Therapy Dog Has Helped Thousands During Pandemic, Earned Prestigious Award

We know that dogs bring healing to people who are suffering from both physical and psychological pain. They’re in our homes, our neighborhoods, sometimes in our schools, and occasionally even in offices! In England, there’s one dog that’s been helping thousands of people heal throughout the pandemic.

Meet Max. He’s a Springer Spaniel mix that got his start as a therapy dog helping his dad, Kerry Irving. Irving is a locksmith that endured life-changing injuries after being rear-ended by a truck 15 years ago. Excruciating back pain took its toll on his mental health leaving him depressed, too anxious to leave his home, and suicidal.

Then Max came along.

Springer Spaniel outside

One Dog  Reversed Years Of Physical And Mental Anguish

“Six years of pain, six years of frustration, six years of being passed from hospital to specialist to physiotherapist to a different kind of drug, and really the best kind of drug I had was sat beside me, and his name was Max,” Irving told PBS.

Irving decided to share Max’s healing powers during the pandemic. Their walks have been shared over the last year, garnering Max around 200,000 followers. His calming nature and upbeat attitude have been helping people around the world find peace and happiness during these trying times.

“I think lockdown was hard for all of us, and we were all worried, all concerned about our jobs, our future. We started doing live feeds on our daily walks, because we have got the Lake District here,” Irving said. “Some people are trapped in cities, tower blocks. Some people are trapped where they shouldn’t be trapped. And I think we gave that release to people that there was a sense of normality still out there.”

Max’s Ability To Spread Joy Has Expanded To Bring Life-Changing Help To Animals In Need

Max’s online popularity has enabled him to raise more than $350,000 for the People’s Dispensary for Sick Animals, Britain’s largest veterinary non-profit organization. That’s not all! PDSA has given Max a prestigious Order of Merit for his dedication as a therapy dog!

“There are no words. Proudness does not come close to what we feel about how our little dog, with the biggest heart, has helped so many,” said Irving.

One of Max’s youngest followers has even started raising money to have a status of Max erected in his local park. As he enjoys his walks and internet stardom, Max hasn’t lost touch with life’s simple pleasures. He’s always looking for a great stick to accompany him during his walks and his viewers love seeing what perfect piece he picks out!

Max is a beautiful example of the love and motivation a dog can bring. He’s saved countless lives and his mission to bring joy to the world shows no sign of slowing down.

 

h/t: PBS.org

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