Obie, a five-year-old, 77-pound daschund whose owners loved him almost to death, is on a diet and exercise regimen to try to lose weight. Portland, Oregon, resident and dog-lover Nora Vanatta first heard of Obie when a relative of the dog's previous owners asked for help. "Ageing owners with failing health were simply loving him with food," she said. "They just couldn't say no to those big brown eyes."
Ms Vanatta said she had no idea what to expect, and was astonished when the obese daschund arrived. It turns out Obie is one lucky dog. His new owner is equipped with a degree in animal science and eight years experience as a certified veterinary technician. She’s also an experienced dog owner and is ready to whip Obie – gently – into shape.
Vanatta is feeding Obie a low-fat, high-protein diet that also contains isoflavones, a natural bioactive compound designed to reduce oxidative stress in overweight dogs. While he’s unable to do any actual exercise just yet, Vanatta will introduce him to hydrotherapy and perhaps a treadmill. Since his bones and joints are under so much stress, she’s waiting for him to slowly gain muscle mass as he begins to lose weight just by eating better.
She also points out that her two dogs are both fit and active and will serve as good role models. Miraculously, despite Obie’s extra 40 pounds, he still received a clean bill of health. The dog is sweet, loving and a joy to work with, Vanatta says. Vanatta, who plans to pursue a career in nursing or as a physician’s assistant, says she’s interested in all aspects of both human and animal medicine. She welcomes the opportunity Obie offers to bring awareness to issues surrounding obesity in both pets and humans.