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Beloved Terrier Praised for Supporting Son in Throes of Addiction

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Beloved family dog: Tottie

A Shropshire family has highlighted the invaluable support rescue dogs can give to people who are battling addictions.

Tottie was born in 2003 and was the last of an abandoned litter of puppies to be homed by the Dogs Trust at Roden Shropshire. She died recently one month short of her 15th birthday but will always be remembered for the love and support she gave to her owner who suffered from alcohol addiction.

Tom Maybury died five years ago at the age of 29 but the recent death of Tottie has led Tom’s mother Sally and younger brother Henry to raise awareness of how rescue dogs can make such a difference to people’s lives.

Henry Maybury, Tom’s brother, said: “Tottie’s brothers and sisters found homes and she was the last to be picked. Because of her lack of toilet training she was then returned after a few weeks.

“We visited the Dogs Trust because Tom was adamant he wanted a dog. On seeing this little one with a huge head Tom decided he wanted her, despite us trying to persuade him otherwise.

“Tom absolutely idolised her, she really was his little girl. She would go to work with him, riding in the tractor cabin, keeping him company.

“Sadly, after Tom had been looking after Tottie for about six years he was unable to care for her properly because he was fighting his own demons, alcohol addiction. Tottie moved in with mum but Tom visited regularly, walking her – he really did love her to bits.

“When Tom moved back with mum for a spell of support, she would frequently find Tottie lying on the bed with him. Tottie played such a large part in Tom’s life and I am sure she helped him in trying to cope with his demons.”

After Tom’s death Henry, a singer/songwriter, came across the songs ‘Lost Days’ and ‘Every Night And Day’ and decided they would be the ideal vehicle to make people aware of alcohol addiction and how easy it is to fall into that trap.

Videos of both songs (see below) were made and featured Tottie as she was such a large part of Tom’s life.

“After releasing the videos and travelling all around the UK visiting schools, prisons and rehabs Tottie became a star in her own right,” added Henry.

“Students would message me through Facebook and Instagram asking me how Tottie was and what she was up to. Prisoners would beg me to bring her into prisons so they could meet her – I wish it had been something I was allowed to do.

“Tottie started suffering from arthritis and dementia last year and towards Christmas we knew she had come to the end, so we all said our goodbyes to a very special lady, who is now reunited with her best friend Tom.”

Tom’s mum Sally said: “I would never have thought that after the sadness of five years ago of losing my son Tom that I would now feel joy from seeing the amazing response to our addiction programme from students in schools, parents, prisoners and those fighting addiction and in recovery.

“We are working with Community Alcohol Partnership (CAP) who are a government funded organisation who tackle the problem of underage drinking and associated anti-social behaviour all across the UK. They invited us to the House Of Commons where Henry was presented with the ‘Youth Community Champion Award.’ I was so proud of him.”

As the saying goes ‘a man’s best friend is his dog’ so true in so many ways. But Tom’s Tottie was even more than this bringing so much unconditional love and support to him and us as a family. We have so much to thank Tottie for during those wonderful 14 years and 11 months of her life. She will be sadly missed but never ever forgotten.”

Henry is donating 100% of the proceeds from his debut single ‘Lost Days’ to addiction charities globally. For further information for donations and bookings please visit www.henrymaybury.com

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