The first picture was taken at 5.15am and is of a very content dog fast asleep in my tent having never been out in a tent before, sleeping soundly. This was the day we’d conquer or fail in our effort to summit Ben Nevis back in 2012.
As for Max, we’ll he was just happy to be with me and I was just so grateful that he was. Without Max I don’t think I’d be here telling you our story. I didn’t know what to expect going up the Ben, nervous, anxious and very much in pain. Max constantly looking over me, reassuring me and always there for me. The bond was strong.
Max just happy to be involved in what would become the greatest turning point of our lives, as Max’s life changed somewhat too.
Chronic pain is debilitating, it drags and wears you down as does depression. Why did I choose to sleep in a tent with excruciating pain? It was all I could afford is the honest answer.
The second picture was taken at 13.37pm showing Max fast asleep having eaten a well deserved meal. He’s sleeping with the stick he carried all the way up the 1345m summit of Ben Nevis and brought it back down again.
He did the same with me.
He carried my hopes, fears, the constant pain, but he eased my suffering, he stopped the tears and never once questioned my actions. He never criticised my speed, the way I walked or how slow I went. He never told me off for cursing or asked me to hurry up. When I wanted to give in he looked right into me. He shared his strength, his love and total devotion. I had a very special dog at my side and we beat the mountain, a day that would make us both stronger. Healthier in mind and body. We beat the mountain.
Life changing stuff really.
Nine years on and look what we’ve achieved together, the people we’ve been so lucky to meet. The people who share their stories with us. These people make us all stronger. I’m told that we inspire others. Truth be told, people inspire me, children inspire me when they tell me what Max Paddy and Harry mean to them. There are things in my life I did wrong, but the one thing I did right was write a book. A book which cast away so many harsh and cruel memories. I told my story so others may find courage to tell theirs.
Things could have been very different for me, but I met Max. Max helped me through the darkest hours of my life, he got me back out there to face the world and change my ways. Speaking out about depression should be easy. If you broke a leg would you lie in bed and say nothing. Seeking help for mental health is just the same as going to get treatment for any other illness.
I’m often asked ‘If I could go back in time what would I change?’ Nothing I reply. I’d do it all again to have another twelve years with this dog. He waited for me on that mountain, now I will wait for him.
This little dog has given so much to so many.
There are so many other animals out there giving the same comfort, confidence and companionship to their owners. That’s why for Max’s birthday we’re supporting the PDSA to raise money to help so many pets who offer the same love and devotion to their owners. Helping them daily through the turmoils of life
If you feel comfortable and are able to donate to the PDSA please click the link below
Or if you prefer to donate by post using a cheque made payable to the PDSA
please send it to:
Max Out in the Lake District
Unit 2 Sunset Hill
To date, Max Paddy and Harry have helped raise a staggering £335,000.00 for many charities.
We’d like to thank each and everyone who has helped or donated in Max Paddy and Harry’s name. Money is tight we know. But every penny we give goes to help others and sometimes we fall apart and need a helping hand to get back up.