Handler Uses Military Dog’s Ashes for Tattoo in His Honor

February 14, 2016 Updated: February 14, 2016

The bond between a military dog and its handler appears nigh-unbreakable, as one former soldier has shown.

Recently, an Afghanistan war veteran paid tribute to his black Labrador, Treo, who was by his side during the conflict. He got a tattoo made out of Treo’s ashes after he died.

Dave Heyhoe/Facebook
Dave Heyhoe/Facebook

Sergeant Dave Heyhoe, 46, said Treo was a bomb detection dog who retired a few years ago but died in October 2015, according to MailOnline.

He said the dog’s death devastated his wife, Rachel as well as their three children.

Heyhoe, who was the dog’s handler, immortalized Treo by getting the ash tattoo, which includes a pawprint, on his leg.

Dave Heyhoe/Facebook
Dave Heyhoe/Facebook

“The tattoo completes me,” he said.

“People might think it’s strange, but Treo was like a son to me, and his death his knocked me for six.” (Note: “Knocked for six” is English slang meaning one is totally devastated. It comes from the highest scoring action in cricket.)

Dave Heyhoe/Facebook
Facebook/SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity

He added: “Over the years we have seen gunfire, death and bomb scares together—I’ve been lost without him. Now it feels like Treo is by my side—where he’s supposed to be.”

Heyhoe elaborated: “I couldn’t be happier with it. I felt a sense of peace after I had it done—I could feel him there by my side where he’d always been.”

“My family and the kids were so close with Treo so it’s nice for them to look at the tattoo, too.”

He said that Treo essentially prevented the deaths of dozens of British soldiers in Afghanistan and got the Dickin Medal. The dog uncovered several “daisy chain” improvised explosive devices planted by the Taliban in Helmland Province.

His poem 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

(H/T – Littlethings.com)