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Meet the man and his dogs helping people recover from mental illness

Newfoundland dogs from Leciestershire are helping people with mental illness
© Pete Lewin Newfoundlands - Facebook

This inspiring, dog-loving man and his pack of 5 Newfies are helping people recover from physical and mental illnesses; helping to turn their lives around forever...

By Alice Lang, 8 Jun 2019

Pete Lewin, from Leicestershire, has been a long-time canine lover. Since he was a kid, he’s been surrounded by dogs. But as he’d always had a Great Dane in his home, he has a particular love for large breeds.

"We went without dogs for a little while, but I hated coming home to an empty house," the 61-year-old, from Braunstone Town, said to Leceistershire Live.

The couple discovered Newfies...

After researching other large-breed dogs, Pete and his wife came across Newfoundland dogs - a working, large dog breed. They’re commonly trained as rescue water dogs - cool, huh?!

And the pair clearly took a liking to the breed. Over the past three decades, the couple have had 24.

As a paramedic, Pete was keen about the idea of his pups working in the emergency services - but the idea didn’t take off. Instead, he came up with an even better idea…

...and now Pete and his dogs are changing lives

"A friend and colleague, Tracie, came to me wanting to swim with the dogs," Pete said.

"She had been considering taking an overdose and taking her own life. So she came along and she swam with the dogs and she said it completely changed her life. It was incredible."

From there, Pete was determined to help as many people as he could - and it didn’t take long for them to ask for his help.

"One guy came to me for help after he took an overdose. Before swimming with the dogs, he was suicidal, and now he works for the ambulance service. Whatever it is that the dogs have got, it is helping people."

The incredible dogs now work as emotional therapy dogs, spending their days helping those with physical/mental illnesses, or disabilities, live their life to the full. Thank you, Pete - the world needs more people like you!

Follow out the pack's adventures and inspiring stories on Facebook.