PORTLAND – He's considered the world's fattest dachshund, but hopefully not for long. Obie is on a mission to shed pounds and get healthy, after topping the scales at 77 pounds.
He's now under the care of a foster mom in Portland who read about Obie on the Oregon Dachshund Rescue's Facebook page.
"I just read the story, and I was like, ‘I'll take him, he can lose weight, how hard can it be,'" said Nora Vanatta who admits she hadn't seen a picture of the massive dog.
I think the most amazing part of this whole thing is how he's influencing and inspiring people to lose weight and get in shape
- Nora Vanatta, Obie's new owner
Vanatta said the former owners, an elderly couple from Marysville, WA, couldn't care for the dog properly. A family member of the couple contacted dog rescue group for help.
"They loved him dearly," Vanatta said. "As far as I know he just ate people food, by hand."
Vanatta said since Obie arrived to her home about a month ago, the dog has lost nearly 10 pounds on a strict diet of high-protein, high-fiber food.
After shedding a little weight, he's now able to walk or waddle around. Before, he had trouble moving.
"He's just so happy and easy going," Vanatta said. "He doesn't care what people think."
However, fans worldwide care about him. Obie's Facebook page has nearly 52,000 fans at last check. People and pets are tracking his progress and cheering him on along the way.
The goal is to get Obie down to 40 pounds, a challenge that could take up to a year.
"As soon as he loses the weight, he'll just be a happy, normal dog," Vanatta said.
But Vanatta said he's already a role model.
"I think the most amazing part of this whole thing is how he's influencing and inspiring people to lose weight and get in shape."
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