Mike Lingenfelter was ready for his life to be over. Two serious heart attacks and open-heart surgery had taken away most of the good things that he had in his life. He just didn't care anymore. His doctors still held out hope for him, however, and they kept trying to find ways to motivate him to get out of the house and exercise. Their vision was that an energetic dog on a leash might do that for Mike. And so it was that this golden retriever named Dakota, who had been rescued from death himself, came to help Mike with his rehabilitative therapy. Their relationship wasn't supposed to be anything too profound or metaphysical or scientific, but as it turns out, at the other end of the leash was much more than a dog.
Dakota gave Mike back his dignity, his pride, and his life. Early on, it became evident to Mike that this wonderful 98-pound, red-haired, four-legged angel had a special gift: Dakota was a spirit guide, and it was Mike's duty to share him and the power of the human-animal bond. Dakota continually helped make miracles happen, for Mike and for others. But ultimately, as part of that journey, one more miracle was needed, as Dakota fought a courageous and dignified battle for his own life.