Dr. Rob Garofalo claims that after he discovered that he was HIV-positive, it wasn’t until he came across what his mother referred to as a “miracle” dog, a Yorkshire terrier by the name of Fred, that everything changed – for the better, of course.
According to Garofalo, a man who built his medical and research career on assisting patients afflicted with AIDS, he wouldn’t be exaggerating to say that “he saved my life,” the Detroit News reported.
I’m not exaggerating when I say that he saved my life
After Garofalo was diagnosed, he considered suicide but once he got Fred, he “had this little bundle of, like, pure joy” that made him “re-engage with the world.” Which, in Garofalo’s case, was definitely a good thing as he’d isolated himself in his apartment while he wallowed in a state of depression. Fortunately for him, a little Yorkie was all it took to drag him out of his hole and reintroduce him to the world at large by forcing him to, at the least, buy dog food.
Fast forward a ways, he’s launched a charity with his pup’s image intended to raise money for programs aimed at helping teens afflicted with the human immunodeficiency virus – better known as HIV.
In addition, he’s also started a new project called “When Dogs Heal” which wrangles in the talent of writer Zach Stafford and photographer Jesse Freidin to tell the stories of HIV-positive folks and their dogs through an exhibit scheduled to launch on Tuesday in Chicago. Certainly no coincidence that Tuesday just so happens to be World AIDS Day.
Garofalo was quoted by the Associated Press as having said that he “would be in bed and not want to get up, but” it was his little Yorkie whining and licking his neck, needing to go outside that required him to “get up” and take care of the pup that had found its way into his life.
According to Garofalo, his mother told him that the dog was a “miracle” because he’d “brought her son back.”