From Yahoo! News:
The average Dachshund has a maximum weight of 32 pounds; five-year-old Obie (who used to be called AJ; we assume the “Obie” nickname is short for “obese” – aw, poor guy) weighs more than twice that, topping out at 77 pounds when new owner Nora Vanatta met him last month. (That’s seven times what a Miniature Dachshund would weigh.)
His previous owners, an older couple, had to give Obie up because of their own declining health, but thanks to what must have been expert begging by the dog, they’d managed to feed him almost to death in the meantime.
Vanatta is trying to keep Obie’s diet mission fun and optimistic; she’s started a “Biggest Loser Doxie [Dachshund] Edition” on Facebook, so that fans can track Obie’s progress (and maybe get help for their own portly pooches). The goal is for Obie to drop 40 pounds. It’s tough sledding to start out with, however. Because he’s so round, Vanatta can’t take him out for walks, so for now she’s got him on a special diet (a Purina rep helped formulate a low-fat, high-protein meal plan for Obie) and hydrotherapy to start melting the pounds away. Vanatta might incorporate a treadmill later on, once there’s less stress on Obie’s joints and bones. (All this stuff isn’t cheap, as you pet owners can imagine; if you’d like to help out, Vanatta has a PayPal account to raise money for Obie’s care. She’s been quite touched by the support they’ve gotten so far.)
Obie last month, before losing 7 pounds. Photo Nora Vanatta / Facebook.
It’s a job almost as big as Obie himself – but Vanatta thinks he’s worth it. “He is extremely sweet and loving,” she told the UK’s Daily Mail, calling him “a joy to work with.” And while she doesn’t judge his previous owners for overfeeding the plump pup – “[they] just couldn’t say no to those big brown eyes,” she commented – she’s hoping that her other dogs will lead Obie by example, and that Obie in turn “can be an inspiration to any person or animal trying to lose weight.”
Obie’s aiming for a weight between 30 and 40 pounds.
Dachshunds easily put on weight, which is really bad for their often already structurally unsound spines.
But I can understand why an elderly couple could let their dog get fat.
When my grandmother was suffering from Alzheimer’s, her miniature dachshund took advantage of her.
My grandparents always gave the dogs a meal of hot dogs in the evening, and well, Heidi realized that she could get my grandmother to give her more hot dogs than she would have normally had coming to her.
And she went from 8 pounds to 18 pounds– and looked something like a very plump bratwurst.
I hope that Obie slims down.
I can’t image what it would be like for me to be that fat.
As dogs get larger, they also have a harder time getting rid of body heat.
So Obie’s misery is even worse than what a 400-pound human would experience.