Kerry Irving, owner of springer spaniels Max, Paddy and Harry, has been overwhelmed with messages of support since appearing on ITV's Britain's Top 100 Dogs Live last week and telling his incredible story.

Max and Paddy represented the springer spaniel breed in a live vote, coming fourth overall.

But it has been the bond that Mr Irving has with Max and the story behind the pairing that has moved people to get in touch with messages, from people all over the world.

In an interview for the television programme he revealed that his wellbeing deteriorated after his car was hit by a truck in 2006. He said: "I was taking around 27 tablets a day, and it's hard to explain the pain, it’s not seen, no one can see it. It’s not like you’re missing a leg or anything like that and at the time, I didn’t really know but I was suffering from depression and that’s something that men don’t get - they don’t talk about it, people just shrug it off, but it’s like being in a tunnel that you can’t get out of."

He found it difficult to even walk and would suffer panic attacks. Then he started walking to see a neighbour's dog and eventually plucked up the courage to ask if he could take Max out for a walk, the neighbour said yes and from that day life improved greatly.

Mr Irving was given the opportunity to adopt Max who has helped him on the road to recovery. He said: "Max definitely saved my life and I can never repay him for that to try and explain a bond between a dog and a human they look right into your soul and see everything that’s going on."

In two days he has received at least 9,500 messages, emails, texts and comments from people saying that they admire him for being open about having depression, getting over depression and how Max has helped him to get over the depression.

He said: "I'm getting about 40 messages an hour, many of them from men, people are saying how dogs have helped them get through depression, other illnesses and relationship break-ups".

He has even been contacted by a dentist in Australia asking if he can use images of the dogs for training methods and had messages from America thanking him for being open and honest.

The clip of Kerry and Max has been viewed 64,000 times on his Facebook page Max Out in The Lake District.

Support is growing daily. Mr Irving set up the page showing his dogs enjoying the lake district three years ago and now has 77,000 followers and 18,500 followers on Instagram.

So far the dogs have raised over £73,000 for charities, through hosting charity walks and guest appearances. At the last walk there was a family from Dorset and another from Derbyshire staying in the area just in the hope of meeting the dogs. He said: "I am so proud of my dogs and they are also bringing tourists into the area." The dogs have managed to do around two and a half thousand meet and greets with people over the past two years.

All three dogs will appear at the NEC, Birmingham at the caravan, camping and motorhome show later this month, where Kerry will give talks on the lake district and camping out with dogs. They have also been invited to Crufts in March where people will get the chance to meet Kerry, Max, Paddy and new addition Harry.

He said his dogs are winners anyway, but they are very real winners in the sense that they have won awards from PDSA as a commendation for Max and Paddy for enriching lives and human devotion.

It was the PDSA that put them forward for the television programme and Kerry said they are eternally grateful to the PDSA for their help.

To show their appreciation for PDSA they will be doing a charity walk for the organisation on August 17 to celebrate Max's 12th birthday. Tickets will be available on the Max Out in the Lake District Facebook page.