Subtitles section Play video Print subtitles Mutual Rescue Stories In 2010, my doctor told me to buy a funeral plot because I would need one within the next 5 years, but I'm still here, because a shelter dog saved my life. Eric & Peety When people see a photo of who I was 5 years ago, they can't, and often don't believe that it's me. My weight had crept up to 340 pounds, my blood pressure was through the roof, super high cholesterol, I had Type 2 diabetes, and I was taking over a thousand dollars worth of medications a month. And I just felt really uncomfortable around other people. I became separated from society and I just stopped living. I went on a business trip. You know how small airplane seats are. I could barely squeeze into one and basically I'd spill over both sides. They had to delay the flight, because they didn't have a seatbelt extension that would fit me. There was a gentleman next to me, and he just looked in complete disgust, and he looked at me, and he goes, "I'm gonna miss my connection 'cause you're too fat." That really was my bottom point. That's the point that I really decided that, you know, I'm either gonna die or I have to do something. I looked in the phone book and I found a nutritionist near me. One of the first things that she asked me to do was to go adopt a shelter dog. It would force me to go outside; it would force me to become more socially interactive. So I went to a local shelter, and I remember telling the lady, "I would like an obese, middle-aged dog, so that I would have something in common with him." And when I walked in the room, we both looked at each other with, like a look of "really?" I took him home that night, neither of us knew what to expect. And over a period of time, we really formed an inseparable bound, and one that I'd never really experienced with another person or animal or anybody. We began walking for at least a half an hour a day, everyday. And over the course of a year, just by changing what I ate, and walking with Peety, I lost about 140+ pounds. Everything about my life improved. I got off all meds, I no longer have Type II diabetes. Peety also lost about 25 pounds. So we did it together. It was like a miracle. There you go! Whoo! Hi Peety! So I read over Peety's paperwork when I adopted him, and it turns out that, he was left alone in a backyard, and nobody played with him. He had arthritis and all kinds of rashes, and his skin was just itching all the time. He was wondering what would ever happen to him. He'd gone from being in a situation like I was, where he didn't have any friends, and he didn't know anybody, and really became a proud dog. Peety, ready for the next stop? Peety's a good boy! Beyond unconditional love, (Yum! Peanut butter!) Peety taught me absolute loyalty. He looked at me, in every sense, as though I was the greatest person on the planet. I decided that, I wanted to be the person who he thought I was. One of the things that I dreamed of doing was running a full marathon. And he looked at me, like, "You can do it!" And I went out, and I did it. This entire process brought me out of my shell and made me a different person. I knew that he was getting old and his time was coming. They discovered a really large cancerous growth on his spleen, and there was really nothing that they could do. I knew that he was gonna die. I just laid with him on the floor. He just looked at me and I could tell, that the life had just passed out of him. And that was the end. And I just sat there, and I held him. I loved him so much. I just was so sad. And, you know, I'm still not over it. About 6 months later, after a race, suddenly, it just came into my mind: "Just drive over to the shelter right now." And I did. There was a dog that had been put in the adoption pen four minutes earlier. His photo wasn't on the wall, he wasn't on the website, and I just looked at him, and he looked at me, and he went, it was like, "Dude, let's get out of here!" Jake is a completely different dog. Jake loves to play and we started training, and he now runs 10 mile distances with me. We're going to do our first half-marathon together. He's the best running buddy I could possibly have. So really, thanks to Peety, I wake up everyday, wanting to be the best person that I can possibly be. He completely transformed me into a different person. I think about it now, who rescued whom? I mean, did I rescue him or did he rescue me?