Eric O’Grey rarely left his California apartment. Weighing over 24 stone, he also had type 2 diabetes and was on a variety of medications. At only 51 years old, Eric was incredibly overweight, often in pain, lonely and miserable. He finally decided it was time to change his life and went to see his doctor.
But Eric was surprised that along with overhauling his diet, his doctor told him to go to a rescue shelter and adopt a dog who he must walk twice a day for 30 minutes. Eric asked if he could adopt a cat instead, but as the doctor pointed out, it’s much harder to walk a cat!
Eric adopted Peety, a pup who was also obese and had skin problems. Eric quickly fell in love with his new canine companion.
The pair began going out on walks and Eric soon discovered that their daily walks were also a chance to meet new people. Together, Eric and Peety were losing weight, getting healthier and feeling so much happier.
Eric was soon able to stop taking his medicines and he even felt confident enough to start dating again. Eric joined a local running club and developed a passion for long-distance running. Remarkably, Eric now runs up to six marathons a year.
Sadly in 2015, Peety died of cancer. For Eric, saying goodbye to his best friend was the saddest day of his life and he has written a book about his experiences: Walking with Peety: The Dog Who Saved My Life.
Eric now has a new four-legged exercise buddy called Jake, a black Labrador.