Mastiff recognised for life-saving influence on his owners
An ‘outstanding’ rescue dog who helped save his young owners from serious depression and suicide has received the prestigious Blue Cross Medal.
Mastiff Lemmy was introduced to the Landowski family after the devastating loss of their previous dog, Suzi. Brothers 27-year-old Max and 19-year-old Joe were hit particularly hard by the death and saw a serious decline in their mental health.
Realising that her sons were in such a low place, thier mother, Maria Landowski, visited the Blue Cross Rehoming Centre in Southampton to see if she could find another dog who would fit into their lives. The family came across ‘gentle giant’ Lemmy, and things started to get better from there.
Maria explained: “Lemmy has brought immense joy to our family after such a tragic event for us. I believe he saved my both children’s lives.
“Both of my sons had become extremely depressed after the death of our dog Suzi. My eldest son Max became suicidal. It’s the worst thing any mother can experience, seeing your own son in such a low place, it broke my heart.”
Thanks to Lemmy, Max is no longer suicidal and is the happiest he has been in a very long time. Younger brother Joe, who suffers from social anxiety, now leaves his room to walk and play with Lemmy.
27-year-old Max said: “They say depression is a black dog, well it took a big black dog called Lemmy to help me through mine. I can honestly say I don’t know if I’d be here if it wasn’t for him.
“I was in a really bad place with my mental health and couldn’t see a way out. Lemmy has changed my life around, he brings me so much joy and the bond we have is the reason I get up in the mornings, I just dread to think where we would be without him.
“We’re thrilled to be able to give him the Blue Cross Medal, to show just how amazing he is.”
The Blue Cross Medal is awarded to recognise the important roles pets play in our lives. Previous winners include working dogs such as police dogs and medical detection pets.
This year, the award was opened up to family pets and nominations almost doubled as a result. It is the first time the Blue Cross Medal has been awarded to a Blue Cross rescue pet since it was established in 1940.
Sally de la Bedoyere, Blue Cross chief executive and one of the medal judges said: “Lemmy’s story really did touch our hearts. It was difficult to choose a winner as all the nominations showed how much pets enrich our lives in so many wonderful ways, but we felt this amazing pup was a true and outstanding hero.
“Lemmy’s story shows how any pet, from any background, can have an important, even life-saving, influence on their owners.
Image (C) Blue Cross