“I grew up with rescue dogs and know that with the right care, love and training they turn out to be great dogs. We were looking on the RSPCA website, and as soon as we saw Lewis, we couldn't resist him. When we went out to get him from their Malaga kennels, he had one of those buckets on his head, as he had recently been desexed. He was trying so hard to get his nose under the wire cage to say hello but the bucket made things a little hard!
We were told he was the subject of an RSPCA prosecution and therefore we could not be told anything about his origin. He was a red heeler cross and that's all we knew. Within a few days of getting him home he fell ill.
We were entitled to take him back to the shelter for vet care but thought that was a bit mean, so instead took him to the local vet knowing we would be responsible for the bills. Over $2000 later, he was well again. He had pneumonia and an infection in the bone in his sinus from an untreated infection. He went from a poorly 11 kilograms to a healthy 22 kilograms.
Lewis came with us everywhere – even on family holidays to Tasmania twice, and all over Western Australia. He was reliable and easy to train, and walked around the streets of Perth with us off lead and could always be trusted. I think he knew just how lucky he was.
Then when Lewis was 8 and a half, he fell sick with what we thought was gastro. The vet gave him some antibiotics, but they didn't work. Upon further examination we realised he had terminal cancer. We went and saw all the veterinary specialists but they all said no cure was available and the treatment could make him feel sicker. Not long after, Lewis was put to sleep at home on his favourite bed.
The vet who treated him all through his life said that he wasn't surprised to see him with cancer relatively early in his life. He said that the treatment in his early life meant he had a suppressed immune system and it was therefore much easier for the cancer to take hold.
Lewis was the most beautiful dog you could ever hope for - kind, clever gentle and loving. We loved him for eight wonderful years and I wouldn't change a thing. He was lucky to have us, but we were so lucky to have had him.”