We think it’s safe to bet that most of us who are pet parents cannot imagine life without our furry (or scaley, feathery, etc…) babies. For some of us, our pets are the reason we wake up in the morning and we can’t imagine where our lives would be without them. While adopting a pet no doubt saves their life, sometimes, they’re the ones who save us. That’s what happened to Eric O’Grey in 2010.

Seven years ago, at age 51, Eric was facing a number of diet-related health complications. He lived with type 2 diabetes and both his blood pressure and cholesterol levels were dangerously high. For years, he attempted to gain control of his health through fad diets and medications. Due to repeated failures, Eric’s doctor informed him that he would likely not survive the next five years.

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It was then that Eric reached out to Dr. Preeti Kulkarni, a naturopathic doctor who advised Eric to switch to a whole foods, plant-based diet (a diet free from oils and highly processed/refined foods) and to adopt a dog. Eric took his doctor’s advice to heart, switched to a whole foods diet, then contacted the Humane Society Silicone Valley and asked to adopt a middle-aged, obese dog — someone who he had something in common with, who he could share his health journey with. That’s how Peety, a seven-year-old dog, came into Eric’s life.

Together, Eric and Peety the dog turned their lives around by adopting a whole foods, plant-based diet and becoming active.

Eric O’Grey/Facebook

By eating right and adopting an exercise regimen, Eric’s weight dropped from 340 pounds to 180 pounds. Additionally, he reversed his type 2 diabetes and eliminated his medications.

“Peety believed I was the greatest person on Earth, so I decided to become the person he believed me to be,” Eric wrote on his website.

Peety passed away in 2015, but Eric soon found himself welcoming another dog into his life: Jake, a four-year-old Labrador who he adopted from Seattle Humane Society.

Eric O’Grey/Facebook

Earlier this month, Eric released his book, Walking With Peety: The Dog Who Saved My Life. Learn more by visiting his official website here.

If you’re interested in learning more about a whole foods, plant-based diet, we recommend checking out the following articles:

We also highly recommend downloading our Food Monster App, which is available for both Android and iPhone, and can also be found on Instagram and Facebook. The app has more than 8,000 plant-based, allergy-friendly recipes, and subscribers gain access to ten new recipes per day. Check it out!

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Lead image source: Eric O’Grey/Facebook