A STRAY dog adopted in Afghanistan by fallen paratrooper Conrad Lewis was guest of honour and the ‘First Paw through the Door’ at the opening of the new Avonvale Veterinary Centre in Stratford.
Paratrooper Lewis and Pegasus were constant companions amid the dangers of Helmand province. Such was their attachment that when Conrad was killed by an enemy sniper his family in Claverdon brought ‘Peg’ back to the UK to live with them.
Conrad’s mother, Sandi Lewis, said: “Peg was one of many stray dogs in the Quadrant compound when Conrad arrived there in October 2010. From then until he was killed in February 2011, Conrad and Peg were constant companions.
“When Conrad was back on leave during Christmas 2010 he said that he wanted to bring Peg back home when his tour was due to end in March 2011.”
A month after Conrad’s death Peg was helicoptered from the Quadrat to Camp Bastion, then transported in an armoured convoy to the Nowzad dog sanctuary in Kabul and then finally flown to the UK.
She then spent six months in quarantine before being allowed to start her new life with the Lewis family.
Avonvale practice manager Diane Goddard said: “We couldn’t think of anyone better to demonstrate the very special relationship between animals and people and to open our new surgery than Peg and Tony and Sandi Lewis.
“Conrad was an inspiration and we will be donating £5 for every new client registered at the Stratford surgery to the Nowzad Dogs Animal Shelter in Afghanistan, who worked so hard to bring Peg back to Britain, and to Hounds for Heroes.”
Avonvale, Warwickshire’s largest practice for small animals, began more than 35 years ago and now has centres in Southam,Warwick, Wellesbourne and Kenilworth.
The new centre – next to Waitrose in The Rosebird Centre, Shipston Road – has two consulting rooms, on-site digital x-ray, an operating theatre and laboratory facilities and is headed by vet Katie Wain.
“We’re very excited about having an Avonvale centre in Stratford. For many years clients in this area have had to attend our other surgeries so they have welcomed the news that they will be receiving our service right on their doorstep.” said Katie.
The group has 15 vets, some 25 qualified veterinary nurses and a RCVS accredited small animal hospital in Warwick.
Visit www.avonvets.co.uk for further details.
Conrad Lewis with loyal companion Peg. (s)