Obie is a lap dog that wouldn’t fit in most laps. The dachshund of Portland, Ore., who weighed 77 pounds at his heaviest, is more than twice the standard size for his breed. And like so many Americans, he’s on a quest to lighten up.
He had been in the care of elderly owners who were in poor health and simply feeding him too much, likely because they loved him. But family members intervened and dog lover Nora Vanatta agreed to take over his care, sight unseen, after reading a plea from the Oregon Dachshund Rescue.
She got a big surprise when 5-year-old Obie arrived on Aug. 18.
Obie, a dachshund, and Hunter, a black lab, are unlikely breeds to be size rivals.
“I hadn’t seen a picture, and I thought maybe we’re expecting a basset hound here. There’s no way he could possibly weigh 70 pounds,” Vanatta told The Today Show.
Vanatta is currently trying to spread the word about his weight loss in the hopes that his story will be inspiring to others, and his appearance on the Today show (his sole talk show appearance so far), along with his Facebook page documenting his weight loss, is part of that.
“My hope is that he can be an inspiration to any person or animal trying to lose weight,” Vanatta wrote on Obie’s Facebook page.
Obie will need to slim down before he can go on walks.
Vanatta, who has a degree in animal science and worked for years as a veterinary technician, is undaunted by the long journey ahead of Obie. She’s launched an aggressive campaign to downsize the pup that includes hydrotherapy, or water exercises, and a high-protein, low-fat diet. Although he’s currently too plump to go on walks, so far the regimen has allowed him to slim down to a somewhat more svelte 71 pounds.
Vanatta is soliciting donations to aid with his care, which may eventually include surgical removal of excess skin to better fit his new, smaller body.
Photo and Video via Obie’s facebook page