340-Pound Man Given 5 Years To Live Transforms With The Help Of A Shelter Dog


Never in his wildest dreams could Eric O’Grey imagine that the saying: Dogs save us in one way or another would one day be so true!

Back in 2010, at just the age of 51, this man from San Bruno, California, weighed 340 pounds. He had multiple health issues, including high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and Type-2 diabetes. 

One day, while at the doctor, he got sobering advice – to buy himself a cemetery plot because he’d likely die within the next five years if he doesn’t change his life routine.

“I was taking over a thousand dollars worth of medications a month,” says Eric.

He finally decided to do something about it! He found a nutritionist who told him to adopt a dog from a shelter… and that’s when he met – Peety!

Eric O’Grey Was On The Edge

fat man standing
Source: CNN

Eric had a really hard time doing just the basic chores. He was overly depressed and socially inactive due to lack of self-confidence

However, the turning point in his life happened on a business flight.

He could somehow fit in a seat, but the problem was – there was no adequate seat belt extension for him! Due to the staff’s inability to secure Eric in a seat, the flight was delayed, and the man sitting next to him told him: “I’m gonna miss my connection cause you’re too fat!”

From that moment on, Eric knew he was gonna either die or do something to change his life!

With Peety – Everything Changed For The Better

black and white dog standing on grass
Source: @ericogrey

When he got off the phone with his nutritionist, who told him to adopt a dog, he went straight to the Humane Society of Silicon Valley in Milpitas, California. 

As he was still insecure about the whole adoption process, he asked the staff to link him with an obese, middle-aged canine. His idea was to get a dog with a similar problem and a quite similar activity level, so he wouldn’t feel like a total outsider once they got home.

“When I walked into a room, we both looked at each other with like a look of: “Really?!” Neither of us knew what to expect. In over a period of time, we really formed an inseparable bond and one that I’ve never experienced with another person or animal, or anybody,” says Eric.

Unbelievable Transformation

dog and man hugging
Source: CNN

Even though it started out unexpectedly, Eric and Peety formed an unbelievable bond together! The two became inseparable in no time, helping each other throughout the day and making each other smile again!

They first went on 30-minute daily walks, but over time, those numbers were constantly increasing… and on top of all that, they followed a strict, animal-based diet.

It was a challenging and exhaustive path, but over the next 10 months, the biggest miracle of all happened in O’Grey’s home!

“The miracle was that, over 10 months, I lost 150 pounds and Peety lost 25.”

Transformation in kg
Source: Eat Plant-Based

This unbelievable transformation soon made headlines all over the world! The people from HSSV’s initiative, called “Mutual Rescue”, decided to make a short movie about Eric and Peety, showing the world how strong and amazing the human-dog relationship can be!

In 2016, the movie was the year’s most popular piece, posted by California news organizations, according to the New York Times.

Alongside the movie, Eric wrote a book called Walking with Peety, which became a real hit in the U.S. 

“It’s not just a dog book. Not just a weight loss book. It’s not just a self help book. And it is not just an exercise book. Yes, all elements are discussed throughout the book along with much more, but this book is about mutual rescue,” explains Eric.

You Will Be Remembered, Peety

Portrait of dog
Source: @ericogrey

Unfortunately, after five long years of companionship, Peety passed away. He was already in his senior years, battling with terminal cancer, and Eric knew that his time had come.

One day, Peety was just too weak to get up on his paws. He was lying on the floor the whole time, refusing to budge. 

Sensing that this would probably be the last time to see his buddy alive, Eric lied down and held him in his arms. Just a few moments later – Peety crossed the rainbow bridge.

Eric was so devastated, but he soon gathered himself and focused on all the good things he and Peety did together. 

“Thanks to Peety I wake up every day wanting to be the best person that I can possibly be. He completely transformed me into a different person!”

A few months later, he adopted another doggo named Jake. 

black dog standing
Source: Facebook

Even though he was totally the opposite of Peety, Jake was an affectionate, sweet canine ready to embark on a beautiful journey together with his new owner.

Eric And Jake Are Going Strong

Bald man with black dog
Source: Facebook

Today, Eric and Jake are doing better than ever! After losing more than 140 pounds, Eric started running, but today – he made an even bigger step forward! He now runs half-marathons!

Man jogging with his dog
Source: Facebook

Together with Jake, the two train together, experiencing a whole new life together! And, on top of all that – Jake and Eric travel all the time! Aside from being an enthusiastic marathon runner, Eric’s also a digital creator, inspirational speaker, and audio book reader.

You can keep up with Eric and Jake’s inspirational journey on his official Instagram!