A popular bumper sticker says “You can never be too rich or too thin.” I’m not sure about the rich part, but I’m pretty sure that there are some Ethiopian children who would argue with the second part.
There aren’t very many of us out there that don’t think we would look better if we lost a few pounds. A lot of people get rich on our country’s obsession with our weight.
Every day seems to spawn a new “get thin quick” scam.
From liquid protein diets to counting carbs, fat or calories, there seem to be a million suggestions for losing weight. Yet, for some of us, nothing works.
It was that way for Eric O’Grey. He was just 51, but his medical record was that of a man far older.
The years of carrying nearly 200 extra pounds of weight had taken its toll.
O’Grey had Type II Diabetes, high cholesterol, unregulated blood pressure, and was taking 15 different medications each day.
He had tried every diet that his doctor suggested or the guy on late night TV had advertised. All to no avail. He still topped the scales a couple of hundred pounds over what he wanted to weigh.
Finally, his health started declining so rapidly that O’Grey knew he had to do something. His weight was literally killing him.
So, in a last-ditch effort, he sought the advice of a naturopathic doctor. She gave him an unconventional prescription that he couldn’t get filled at even the priciest health food store.
She told him to get a dog.
After she convinced him she was serious, O’Grey agreed to go for it. He called the Humane Society of Silicon Valley.
He was joking when he asked if there was a “middle-aged, overweight dog” like himself available.
But, as it turned out, there was! The adoption counselor recommended Peety, a 7-year-old, 75-pound Border Collie-Australian Shepherd mix.
It wasn’t “love at first sight” between the two. But, O’Grey was desperate, so he persevered.
He took Peety home despite their mutual disappointment in one another. And, O’Grey and Peety embarked on their weight loss journey together.
They started out slowly with short walks and built up to longer strolls. With the help of a whole-food, plant-based diet combined with walking with Peety, O’Grey went from 340 pounds to 180 pounds. Peety dropped an impressive 25 pounds. Both in just one year!
O’Grey and Peety developed a beautiful bond together over the months that followed. The doctor told O’Grey that she had realized that he had no social life.
She was sure that his weight had become a camouflage to keep him from interacting with other people. She knew that all he needed was a boost to get himself out of his house and back into life.
And as a dog lover herself, she knew that a dog would do that better than anything else. O’Grey didn’t need more drugs. He just needed someone to share a life with.
And share they did. Peety went everywhere with O’Grey for the next five years. They became inseparable. When a cancerous tumor ended Peety’s life, O’Grey was almost inconsolable.
But, he didn’t turn to eating to quiet the fears of being alone. He continued to run, training for marathons he had first begun thinking about with Peety at his side.
Finally after a run one day, O’Grey realized that Peety would not want him to be alone. So, he went to the shelter on his way home.
A dog was there, apparently waiting for him. He wasn’t on the adoption list and had been deemed “adoptable” only minutes before O’Grey arrived.
He said he looked at the dog, the dog cocked his head to one side as if to say, “C’mon dude. What’re you waiting for? Let’s get out of here.”
And so they did. The big black Labrador Retriever, Jake, has become the best running partner O’Grey says he could have ever dreamed of.
They are training together for the next marathon. One they will run together.
But, O’Grey hasn’t forgotten Peety. He says he never will. He wrote down his memories of Peety in his book, Walking With Peety.
O’Grey says, with tears in his voice, “Thanks to Peety I wake up every day wanting to be the best person I can possibly be.”
“He completely transformed me into a totally different person. I think about it now…who rescued whom?”
Source: I Heart Dogs