Theo, a bomb-sniffing springer spaniel who died in Afghanistan on the day his soldier partner 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, says 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."
Since 1943, the Dickin Medal has recognized gallantry by animals serving with the military, police or rescue services. Some of these animal heroes:
Theo is the 28th dog to receive the medal, awarded by animal charity PDSA and named for its founder, Maria Dickin.
The PDSA Dickin Medal is often called the animals' Victoria Cross. To date, it has been awarded to 28 dogs (including Theo), 32 messenger pigeons of the Second World War, three horses, and one cat.Ref
Images: Lance Cpl. Liam Tasker and Theo in Iraq. Sergeant Matthew Jones and Search Dog Grace who accepted the posthumous Dickin Medal on behalf Tasker and Theo.