A 77-pound Dachshund on a mission to lose weight

Remember the cat Sponge Bob?

AJ (now named Obie) arrived in Portland, Oregon, weighing 77 pounds. (Photo credit: Facebook)

It seems to be a trend these days: someone is forced to give up a pet. Unfortunately, the animal wasn’t on a responsible diet and is left at a shelter in a life-threatening overweight condition.

This is not the animal’s fault.

Meet Obie, a 5-year-old Dachshund. According to the Facebook page Biggest Loser, Doxie Edition, the dog’s elderly owners could no longer care for the dog, and had to give him up. They adored the pooch, but regretfully smothered him with constant feeding.

“They just couldn’t say ‘no’ to those big brown eyes,” Nora Vanatta, the dog’s foster parent writes. “It is very frustrating and sad but we are thrilled to be able to help him, and now moving on with his new life.”

Vanatta learned about Obie (then named AJ) from the Oregon Dachshund Rescue Facebook page, and decided to foster the dog.

Vanatta knows something about animals: She has a degree in Animal Science from Colorado State University, and spent eight years working as a certified veterinary technician; she currently works as a CAN and an EMT.

After the dog made the trip from Washington to his new home in Portland, Ore., Vanatta was shocked at the dog’s condition. She heard that that dog was overweight, but didn’t believe it.

“To my astonishment he is a Dachshund and he actually weighs 77 lbs.,” Vanatta writes. “He is extremely sweet and loving. He was obviously loved and is a joy to work with.”

Fortunately, the dog’s blood work from a veterinary exam came back normal.

Vanatta’s goal is to slim down the dog to a safe and healthy 30 pounds. She will start with exercise swim therapy, and then move Obie to the treadmill after he loses a few pounds and is more mobile. He is also on a strict food diet.

You can follow Obie’s progress and make a donation on the Biggest Loser, Doxie Edition Facebook page.

Oh, and Obie is short for “obese.”

Source: Biggest Loser, Doxie Edition