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War dog honored in Britain

Jane Duffy, mother of British Army Lance Corporal Liam Tasker who was killed during the conflict in Afghanistan, wears her son's medals as she holds Grace, a search dog with the British army, wearing Britain's highest award for bravery by animals posthumously awarded to Theo, a bomb-sniffing army dog. Theo, a Springer Spaniel, worked alongside Duffy's son. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)

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By The Associated Press
Thursday, Oct. 25, 2012, 6:16 p.m.

British soldiers and military dogs gathered at a London army barracks Thursday to honor a fallen hero with selfless courage, nerves of steel — and four legs.

Theo, a bomb-sniffing springer spaniel who died in Afghanistan on the day his soldier was killed, was posthumously honored with the Dickin Medal, Britain's highest award for bravery by animals.

Theo worked alongside Lance Cpl. Liam Tasker, searching for roadside bombs in Helmand province, a Taliban stronghold.

Tasker, 26, died in a firefight with insurgents in March 2011, and Theo suffered a fatal seizure hours later. Tasker's mother, Jane Duffy, said the pair were inseparable. She's convinced Theo died of a broken heart.

“They'll be watching us, and they'll be so proud,” she said. “I just wish they were here to get it themselves.”

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