From Survivor to Thriver

The Healing Power of Animals

February 13, 2024 Erik DaRosa & Marc Fernandes Episode 148
From Survivor to Thriver
The Healing Power of Animals
Show Notes

According to statistics, mental health challenges are on the rise, which means it’s more important than ever that we find healing methods that work for us.

In this episode of From Survivor to Thriver, we sat down with Michael Overlie to discuss the healing power of having pets. There is a strong bond and connection between a man and his dog, and we are exploring how that bond can be a profound healing tool for anyone struggling with their mental health. 

Michael Overlie is the Founder of Save Two, a Colorado-based non-profit whose mission is to save the lives of both Dogs and Men, help them connect deeply to begin to heal their wounds and teach them skills to navigate this world and live better lives.

It all came about through Michael’s individual lived experiences and those shared with his dogs, especially Sage, the loving creature who saved Michael’s life when he was a 12-year-old boy. Today, his days are spent saving lives on both ends of the leash.  

In today’s episode, we cover: 

  • Why the connection between man and dog can be so strong
  • The power animals have to sense when you are struggling 
  • What energy healing feels like and how animals can be energy healers
  • Why dogs bring a sense of belonging and home 
  • How dogs can read our energy and nudge us toward necessary change
  • The acceptance and nurturing men can receive from dogs 
  • Why pets can help us become better versions of ourselves 
  • How dogs can be mirrors for us
  • Why Michael decided to work with men and dogs 
  • The power of speaking up about your mental health 
  • How pets can be our familiars (like Erik’s cat that he named after Taylor Swift!)

We hope you enjoyed our conversation with Michael! If you’d like to learn more about Save Two, you can find more information on the website. You can also connect with Michael on LinkedIn and check out his book Let Your Dog Lead here. 

Thanks again for tuning in. We are so grateful to each and every one of you. Please remember to leave a rating and review of our show. It helps us grow and reach those who need it. Also, make sure to subscribe so you never miss an episode! 


Visit Michael’s website

Get a copy of Let Your Dog Lead

You can get a copy of the book he co-authored

Connect with Michael on LinkedIn


Visit our website

Follow us on Facebook

Follow us on Instagram

Get in touch:

“Underneath everything that we do, we just have the desire to feel safe and loved, and dogs are just safe.” - Michael 

“I had an animal but I didn’t realize how much healing that animal could provide in the moment.” -Erik 

“The reason we so often have this vision of life is going to be sunshine and rainbows and riding unicorns is we sell ourselves that to make ourselve