Katelyn Hoglund and her husband Jeffrey are both former heroin addicts who beat their habits with the help of their dogs before meeting by chance and falling in love.
The pair got married this year and now live happily with their three pit bulls and Great Dane, Jack.
But before meeting two years ago, they lived a thousand miles apart, dealing with severe substance abuse issues.
Both had been arrested and ended up getting dogs after being released – which they say gave them something to live for.
Alas, Katelyn’s first pup, Zero, died when she was in rehab but she later got two more.
‘My life before consisted of nothing more than snorting pills and sticking a needle full of dope in my arm as many times as I could. Every single day.,’ says Katelyn.
‘Death seemed so much more inviting than trying to exist another day. I was hopeless and desperate, but my dogs gave me purpose.
‘There have been many times I’ve wanted to use and literally the only thing that stopped me is knowing that no one can take care of my babies better than me.
‘They comfort me when I’m going through a rough time, they lick away tears and it’s like they can read my energy – they know when I need a little extra love.
‘When I look back at my old life, I get very sad for the little girl that couldn’t find her way out of the dark.
‘Every morning when I wake up, and every night as I lay my head down, I thank God for this second chance at life I’ve been given.
‘I don’t think I could have done it without my dogs.’
In September 2015, Jeffrey moved with his dogs Kilo and Kain to Cincinnati where Katelyn was living, and they met through mutual friends.
They bonded over their love of animals and fell for each other – eventually moving in together with their four canine friends.
Four years clean, Katelyn is now a financial analyst while Jeffery is a director of a drug abuse centre.
‘Kilo gave me the opportunity to love and care for something in a way than I never had before,’ says Jeffery.
‘Sometimes I have the thought that if it wasn’t for the love and caring that I learned through her that possibly I wouldn’t have cared enough about me to get and stay clean.
‘I’m a drug addict living a life free from the compulsion to actively try to kill myself and that is the most amazing miracle that I have ever witnessed.’
Jeffery says his life turned around the second he came across a five-week-old pit bull puppy in a dope house.
‘I asked how much for the little white girl, and was asked “What do you got?”. “Bro, I got a quarter of weed and an iPod”.
‘And just like that, me, a low down piece of sh*t junkie was now the owner of the soon to be named Kilo.
‘From that moment she began teaching me what it was like to care for something besides myself.’
The pair got married this year with their dogs by their sides.
‘Now I have more than I could ever wish for, a life greater than I could have imagined.
‘I have the love of four of the sweetest puppies and the man of my dreams all under one roof.’
You can find out more about Katelyn and Jeffery’s journey here.