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Max and his owner, Mr Irving, appeared on Sky News this morning. The 13-year-old Springer Spaniel from the Lake District, known as a “virtual therapy dog”, receives one of the highest awards in the animal world, the PDSA Order of Merit.
Max’s owner, Mr. IrvingThe 46-year-old credits his dog with giving him a “reason to live” after a car accident 12 years ago that left him with severe back pain and depression.
Gillian Joseph, presenter of Sky News, commented on the love and affection that radiated from Max and his owner. Kerry said that Max is not only his best friend, but also the “best friend of millions of people around the world. Max’s story touched so many people. “
Mr. Irving continued, “Max has helped me recover from depression and has helped me actually talk about depression.
“I was driving home from work one day and my car was hit by a truck. I was house tied for about two and a half to three years.
“One day my wife sent me out to buy a pint of milk. This is not a huge task in itself, but if you are dealing with anxiety and depression when you have been an active person and it has been strictly limited, you just want to stay in bed. You just don’t want to be here. I was looking for ways to end that.
“Then I met [Max] and he gave me a reason to go back outside and enjoy life. From that moment on, he was by my side every day. “
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Mr. Irving began posting photos on his Max Out Facebook page in the Lake District as their relationship grew. Now Max has become a celebrity: “It’s unbelievable how instantly a post on social media travels the world.”
Now Max has met more than 10,000 people through meet-and-greets, charity walks, and visits to schools, hospitals, and hospices.
He has also raised nearly £ 300,000 for a number of charities, including PDSA.
Mr. Irving added, “With this pandemic there will be many mental health problems. If we can use Max to help people, I think it will be a blessing.
Max is the first dog to win the prestigious PDSA Order of Merit. Most of the winners are police dogs and specially trained search and rescue dogs.
Commenting on the award, Kerry said, “I think this is proof of what animals can bring us and the joy and comfort they bring.”