Overweight man credits shelter dog for helping turn his life around

A recent study found that dog owners live longer, healthier lives.

Dogs help cut cardiovascular risk in their owners by both offering companionship and a reason to exercise, according to researchers at Uppsala University in Sweden. Dogs, in sum, prompt their owners to go for a lot of walks.

Eric O’Grey is living proof of those findings.

In Walking with Peety, the Dog Who Saved My Life, O’Grey recounts how his went from a solemn 340 pounds, suffered Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and cholesterol. His doctor told him to overhaul his diet and get a dog.

“And that’s how I met Peety, the 7-year-old dog who rescued me,” he recalls now. “When people ask how I turned my life around, I point to Peety.”

He soon dumped weight, dropping to 180 pounds, and reversed his litany of illnesses. He credits his at least twice-daily walks with his dog.

Even former U.S. President Bill Clinton took notice.

He lauded O’Grey’s healthy lifestyle and pet ownership, urging people to adopt, not shop.

For O’Grey, Clinton was also his inspiration to turn his life around.

His incredible story is featured on CNN under the headline, “How an overweight shelter dog saved Eric O’Grey’s life.”

The transformation is incredible.

Eric O’Grey’s dramatic weight-loss thanks to frequent walks with Peety/Facebook

And his love for Peety abundantly clear.

O’Grey, who lives in Boise, Idaho, considered Peety his best friend.

And when his best got cancer and died in 2015, O’Grey called it “the saddest day of my life.”

Author Eric O’Grey and his book, Walking with Peety/Twitter

But he found the courage to love again. O’Grey adopted Jake, a Labrador retriever mix.

“Jake turned out to be the best running partner I could have hoped for, and like Peety, now travels with me almost everywhere,” O’Grey says.

Photos Eric O’Grey/Twitter

About the author

Recovering newspaper reporter.

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