Published: 13:06, 05 July 2019
| Updated: 13:09, 05 July 2019
The owner of a dog who made headlines for helping keep parks clean of rubbish insists the two of them will be back picking litter soon, despite him being diagnosed with cancer.
Every Sunday, he takes her to one of the local parks, usually Tonbridge Racecourse, for a three-hour shift, in which time she can collect up to six black sacks of rubbish.
However, Gary's world was rocked when just days after picking up the gong, he was told he had Burkitt lymphoma - a stomach cancer that was expected to leave him with only weeks left to live.
"I've been in and out of Maidstone Hospital for the last three months," the 55-year-old said.
"But I had a growth on my stomach that was just growing and growing and they didn't think I was going to survive."
Gary was then referred to Hospice in the Weald for end-of-life care but staff quickly insisted he should return to hospital for more treatment, where he currently remains.
He says he is slowly getting some strength back and has pledged to return to litter picking as soon as he can, but at the moment it is simply a case of taking each day as it comes.
"It's been a really horrible process, but the last thing I want is for people to think I'd just picked up the award and stopped bothering," said Gary, who lives in Camp Hill, Charcott with his wife Lynn.
"Lulu is at home with my wife and she's getting frustrated because she wants to be out there helping to clean up again.
"I feel like I've been given a second chance and I want to take advantage of that."
More by this authorTom Pyman