How a fat dog saved one man’s life

Seven years in the past, Eric O’Gray needed to die. Divorced, depressed and diabetic, he was fifty one years previous and weighed 350 kilos. His all-time low got here the day he delayed a aircraft, as its crew sought a seat-belt extender large enough for his fifty two-inch waist.

After which O’Gray noticed a newly slim Invoice Clinton on TV, extolling the advantages of a plant-based mostly food plan. The subsequent day, the San Jose, Calif., salesman sought out a naturopath, who gave him a number of vegan recipes and a singularly odd Rx: “Undertake a canine.”

The canine he rescued — an overweight, center-aged, matted-fur mutt — rescued him in flip, serving to him to lose one hundred fifty kilos and discover a misplaced love. It’s a story warmly informed in “Strolling With Peety: The Canine Who Saved My Life” (Grand Central Publishing), out Tuesday.

“I by no means actually had a relationship with an animal earlier than,” O’Gray advised The Submit. “I assume I checked out pets extra as trinkets than anything. However the bond I shaped with Peety was stronger than those I shaped with any human being.”

He admits that he wasn’t positive what to anticipate the day he arrived on the animal shelter. He’d informed a staffer he needed a canine he might relate to, and was mortified when Peety shuffled in.

“He was massive and fats and [scratching] throughout,” O’Gray recalled. “His head hung low, and he appeared up at me with apparent disappointment, [as if to say,] ‘You?’ ”

Eric O’Gray and his canine Jake.Vanessa Mathisen

Nonetheless, he determined to provide it a shot, regardless that it was all O’Gray might do to heave the seventy five-pound collie combine into his Chevy sedan. Again in his rental, they eyed one another warily. An equipment salesman, O’Gray carried out most of his enterprise by telephone; however Peety’s “enterprise” demanded they depart the home, one thing the person usually prevented. They began small, strolling to the top of the block and again, a distance of about 200 yards.

However with tofu and greens changing pizzas and burgers, O’Gray’s joints stopped hurting and he discovered he might stroll farther — and ultimately, even run. Peety, in the meantime, began on vegan pet meals after a vet stated it might remedy his pores and skin issues. The scratching stopped. The shared walks grew longer. Inside a yr, O’Gray had misplaced one hundred twenty kilos and his Sort 2 diabetes was declared gone, whereas Peety was 25 kilos lighter.

One nifty aspect impact: Ladies started chatting up the slimmed-down pair — and O’Gray had his first date in 15 years.

Granted, Peety appreciated to drink from the bathroom and rummage by means of the trash,…

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