Top award for brave army dog
He was named Best Armed Forces Animal in The Sun newspaper’s Military Awards – or Millies – after receiving 93 separate nominations – more than any other member of the Armed Forces…whether on two legs or four.
Sgt Heyhoe told The News what made this canine so special.
“He’s a dog that is thorough. He enjoys what he does, he enjoys his work, and everything is done for the love of his Dad. He wants to please. He’s got a fantastic nose that I had to rely on while I was out there.
“If it was not for Treo, I certainly would not have come home, and neither would have a lot of other soldiers.”
Treo and Sgt Heyhoe, who are members of the Royal Army Veterinary Corps, finished a six month tour in Afghanistan in September, working in the Sangin – known as the ‘Badlands’ by troops.
Treo was responsible for sniffing out hidden explosives, after which bomb disposal units would be brought in to make the passage safe for the soldiers.
Among his most high profile finds, said Sgt Heyhoe, was the discovery of a ‘collapsing circuit Daisy Chain’ – a device designed to trigger a series of detonations when bomb disposal units attempt to defuse just one of the explosives.
It is a device that had not been used by the Taliban since the 1970s, he said.
“I am extremely proud of this dog,” he said, who was one of around 20 such dogs on the frontline. “But, in turn, I’m proud of every working dog out there and their handlers. Without them, Afghanistan would have been a lot worse during our tour.”
And in a star-studded bash at London’s Hampton Court Palace, Treo and Sgt Heyhoe landed the gong.
With Prince Charles and his wife Camilla present at the do, and with TV’s Richard Hammond, Jeremy Clarkson, and Kirsty Gallagher on Sgt Heyhoe’s table alone, it was a glitzy affair.
But the most important guest for Sgt Heyhoe was his colleague of three years, Treo, who to his surprise, had been released from quarantine especially for the ceremony.
“It was absolutely fantastic having my boy on stage with me to accept the award he had won,” said David, who lives with his wife Tarnia Venning-Heyhoe, 27. “I am not a father, but with Treo I felt like a father. It was probably one of the proudest moments of my life.”