-recognized breeds to first gain acceptance into the AKC Foundation Stock Service. After a breed has been in FSS the recognition process begins with a written request to compete in the miscellaneous class from the National Breed Club. While there is no established timetable for adding new breeds, dogs typically compete in the miscellaneous class for one to three years. More information on the process can be found at the AKC’s website.
The next breeds in line for full recognition by AKC are the Icelandic Sheepdog, Cane Corso and Leonberger.
(Photos courtesy of American Kennel Club: Bluetick/by Diane Lewis ©AKC; Boykin Spaniel/by Bill Simmons; Redbone/by Christine Smith)
Posted by John Woestendiek November 20th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: added, adding, akc, american kennel club, bluetick, boykin, breeds, cane corso, coonhound, coonhounds, foundation stock service, groups, hound, icelandic sheepdog, leonberger, national breed club, new, official, purebred, recognition, recognized, redbone, spaniel, sporting
A dog walker in England died after being trampled by a herd of cattle in a field in North Yorkshire.
North Yorkshire Police said the woman — not yet publicly identified — was walking two dogs on leashes Sunday near the hamlet of Gayle when the cattle apparently panicked and stampeded, according to a Press Association report
“She was surrounded by a herd of cattle and calves, and as a result of dogs being present the cattle reacted in an aggressive manner,” a police official said. Early press reports from England gave no indication of what happened to the dogs, a spaniel and a collie.
Last year, another woman, Sandra Pearce, 45, died in a cattle stampede as she crossed a field in Suffolk, with her pet dogs.
Posted by John Woestendiek June 22nd, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: cattle, collie, dog, dog walker, dogs, england, gayle, herd, killed, leashed, news, north yorkshire, spaniel, stamped, stampeded
The SPCA of Texas is offering a $10,000 reward for information that leads to an arrest and conviction in the skinning and killing of a King Charles spaniel named Bonny in Denton County.
Dallasnews.com reports that Bonny disappeared from her Cross Roads’ home June 2. Owner Brian Hunter found her mutilated body in a field across the street, the SPCA said.
“I hope very much that this individual(s) is identified soon because they are obviously in need of help,” Hunter said in a SPCA statement.
Anyone with information about the dog’s death should contact the Denton County Sheriff’s Office at 940-391-7329.
Posted by John Woestendiek June 11th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: abuse, animal cruelty, animal welfare, bonny, cavalier, denton county, killed, king charles, news, reward, skinned, skinning, spaniel, spca, texas