Veteran Honors His Fallen Military War Dog With A Tattoo Made Of His Ashes

by Angel Chang
Angel is a writer on the Original Content team at LittleThings. Check out her articles about crucial tips on female and doggie health. She loves to take long walks, volunteer with kids, try new food, browse through burger recipes, and code in her spare time. Feel free to let her know what you'd like to see her write up next.

Without a doubt, dogs are man’s best friend. They love us, protect us, and comfort us — sometimes until the very bitter end.

Throughout every major military conflict in history, dogs have nobly fought alongside soldiers, but it wasn’t until World War II that they were officially recognized.

Today, most military canines are trained to detect bombs, weapons, and drugs, and to track down the enemy — often putting their own precious lives on the line.

In 2013, Dr. Stewart Hilliard, Chief of Military War Dog training at Lackland Air Force Base, even said, “Dogs are among our most effective counter measures against terrorists and explosives.”

Treo was such a dog. As a military dog in Britain’s Royal Army Veterinary Corps, Treo detected countless explosives and IEDs while on assignment in Afghanistan, saving his entire platoon in the process.

A year after retiring, Treo was awarded the Dickin Medal for Gallantry, just as many outstanding military dogs in the U.S. are awarded the Purple Heart.

After his passing, however, his owner and handler Dave went one step further and paid him the most immortalizing tribute.

Scroll down to read Treo’s story, and to see the sweet, touching tribute his handler gave him. Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

Treo the fallen military dog

Treo (2001-2015) was one of the most well-known military canines.

A few years ago, the black Labrador Retriever-English Springer Spaniel was adopted by the Royal Army Veterinary Corps, the branch of the British Army responsible for training and caring for animals.

Treo’s former owners hoped that the Army would straighten out his short temper, and get him to behave better.

Treo the fallen military dog

After training for three months, Treo was deployed to Northern Ireland.

This was where he met his handler, Sergeant Dave Heyhoe.

In 2008, the two of them were deployed to Afghanistan, and worked to detect dangerous explosives.

Treo the fallen military dog

In August and September of 2008, Treo detected two IEDs laid out by the Taliban. They were “daisy chains,” or bombs that are wired tightly together with multiple explosives.

Treo the fallen military dog

By detecting these explosives, he saved the lives of countless soldiers and civilians.

Treo became so adept at detecting IEDs, that the Taliban insurgents started referring to him as “the black dog.”

Treo the fallen military dog

Treo retired in 2009, and was awarded the Dickin Medal for Gallantry in 2010 at the Imperial War Museum in London, for his heroism and exceptional military service.

His owner and handler, Dave, published a book about his best friend, It’s All About Treo: Life, Love and War with the World’s Bravest Dog.

Treo the fallen military dog

Treo passed away in October of 2015. He was 14.

Dave was devastated, but he found the most perfect way to honor his best canine friend, and to keep his memory alive forever.

He got a tattoo of Treo’s paw print on his calf  the ink of which was sprinkled with Treo’s beloved ashes!

Treo the fallen military dog

The poem beneath it, written in Treo’s voice, reads:

“I will lay down my life for you and expect nothing but love in return.

I protect my Dad with my life, and would gladly take a bullet in his place.

I find weapons and bombs. I am the first sent in and sometimes the last to leave.

I am the nose and ears of my Dad. I protect and serve him.

I would die for him and for you.

I only ask for compassion and a kind word.”

Treo the fallen military dog

We here at LittleThings are so thankful for Treo’s brave and lifesaving service.

May he rest in peace forever, and may Dave find comfort in relishing his loyal partner’s memory.

Please SHARE if you think military war dogs like Treo deserve our respect!