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Anyone who has ever loved a pet understands the deep connection that’s formed by their companionship. The gentle wag of a tail, a “welcome home” purr, or cuddles on the couch are just some of the many ways animals show us love. They lift our spirits when we’re feeling down, inspire us to be better people, and help give us the courage to explore the world and try new things. Animals also have an incredible way of inviting us into their own world, where they teach us about compassion and unconditional love. It’s a special and unique bond unlike any other.

Our companions become an important part of our lives, working their way into our hearts and forever changing us for the better. They are loving, loyal, intelligent, fascinating and all-around amazing. And sometimes they influence and change our lives in ways we could never imagine. We often talk about humans rescuing animals, but in so many ways, they end up rescuing us as well.

1. Eric O’Grey and Peety


Eric O’ Grey was facing a literal life or death situation. His doctor had told him that his weight of over 300 pounds, along with type-2 diabetes and blood pressure, were impacting his life — and if he didn’t do something to change it, he wouldn’t be alive in five years. Upon the advice of his nutritionist, Eric went to Humane Society Silicon Valley to adopt a dog and came home with an overweight, middle-aged dog named Peety. They were both suffering from health issues, had some weight to lose, and were feeling a bit broken. Eric and Peety began to take walks every day, and soon an incredible bond formed between them. The daily walks helped both of them lose weight, and Eric was soon running marathons, something he had never believed would be possible.

Sadly, Eric lost Peety after the discovery of a tumor on his spleen. And though Peety has since passed on, the love, companionship, and confidence he gave Eric will stay forever. A man whose life was changed — and literally saved — by the love of an incredible shelter dog.

2. Julie and Bunker

After graduating from college, Julie found herself battling severe depression. She soon left Manhattan to move back home to Ohio, but not even her family or therapists could help her work through her pain. That’s when she decided to adopt a little Golden Retriever puppy. The love of a dog is unconditional; they love us whether we’re happy or sad, allowing us to express emotions without any feeling of judgment. Having Bunker helped Julie develop a routine and allow herself to begin the process of healing. Through moves to other states, a marriage, graduate school, and having a child, Bunker was always there to Support her.

Julie was so inspired by Bunker, she used her newly found passion for writing to tell the story of how he changed her life. And with a few years of hard work that passion turned into Dog Medicine, a book that is sure to inspire anyone whose life had been changed by the love of a pet.

3. Derek, Steve, and Esther the Wonder Pig

Derek Walter and Steve Jenkins acquired Esther from a friend when she was just a piglet weighing a mere four pounds. They were told she was a “micro pig” who would only get to about 70 pounds, but it was soon discovered that she was actually a commercial pig who would weigh much more than that — eventually growing to weigh more than 600 pounds. But this didn’t change the love they had for Esther. Derek and Steve treated her like any other pet, taking her for walks and watching as she snoozed away on the living room furniture, where she could be seen snuggling with her human and canine companions.

Esther did more than provide love to her humans, she changed the way they view animals. Derek and Steve used to eat meat, but because of Esther they are now vegan and have become dedicated to educating people about the cruelty and suffering that happens on commercial farms. They took their dedication and compassion even further by opening a farm sanctuary called Happily Ever Esther Farm Sanctuary, where animals who have been rescued from commercial farms can enjoy freedom. Esther helped them connect to animals and realize how they’re just like humans and other companion animals, paving the way for others to be inspired by her story and become advocates for farm animals as well.

Create Your Own Story

There are thousands of animals sitting in shelters, just waiting for someone to give them a loving home. Life is an amazing adventure that’s best enjoyed with a loyal companion by our side. When you open your home to a pet in need, your life, and the life of the animal you adopt, will change for the better.

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