Army veteran 'devastated' after loss of dog who joined him on six-year walk around UK coastline

Chris Lewis with Jet, who accompanied him for 17,000 miles of the journey Credit: ITV CYMRU WALES

A former paratrooper who spent six years on an epic journey around the UK coastline for charity has spoken of his devastation at the death of the dog who joined him.

Chris Lewis, 43, paid tribute to Jet, who ended up joining him on the remaining 17,000 miles of his expedition.

Mr Lewis set off from Llangennith beach on the Gower Peninsula in August 2017 with a mission to raise £100,000 for armed forces charity the Soldiers', Sailors and Airmen's Families Association (SSAFA).

When he returned to the same spot in July last year, he had raised five times that amount, with Jet, his partner Kate Barron, now 37, and son Magnus, now 23 months.

Chris Lewis with Jet Credit: Chris Lewis/PA

Writing on his Facebook page, Wilderness Family, Mr Lewis said Jet was a "legend" who "leaves behind a legacy few ever have."

He wrote: "There are simply no words I can use to hide how devastated me, Kate and Magnus are at this moment.

"Our beautiful Jet, my best friend and my shadow has left us. She leaves behind a legacy few ever have. She helped fix me, she walked 17,000 miles, she helped me gain a family. She was loved by so many and helped raise over half a million for charity.

Chris Lewis, with partner Kate Barron and their son Magnus and adopted dog Jet, completing his charity walk of UK coastline Credit: PA

"Above all I have lost the dearest most loving friend anyone could ask for. My heart is broken and a void shall remain that can never be filled.

"Her love and loyalty won the hearts of a nation and beyond. Jet my friend you are a legend. I am going to miss you so bloody much.

"I know if she could, she would say thank you for all your love and support over the years, so I'll say it for her. Thank you."

On his journey he adopted a dog called Jet, fell in love and become engaged to Kate Barron and welcomed a baby boy named Magnus.

Mr Lewis's coastline walk saw him spend the first coronavirus lockdown on an uninhabited Shetland island, Hildasay.

Three years into his trek, he met his now wife, Kate Barron, before welcoming their first child together - a baby boy named Magnus. He had adopted Jet along the journey.

He was told that a family was looking for someone to adopt a dog and met them at a pub in Irvine, North Ayrshire.

While he said he was "nervous about the whole situation", the pair quickly bonded.

Mr Lewis stayed awake all night to comfort Jet, who was scared during their first meeting. The following morning, joined him on his journey. He described her as the "best friend I would ever have".

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