When doctors told Eric, a middle-aged man, that he may only have five years to live, he knew he had to do something.
At 340 pounds, Eric had diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol. If he didn't change his lifestyle, doctors said he wouldn't make it much longer.
In a video uploaded to Facebook, Eric explains that he spoke with a nutritionist who told him to adopt a shelter dog with the hopes that the dog would help him lead a healthier lifestyle. Turns out, Eric credits the dog with saving his life.
"I just felt really uncomfortable around other people," Eric says in the video, talking about life before his weight loss. But having a dog would force him to get outside and interact with society.
Upon arriving at the dog shelter, Eric recalls telling a staff member that he "would like an obese, middle-aged dog, so that [he] would have something in common with him."
With that, he adopted Peety, a dog who could also afford to lose a little weight — and, more importantly, needed a loving home.
The two "formed an inseparable bond," Eric says. They exercised together and, with the help of a new diet, Eric lost over 140 pounds. Peety lost 25.
Eric's healthier lifestyle eliminated his type 2 diabetes and he was able to get off any medication.
"[Peety] looked at me, in every sense, as though I was the greatest person on the planet," Eric says in the video. When Eric decided to run a full marathon, he felt encouragement from his dog. "I decided that I wanted to be the person that he thought I was."
And he did it.
Unfortunately, Peety has since passed, but Eric has adopted another dog and running partner from the shelter.
"This entire process brought me out of my shell and made me a different person," Eric says.
Evidently, Peety and Eric truly saved each other. Be sure to watch the full video below: