Lance Cpl. Liam Tasker and his bomb-sniffing dog Theo were repatriated yesterday in a ceremony in the UK yesterday. The procession passed military personnel & their dogs and also civilians & their dogs lining the road as the hearse passed by. Liam was killed in a firefight and his dog,Theo, died hours later from seizures.
Theo had set a record in Afghanistan by finding 14 hidden bombs & weapons caches. According to Liam’s uncle, Liam was concerned about being separated from Theo when his tour was over, but his family is at least comforted that now they won’t be parted.
I find that sometimes I really distance myself from some of the things going on in the world. I think it’s one of the ways we cope. For instance, part of me hears about the suicide bombings in Baghdad this week and thinks, “Well, that’s what it’s like in a war-torn country. People get killed. Life is dangerous and uncertain, but that’s just how it is over there.” But sometimes, I’m brought up short and am reminded that most of us, no matter where we live, are just regular people trying to do our best for ourselves and our families. We want our loved ones to be happy, we like to laugh with our friends, we want our children to be safe, and our families, including our animals, are the center of our lives. This is one of those stories that reminds me of just how similar we all are.
All the news stories I’ve seen about Iraqi dogs are ones where U.S. & U.K. soldiers are bringing them to the States or the U.K., like Nubs and Maj. Brian Dennis. But, this story is about an Iraqi family and their dog. On Tuesday, Baghdad was attacked by multiple bombings that killed 127 people. In Farouq Omar Muhei’s neighborhood, an ambulance packed with explosives leveled homes, including his. Muhei’s family was believed to dead, but only Muhei and his son were home at the time and they survived & were being treated at a clinic. In the meantime, his neighbors had spotted Muhei’s dog, Liza chained to a railing in the middle of the rubble, but, it was too dangerous for anyone to climb out there to get her. The next day, neighbors were surprised when Muhei and his son arrived to get Liza. Muhei’s brother was the one who crawled out onto the rubble because he was the only one with sturdy shoes. He carried a nervous, but happy Liza back to Muhei making their family complete again.