Whether or not you consider all the pieces occurs for a purpose, this story makes a powerful case for silver linings. This spring, Ian Azeredo and his spouse Linda Farkas adopted Otter, a spunky blended breed rescue canine, from St. Hubert’s Animal Welfare Center in Madison, New Jersey. If it hadn’t been for a horrible skydiving accident although, they by no means would have met their beloved canine and finest buddy.

In July of 2019, Azeredo was on a skydiving journey, one thing he had performed a whole lot of occasions earlier than. This time, he ended up hitting the bottom at 60 miles per hour, severely injuring himself within the collision. It in the end put him right into a coma. Farkas recalled:

“He spent two months in the ICU in Morristown. And they wouldn’t let you eat in the ICU. So I went one day to shovel lunch in my face real quick and saw this couple putting up therapy dog posters. They were local to Morristown, and they actually recommended St. Hubert’s.”


Azeredo spent almost 9 months in restoration at this hospital proper down the highway from St. Hubert’s Animal Welfare Center. Therapy canine from there additionally came visiting the hospital. Azeredo talked about how worthwhile these visits have been:

“I was a broken toy there, just kind of hanging on. The one good thing was they had these therapy dogs that would come in and just kind of say hi to people. A lot of them were from St. Hubert’s.”

Farkas additionally seen how essential the doggie visits have been to her husband.

“Besides the incredible medical team, the best thing about the hospital was their volunteer therapy dog program. Even when in excruciating pain, the friendly, judgement-free dogs would bring a smile to Ian’s face.”

Finding Otter

When Azeredo was properly sufficient to go away the hospital, the couple knew they needed to return to St. Hubert’s. With lockdown starting, they now felt they’d the time to provide correct care and a focus to a canine.

When a volunteer directed them to a tail-wagging Labrador Retriever/Hound combine, he jumped up on Azeredo’s wheelchair and licked his face.

“Immediately, I said, ‘This is the boy, right here.’”


They named him Otter, after the Twin Otter aircraft the couple jumped out of on their first date in 2013.

“He doesn’t always behave perfectly, but he is our best friend. When Ian is in pain, Otter joins him on the couch. When I want an adventure buddy, Otter will enthusiastically hike or go paddle boarding with me.”

Otter could be a bit rambunctious, however he introduced them a lot pleasure after they skilled such tragedy.

“It is impossible not to grieve our lost time and capabilities, but Otter never fails to cheer us up. Life after trauma is full of uncertainties but adopting Otter has inspired us to happily move forward with our next chapter.”

Giving Back To The Shelter That Brought Them Their Best Friend

Since Otter did a lot for the household, they needed to provide again to the shelter who did a lot for him. The Petco Foundation‘s Holiday Wishes marketing campaign invitations adopters to share their tales for the prospect to earn grant awards for the organizations they adopted from. Farkas submitted their story and gained an award, bringing in some huge cash for the rescue.


Azeredo now plans to have Otter licensed as a remedy canine, so he can be part of the ranks of the pups visiting Morristown Memorial Hospital.

“I remember being in that bed. It’s hard to explain the frustration and shock that comes with being there and having so much uncertainty. Hopefully, I can help some people out by just relating, talking when they are going through a similar nightmare.”

Thank goodness for remedy canine packages!

H/T: NorthJersey.com
Featured Image: @StHubertsAnimal/Facebook

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