AN IRISH woman who was 'saved' by the dog her family rescued as a puppy plans to walk 99km with her furry friend for charity.
Róisín Tracey's family adopted Freya, a gorgeous black pup who had been cruelly abandoned on the M50 along with her littermates, from Dogs Trust in 2018, and the pair instantly shared a bond.
This bond was further tested when, 18 months ago at the age of 22, Róisín was diagnosed with a rare brain disease which left her in constant pain, bed bound and unable to work.
Freya instantly stepped up to the mark, and incredibly, seems to know when her owner is in pain or about to have a seizure, and is known to alert other members of the family when Róisín is about to collapse.
"Freya usually sleeps with my parents but after I had brain surgery, she slept in my bed," Róisín said.
"We may have rescued her, but I feel she has done more for me than the other way around."
Now the pair plan to walk 99km together to help the charity that brought Freya and Róisín together.
"When I saw the ‘99k for Canines’ challenge on my Facebook feed, I thought of how much Freya has helped me and how much I want to be able to help other dogs in need, just like she was, so we signed up immediately," Róisín revealed.
"Freya is my inspiration for getting out to walk and the challenge suits me because there will be days, I can walk further than others and days where I can’t walk at all."
Ciara Byrne, Head of Communications at Dogs Trust Ireland said the charity was "blown away" when they heard Róisín’s story.
"The fact she’s taking part in our ‘99k for Canines’ challenge after everything she’s been through is such an inspiration to us and to everybody else taking part and we wish her and Freya the very best of luck.
She added: "It’s such a wonderful way for Róisín to give back. She’s helping other rescue dogs, just like Freya, by fundraising for Dogs Trust via this challenge."
The 99kfor Canine Facebook challenge in support of Dogs Trust is a walking campaign where animal lovers aim to walk 99km throughout the month of February-- with or without their dogs.
Everyone who signs up will be sent a 99k for Canines t-shirt & bandanas for their dogs, and are encouraged to share photographs of their daily strolls to the welcoming community Facebook page.