Who rescued who is a common question among people who have adopted dogs. Of course, when we choose to rescue a needy shelter pup there is no doubt that that animal’s life is changed forever, but we also have to give out furry friends a lot of credit for altering the course of our own lives. After all, who can deny that their world completely changed once they had a wagging tail to come home to every day? Not to mention, countless studies have shown that having a pet around can help improve mood and even affect us on a physiological level. People with pets tend to have higher immune systems and lower blood pressure.

Just take a look at this incredible video to see the true testament of the power of this relationship. Eric O’Grey weighed over 300 pounds, had high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes when his doctor gave him the grave prognosis that if he didn’t make a change, he’d be dead within the next five years. Eric turned to a nutritionist for help who suggested he adopt a plant-based diet and adopt a dog for exercise. A bit skeptical, he called up Humane Society Silicon Valley and told them he’d like to adopt a middle-aged obese dog so they’d have something in common … then the rest, well the rest is history.

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Years later, Eric is in amazing shape and while Petey passed away from cancer, his memory lives on with Jake, Eric’s second rescue dog. This story just goes to show how much we get from rescuing an animal. If you’re looking to bring a forever friend into your home, check out your local shelter – you never know what a difference they could make in your life!