WHEN it comes to being top dog, the Bradley family are full of pride for their beloved pet Simba.

The 13-year-old labrador was diagnosed with cancer last September and owners Steven and Emma Bradley were told he probably wouldn't survive the week.

As an integral part of their doggy day care business as well as a comforting friend to their seven-year-old Lewis who has Crohn's disease and 10-year-old daughter Ellie, the Bradleys didn't know how they were going to cope without him.

But six months on Simba is still going strong and the family held a special event on Friday to mark his retirement from the family business.

Emma, of Chaddock Lane, Astley, said: "We were devastated when they told us he had cancer.

"They showed us the X-ray and he has tumours everywhere - on his lungs, kidneys, everywhere - it is unbelievable that he is still here.

"He is a major part of our business, we run a day care and boarding house for dogs called Molly Moonshines, and Simba assesses all the dogs and makes sure they are friendly.

"He also helps the dogs we foster as a family to settle in and to house train them.

"He has even helped to train replacement Poppy.

"Lewis has to have a lot of time off school because he gets such bad stomach ache and he can't stand being touched when he is in pain so Simba just lies beside him and helps take his mind off the pain.

"He knows when Lewis is suffering and will come up the stairs and either wake us or go into Lewis.

"We've never had a dog like Simba before and we wanted to take him for a last walk with all his friends and one of my friends even made him a chicken and bacon cake."