Man With Five Years to Live Adopts Shelter Dog so They Can Save Each Other

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Source: YouTube/Mutual Rescue

Source: YouTube/Mutual Rescue

Middle-aged and obese, Eric walked into the dog shelter and said, “I would like an obese, middle-aged dog, so that I would have something in common with him.”

He went home with Peety, a middle-aged dog that could stand to lose some pounds. It turned out to be the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

You see, at 340 pounds with diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol, Eric was told by doctors that he may only have five years left to live if he didn’t change his lifestyle immediately. But Eric was withdrawn. He didn’t feel comfortable around people.

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“I became separated from society and I just stopped living,” he says in a video produced by the Humane Society Silicon Valley.

Finally, after an incident on an airplane where they delayed the flight because they didn’t have a seat belt extension to fit him, Eric decided to look up a nutritionist through the phone book. The nutritionist told him the first thing he should do was get a shelter dog.

“It would force me to go outside. It would force me to become more socially interactive,” he said.

Enter Peety.

Source: YouTube/Mutual Rescue

Source: YouTube/Mutual Rescue

“Over a period of time we really formed an inseparable bond, one that I’ve never really experienced with another person or animal or anything,” he said.

Eric and Peety began walking for 3o minutes a day every day, and by changing his diet, Eric lost 140 pounds over the course of a year. His type 2 diabetes went away and he was able to get off all the medications he was previously taking for his health. Peety also lost “about 25 pounds.”

“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.”

That desire to prove to Peety – and himself – that he could be a better person led Eric to begin training to run a full marathon.

Unfortunately, Peety has since passed away, but about six months later, Eric had a feeling he needed to return to the shelter where he found Jake, an energetic shelter dog who had just arrived only minutes before.

Jake now also trains with Eric for marathons. However, Eric still credits Peety for saving his life.

“So really, thanks to Peety, I wake up every day wanting to be the best possible person that I can possibly be … I think about it now, who rescued whom? I mean, did I rescue him? Or did he rescue me?”

Watch Eric and Peety’s touching full story below. We dare you not to cry.

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