Have you ever been so ill that you seriously wondered if you’d see another day? Have you ever had a pet who would stay by your side no matter if you’re ill or well just because of the deep love shared between you? Such was the case with 28 year old Zach Skow who was dying of liver disease from too many years of alcoholism.
Here is a young man who had abused his body to the point of death. Doctors wanted to help him, but he needed to be sober for 6 months before they could even consider any kind of transplant, and Skow wasn’t sure he could make it that far. And then one day, when he looked in the mirror and saw how gaunt he had become and how far from life he had come, he also saw one of his three rescue dogs behind him, happily waiting for him to go outside to “play”.
Our pets can get us out of ourselves. We can hit rock bottom in our own lives and then a pet will come to us, needing food or water or play or just some love and we find ourselves responding because it’s what we do. They need us. They are unable to fend for themselves and so, even when we feel we can’t go on, we try for them. And they are there for us unconditionally. Sometimes that can bring about a miracle.
Skow needed to take the dogs for walks every day. He began with very short walks. Gradually, they became a little longer and a little longer. One of those walks he met a neighbor who had lost his wife and was also walking his dogs. He used to walk with his wife and now had to walk alone. But they formed a friendship and helped one another over the rough spots.
Skow realized that his dogs didn’t see his illness. They only saw his soul. They only knew the love that passed between them. And they dragged and pushed Skow on those walks every day. Eventually, the walks got longer and longer.
Eventually the 6 months passed. And years passed. He no longer needed that liver transplant. Taking care of those dogs had forced him to take better care of himself. He had stopped drinking for years and felt better and better.
He eventually started his own shelter for dogs and rescued more than 3,000 dogs. Many of those were from high-kill shelters. He did for all of those dogs what just a few had done for him. Given life.