656159842-baby-oscar_edited-for-blog-573x430.jpg

Adopted Puppy is the Best Medicine for Recovering Patient

By PetcoFoundation on Mar. 16, 2017

656159842-baby-oscar_edited-for-blog-573x430.jpg

Each year, the Petco Foundation invites adopters to share the story of how their adopted pet changed their lives during the annual Holiday Wishes campaign, giving the organization that they adopted from a chance to receive a grant award. This story by Sheryl Leventhal won Fur Babies Rescue & Referral Inc. in East Rockaway, New York a 2016 Holiday Wishes award. 

Five years ago, I died. My heart stopped at Penn Station in New York City, and I was dead.

The New York Police Department revived me, and I ended up having triple bypass surgery. My recovery was difficult and I was out of work for months. I had no energy, was sick, scared and needed help.

I hadn't had a dog in over five years, but I remembered that my last dog gave me a sense of purpose. So, I decided to adopt again. I searched on Petfinder and connected with Fur Babies Rescue & Referral Inc. They had just rescued a pregnant dog from North Carolina and transported her to Long Island where she gave birth to eight puppies in her foster home.

656618426-gotcha!_edited-for-blog.jpg

I requested the largest male dog (I like big dogs and I cannot lie!) and they reserved him for me. I met him at four-weeks-old. It was love at first sight. Four weeks later, he was mine. I named him Oscar.

Soon after, Oscar and I were taking walks together and snuggling on the sofa. He gave me the exercise I needed and the will and encouragement I lacked for my recovery.

656159844-IMG_1002_edited-for-blog.jpg

A couple of months after his adoption, I visited the cardiologist and received my first positive post-op checkup. Before that, things weren't going very well. He asked me what I had done differently, and I told him I had adopted a puppy. He said, "Then I wish I could prescribe a puppy to all my patients!"

Oscar was helping me heal. He got me up and out doing things that improved both my mental and physical health. Oscar loved me unconditionally, even with a big, ugly 12-inch scar on my chest that made me so self-conscious. He makes me feel safe and happy. He gave me a reason to try. When I was literally at my lowest, Oscar lifted me up.

656159840-therapy_KootuZr_edited-for-blog.jpg

As I got better, I wanted to give something back to others. So, we trained and Oscar passed the Therapy Dog Certification test on his first try. We now volunteer at the local library for their kids "Read to Me" program. We also volunteer for Dogs on Deployment by helping find foster homes for soldiers’ pets, so they don't have to give them up.

Oscar just turned four. I cannot imagine how my life would have turned out without him. I just celebrated my "Second Fifth Birthday." I get to have two birthdays every year now; the day I was born, and the day I came back to life.

Oscar has no idea what he has done for me. He just loves me. I love him more. He saved me.

Learn more about the Petco Foundation by visiting www.petcofoundation.org.


  Get the latest lifesaving news by following us!
  Petco Foundation on Instagram Petco Foundation on Twitter Petco Foundation on Facebook The Petco Foundation
 

Latest Blog Posts

Why Dogs Shed and What to Do About It

By CarolineGolon on May. 18, 2017
As pet parents know, a home with a dog is a home full of fur. It’s on every carpet or rug, in every corner, all over your clothes and maybe even in yo...

Ask a Vet a Question Online 24/7 for Free!

By Petco_Charlene on May. 12, 2017
Need pet care advice? We’ve got you covered in the Petco Community with our new Ask a Vet widget, powered by PetCoach. Verified pet experts are standi...

Proper Pups Don't Eat Poo...Or Do They?

By PhotoLori on May. 7, 2017
"I was going to tell you a poop joke but it's really crappy." -- Unknown