Last year I found a dog that I believe, proportionally, to be right up there for the fattest dog ever. He was a Chiweenie, part Chihuahua and part Weiner dog. At the time, I didn't have a camera but was stunned, floored and saddened at how fat this dog had become. We were not this dog's best friend. We were his destroyer.
This Chiweenie's owner says she took it to the veterinarian, had a bunch of tests run and everything was normal. Her next step was to take the dog to a nutritionist. That was around five months ago. Well, wouldn't you know it. Perfect timing always seems to present itself. Last week Mrs Happy and I took a video of a dog exercising on a treadmill. I wondered about the sustainability of a business model where fat pet owners wouldn't care if their dog was fat and exercising pet owners would simply take them for a walk for free.
I found myself wondering what ever became of that 28 pound Chiweenie with a life threatening case of super morbid obesity that I met the year before. And wouldn't you know it, I found him today. Meet Mr Tegan, down to a bone chilling 25 pound morbidly obese Chiweenie.
I had a chance to talk with his owner today. Since our last visit, Mr Tegan was admitted to a veterinarian hospital where he was monitored as an in-canine for two full weeks. What was the outcome of that stay? Mr Tegan was discharged on a calorie restricted diet recommendation of a 1/4 cup of special diet dog food twice a day. Mr Tegan has also been undergoing an exercise regimen on a treadmill at the owner's home for fifteen minutes a day.
Mr Tegan walks at a 1.1 mph rate with an incline grade of five. The owner said sometimes she'll forget about the time and he'll go for "a half an hour" but readily admits, she's not worried because "it won't hurt him".
Something deep inside me tells me she's probably right. I think Mr Tegan could walk an hour a day without any concerns. And he probably should be. The owner remains concerned that the 1/4 cup twice a day seems like a a cruel diet restriction. Unfortunately, the cruelty here is that Mr Tegan has been allowed by his Master to get to the point he did and has been allowed to suffer the effects of such a lack of effort at preventing his current predicament. As a dog lover, this saddens me greatly. This is not fair to Mr Tegan.
The double standard here is disheartening. If this dog was all ribs and bones, most people with a heart would have called The Humane Society or a No Kill shelter to have Mr Tegan confiscated and to have the owner charged with animal cruelty. Unfortunately, in our culture, it's OK to allow our pets and ourselves to get fatter than fat and have nobody lift a finger or come to their rescue. We look at this fella with shock and awe but I don't think anyone would call authorities to protect him. It's just not what we do in this situation.
Why is that? Why is it OK to have our pets suffer under the enormous weight of morbid obesity without lifting a finger, but we'll seek help for those pets we think aren't being fed enough. I simply don't have an answer to this question.
I am glad, though, that Mr Tegan has since lost five pounds of his thirty pound maximum in the last four months. That's a lot of weight. It's like a a 200 pound woman dropping thirty-three pounds in four months. And Mr Tegan has done it with a strict helping of diet and exercise. This proves that no matter how fat you are, there is always hope in diet and exercise, because it works, everytime. And if it's not working, it's because of inaction, not because it doesn't work. It works.
Congratulations Mr Tegan. I'm happy your Master has removed her blinders to your reality and can appreciate the solution to your pain and suffering is a healthy dose of strict diet and exercise. May you continue your journey until your health has returned. Head on over to the "Chiweenie" link above to see all the pictures and video of Mr Tegan in action!