The rescue dogs represented an unlikely antithesis of everything Skow spent so many years striving to obliterate in himself. Life.
In fact, for Skow, the siege of himself had been a long campaign. He started drinking heavily when he was just 16. But it was really while working at a comedy club in Tempe, Arizona that he stepped up his end game.
Running the door at a bustling improv club in the mid-2000s, Skow was responsible for everything that happened there: the comedians, the patrons, the proceeds. And, crucially, the party.
Skow was soon selling drugs. Drinking. Smoking crack. Drinking. Drugs. Drinking. Drinking. Drinking.
"I drank 24 hours a day," he recalls. "There was never a period when I wasn't intoxicated."
It took a doctor's diagnosis to jar his life into focus. Just in time for the 28-year-old to learn he was dying.
Skow's alcoholism and drug addiction ravaged his liver and led to weeks of hospitalization to treat acute alcoholic hepatitis and kidney failure. One estimate gave him an 18 percent chance of survival if he didn't get a liver transplant within 30 days.
But in order to be eligible for a liver transplant at Cedars-Sinai in Los Angeles, Skow would have to be six months sober.
Entering at a healthy 165 pounds, Skow left the hospital weighing just 140 - the skeletal remainder of a human being bombarded with medical interventions.
Skow immediately went into withdrawal, suffering from grossly enlarged veins in his neck called esophageal varices. His mind careened in and out of hallucinations.
"I had no fight in me," he says, recalling how he would beg his father to take him back to the hospital for a shot of the drugs he now craved.
He ended up tucking himself away in the mountains of his family home in Tehachapi - a space he also shared with his three dogs.
"When I was going through withdrawal I couldn't tell what was real or what was fake," he says. "Having the dogs there with me, having the dogs touched me, helped me immensely, helped me feel connected."