Mastiff who saved owner from depression wins prestigious Blue Cross award

National pet charity, Blue Cross has awarded its prestigious Blue Cross Medal to an outstanding mastiff called Lemmy.

Judges awarded Lemmy the prestigious award after hearing the heart-warming nomination story about how he saved his young owners from serious depression and suicide.

In their search for an ‘everyday hero’, the charity received a flood of nominations for the Blue Cross Medal from pet owners who believed their pet has done something to save a life.

Lemmy was introduced into his new family home in Didcot by mother of two, Maria Landowski, after sadly losing their family dog Suzi.

Following the loss of their much loved family pet, Maria saw a scary decline in her sons’ mental health at such an important developmental time in their lives.

Maria said: “Lemmy has brought immense joy to our family after such a tragic event for us. I believed he saved both my 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 son in such a low place.”

The Landowski family rehomed Lemmy after spotting him at the Blue Cross rehoming centre in Southampton, following which things started to get better for the family.

Max is no longer suicidal and in fact he is the happiest he’s been in a long time. His younger brother, Joe, who suffers from social anxiety, leaving him locked away in his room for five years, now gets out of his room to walk and play with Lemmy.

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 background, can have an important, even life-saving influence on their owners.”

In previous years, the Blue Cross Medal had primarily been awarded to working pets including the likes of police dogs and medical detection dogs. This year, the family pet was included and as a result, the charity saw nominations for the award more than double in numbers compared to 2016.

Sally added: “The Blue Cross Medal is awarded to recognise the important role pets play in our lives. They’re our family, our best friends, and even our life-savers. They change our lives and that is why Blue Cross will always be around to help change theirs when they are in need.”

For more information on the Blue Cross Medal winners, visit www.bluecross.org.uk/medal