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War hero pays touching tribute to beloved dog by getting tattoo of pooch’s ASHES

A war hero paid a touching tribute to his beloved dog by getting a tattoo on his leg made of the pooch’s ASHES.

Dave's tattoo tribute to dog Treo - using the pooch's ashes

Dave’s tattoo tribute to dog Treo – using the pooch’s ashes

Former Sergeant Dave Heyhoe, 46, was determined to keep a piece of his companion Treo with him, so got an exact replica paw print tattooed onto his calf.

War hero paid a touching tribute to his beloved dog by getting a tattoo on his leg made of the pooch’s ASHES

War hero paid a touching tribute to his beloved dog by getting a tattoo on his leg made of the pooch’s ASHES

The heroic black Labrador worked as an arms and explosives search dog alongside Dave in war-torn Afghanistan for five years, but sadly passed away in October aged 14.

Dave and wife Rachel, 42, and their three children Ellie-Anne, four, Thomas, 12, and Oliver, 10, were devastated when the retired pooch passed away.

Treo in action

Treo in action

So last Saturday, Dave visited tattoo artist Paul Cutler, who sprinkled Treo’s ashes into the ink, before tattooing the 20cmX10cm paw print with the dog’s name and a poem onto his leg.

Dave, from Congleton, Cheshire, said: “The tattoo completes me.

Former Sergeant Dave Heyhoe was determined to keep a piece of his companion Treo with him, so got an exact replica paw print tattooed onto his calf

Former Sergeant Dave Heyhoe was determined to keep a piece of his companion Treo with him, so got an exact replica paw print tattooed onto his calf

“People might think it’s strange, but Treo was like a son to me, and his death his knocked me for six.

“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.”

Dave and his beloved dog Treo

Dave and his beloved dog Treo

Dave had the paw print – accompanied by the words ‘Treo 63 DM’ and the words of a service dog poem.

The touching verse includes the line: “I will lay down my life for you and expect nothing but love in return.”

Dave said: “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.

Treo in action

Treo in action

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

During his service, the heroic black Labrador prevented the deaths of dozens of British troops and was even awarded the animal equivalent of the Victoria Cross in 2010.

Treo was sent to the army at just two-years-old by his owners because he was misbehaved.

Treo in action

Treo in action

Dave – who joined the Cheshire Regiment in 1986 – began training in the Royal Army Veterinary Corps in 1999, and took over from Treo’s previous dog-handler in 2005.

In 2008 the pair were deployed to Afghanistan – where Treo was used as an arms and explosives search dog.

Dave with Treo

Dave with Treo

There, Treo uncovered two ‘daisy-chain’ explosive devices made of several bombs wired together and planted by the Taliban in the Helmand Province.

When Dave retired as Sergeant from the Royal Army Veterinary Corps in 2010 after 24 years of service, loyal Treo was also retired and lived as his handler’s pet until his death three months ago.

He said: “People might think it’s strange, but Treo was like a son to me, and his death his knocked me for six.

Dave with his wife Rachel

Dave with his wife Rachel

“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.”

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