A New Leash on Life

A New Leash on Lifeleash

Moving is stressful. Living in a new city isn’t easy. Learning your chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is getting worse and you’ll need oxygen is downright overwhelming.

That’s the situation Peggy Keleshian found herself in just a few short months ago. Keleshian was diagnosed with COPD years ago. While her initial diagnosis was scary she was able to get through it in part thanks to her trusted service dog, Reaper.

Reaper is a four-year-old German Shepard that goes everywhere with Keleshian. “When I was first diagnosed with COPD, I thought it was a life sentence, I was just so overwhelmed,” she said. “Fortunately a very smart doctor back home in New Jersey suggested I consider a service dog, and thank goodness I did.”

Reaper has been by Keleshian’s side ever since, including during her recent move to Milford. When she first moved to the area, she immediately began seeing a pulmonologist Michael Samaha, MD. Dr. Samaha had Keleshian undergo breathing tests to ascertain the severity and progression of her COPD. Unfortunately, the test didn’t go as Keleshina planned.

“when Dr. Samaha ordered the breathing tests, and I ultimately failed them, I was heartbroken and just scared. I didn’t want to be on oxygen – I didn’t even understand all that it entailed,” Keleshian said. “But I know this was all a blessing in disguise. Everything that has happened since was meant to be.”

Read more on page 27 of the Winter 2018/2019 issue: 27_SCW_BAYHEALTH