Some good news and a heartwarming story in time for the holidays. An adopted dog has helped a New Jersey couple recover from a devastating skydiving accident.

It started in July of 2019 when Ian Azeredo suffered a catastrophic skydiving accident. The Ringwood resident spent nearly nine months recovering at a Morristown hospital, where he was comforted by therapy dogs trained at St. Hubert’s Animal Welfare Center in Madison.

According to St. Hubert’s, “Ian was released from the hospital in March 2020, just days before the coronavirus shut down New Jersey. He and his wife, Linda Farkus, decided to adopt a shelter dog from St. Hubert’s. Otter has profoundly changed their lives. He’s become the best friend who curls up with Ian when he’s in pain, or joins Linda for a hike. Life after trauma is full of uncertainties but adopting Otter has inspired us to happily move forward with our next chapter."

Linda was so impressed with the difference their dog has made in their lives that she submitted their story to a competition being held by the Petco Foundation’s Holiday Wishes campaign to find the best stories about dogs and the families who adopted them. If Linda, Ian, and Otter’s story is voted as one of the five best, St. Hubert’s will win $25,000; it has already made the finals and now awaits your vote.

You can vote for their story here. “We hope our story can help St. Hubert’s help more animals find loving homes,” Linda said. Voting is open until Dec. 16.

The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Bill Doyle. Any opinions expressed are Bill Doyle's own.

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