The bond between a man and a dog is something to be cherished. They are known as man’s best friend for many reason, but the simple love shared between the two is really what it boils down too. The bond between a working military dog and his handler is something else entirely though. Having seen a military working dog and his handler in action first hand, I can attest to how much they both mean to each other. They are constantly together, looking out for one another and form a bond that few things on this earth can rival in my humble opinion. That’s why this story hit me pretty hard right in the gut. Sergeant Dave Heyhoe, a retired Royal Army Sergeant who is an Afghanistan war veteran recently lost someone very near and dear to him. Dave was a military dog handler during his deployments to Afghanistan, and his dog Treo was always by his side. Heyhoe retired in 2009, as did Treo. Theo then came to live Dave, his wife and three children. They all loved the dog with all their hearts. As is the way of life however, Treo sadly passed away in October at the age of 14. Dave and his entire family were truly devastated by the loss within their family. Dave really wanted a way to commemorate his partner and friend who had helped save his life and many others. He had a brilliant idea that almost brought tears to my eyes. Check out what this grieving man did to commemorate the life of a friend and family member.
This is Dave Heyhoe and his best friend Treo. The two went through multiple deployments in Afghanistan together. Treo was a trained explosives dog, and subsequently helped save the lives of many soldiers with his actions. Treo was awarded the Dicken Medal for Gallantry, which is the most prestigious award granted to animals in the United Kingdom.
Sadly Treo passed away in October. The loss was a big weight for Dave and his family to bear, especially his three children. Dave was determined to find some way to immortalize the dog who had been his best friend and protector for so long. That is when he got a very unique idea.
Dave decided that he would get a tattoo that had Treo’s actual ashes contained inside the ink. It was a unique request indeed, but one that I find highly creative and respectable. He found a tattoo artist who agreed to create a tattoo made from ashes. The artist took some of Treo’s ashes and mixed them in with the ink to be used for a commemorative tattoo. The tattoo is located on Dave’s leg, and includes Treo’s paw print and a poem about military working dogs.
Heyhoe admits to feeling lost without Treo. The two spent so many days and nights together in the worst conditions imaginable. They endured fire fights and cold nights, and they saw each other through all of it. With the tattoo however, Heyhoe says he feels like Treo is right beside him, where he belongs.
Dave has said the tattoo has become a comfort to his family and children as well. They all love looking at the tattoo and feeling like Treo is beside them as well. “People might think it’s strange, but Treo was like a son to me. 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 said. If that quote doesn’t show you how much these two cared for each other, then I’m not sure what will. This is an incredible story, and if I am ever lucky enough to own my own dog, this may be something I consider doing when they pass.