An army veteran from Aberdeen had more than one reason to celebrate as he completed a 63-mile charity cycle in Angus at the weekend.
Sammy Stewart took part in the challenge to raise money for Arbroath Animal Rescue Centre.
The 35-year-old wanted to give something back to the centre, where he got his Labrador Buddy, by helping to pay for storm damage repairs.
He has raised more than £3,000 after making his way from his Aberdeen home in Garthdee to Arbroath via several football clubs.
But raising money was not the only reason to battle through the wind and rain.
At the end, he got down on one knee to propose to girlfriend Caitlin Flett – and she said yes.
Sammy said: “The trip was a hard one with driving rain and strong winds.
“I also had a blowout in one tyre at the start of the journey but I was determined to do it.
“Not only did I want to complete it to raise as much money as possible for the ARC, but I knew that Caitlin was waiting in Arbroath and I had the ring with me all the way.
“It was important to me to propose to Caitlin at the ARC because, if it hadn’t been for them, I might not be here and I might not be with Caitlin today.
“It meant a lot to be able to pop the question there as the ARC plays a very important part in out lives.”
Sammy says he will be forever grateful to the centre for giving him Buddy – who helped him recover from an attempted suicide due to PTSD.
The centre suffered about £3,000 worth of damage during Storm Arwen and Sammy undertook the cycle to raise money for repairs.
He handed over a cheque for £2,000 on Saturday and has another £1,500 sitting in a fundraising account.
Amateur footballer Sammy, who plays for Stonehaven FC, stopped in at football grounds along the way, including Cove Rangers, Montrose and Forfar, and was given football tickets and a signed jersey to raffle to raise even more money.
He said: “It was a tough and emotional day. I’ve gone through a lot recently but Caitlin and Buddy have been with me all the way.
“I was very low recently and attempted to take my own life.
Buddy has changed my life… having him, as well as Caitlin, has been amazing for me
“Caitlin found out about the Arbroath centre and got in touch to see if they had a dog they could match me with.
“We found Buddy there and he has has changed my life. Having him, as well as Caitlin, has been amazing for me.
“I wanted to surprise Caitlin and got the volunteers at the centre in on my surprise.
“Caitlin had no idea. Despite being in agony after the cycle I still managed to get down on one knee to propose.
“Fortunately she said yes. The whole day was amazing and emotional. Caitlin also had Buddy waiting for me at the end which really was the icing on the cake.
“He hadn’t seen me all day and he was so excited, it was brilliant.”
‘The ARC holds a special place in our hearts’
Caitlin said: “I had no clue that anything was happening.
“The ARC holds a very special place in our hearts as that was the start Sammy’s proper recovery.
“That was where we first met Buddy and we knew from then that Sammy wasn’t going to be the same person he was before.
“Not only did we save Buddy, Buddy saved us.
“We dealt with a lot of things last year and we have fought everything and everyone all the way to prove them wrong.
“It feels like Buddy has always been in our lives.
“I can 100% say I have found my soulmate in Sammy because of what he does for me and the children; even on his bad days he will always protect us.”