‘Animal Planet’s ‘Saved’ Explores Emotional Stories of Hero Pets

by | November 14, 2011 at 1:40 PM | TV News

Patrick Major and his dog Sammy Davis in Saved (Animal Planet)

Patrick Major and his dog Sammy Davis in Saved (Animal Planet)

“I wouldn’t be alive today if it were not for my dachshund, Sammy Davis,” says Patrick Major, a dialysis patient featured in Animal Planet’s new docu-series, “Saved” (Monday, 8/7c). The show follows people who, at their darkest hours, have been healed by the power of animals.

Major, who has battled an incurable bone and muscle disease for most of his life, was recently diagnosed with kidney disease. His grueling dialysis schedule sent him into a deep depression. Most days, he could barely get out of bed. At the urging of his girlfriend, Major reluctantly agreed to adopt a dog. Over time, Major says the responsibility of being a dog owner gave him a reason to keep going each day.

After undergoing treatments, he’d rush home to be with Sammy Davis, who was always waiting at the door, tail wagging. “I couldn’t wait to get home to him,” Major says.

Although their bond was strong, it wasn’t until a health scare threatened Sammy Davis’ life, did he truly understand how much he loved his dog. “I had him two months, and I went into the [vet's] office, and I remember the vet saying that, ‘Oh, my God, he has parvo,’” Major says. “Not having [owned] a pet before, I was in the office thinking, ‘I’ll just get another dog.’ [But when I learned] he could possibly die within a few days, that’s when a tear rolled down my eye – and that’s when I knew. It was a turning point for me that this dog is special to me, and I saved his life.”

Today, Major thinks of Sammy Davis as more than just a dog – he’s a guardian angel.

“He’s just an amazing special dog,” Major says. “And that’s what my message is – that people should recognize the amazing things that come in small packages.”

Preview “Saved” below:

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