And that’s even more the case after surgery yesterday to remove 2-1/2 pounds of loose skin from the dog who once tipped the scales at 77 pounds.
Obie was recovering at the Emergency Veterinary Clinic of Tualatin, in Oregon, after surgery to remove the excess skin that remained after he lost 40 pounds in 8 months.
Obie’s caretaker, Nora Vanatta, says the surgery went well and that she hopes to bring him home today, according to KGW in Portland.
Obie weighed 77 pounds when he was given up by his former owners in Puyallup, Washington, last year and assigned to a foster home by a rescue organization.
Oregon Dachshund Rescue placed Obie — that’s him to the left in his beefier days — in Vanatta’s care. But after his girth garnered national attention the organization asked for the dog back, claiming Vanatta — by publicizing his crash diet and seeking contributions to his care — was exploiting him.
When Vanatta refused to turn him over, they filed a lawsuit, accusing her of using the “sensationalistic promotional value of his unusual obesity” and “earning money off of his public exhibition on national and regional television shows,” while not taking care of his condition.
A settlement in the case was reached in January, allowing Vanatta to keep the dog.
Before the Tuesday surgery, Obie was down to 37 pounds and four ounces.
“We haven’t weighed him since the surgery, but he lost 2 1/2 pounds of skin” Vanatta said. “So he should be around 35 pounds now. I figure his healthy weight is between 28 and 30 pounds.”
For now, he’s resting comfortably at the veterinary clinic (left), from which he’s expected to be released today — a few pounds lighter and his skin much tigher.
Vets will evaluate Obie to determine if more surgery is needed after he loses the last five pounds, a goal Vanatta hopes will be achieved late this summer.
Obie’s fight with obesity can be followed on the Facebook page Vanatta created on his behalf.
Posted by jwoestendiek May 1st, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: 35 pounds, 77 pounds, animals, biggest loser, custody, dachshund, dispute, dogs, doxie, emergency veterinary clinic, excess, facebook, fat, foster, health, loss, nora vanatta, obese, obesity, obie, oregon, oregon dachshund rescue, overweight, pets, removed, rescue, skin, surgery, tualatin, veterinary, washington, weight
Over the weekend the entertainer posted pictures of her new Chihuahua mix, Bean, on Twitter.
“U know I’m a complete crazy dog lady so you could imagine what’s happening to me right now,”she tweeted.
Bean was adopted from Los Angeles’ Spot! dog rescue — the same organization to which she surrendered another dog, Ziggy, late last year.
Examiner.com found great significance in the act:
“As Miley Cyrus opened her home for the four legged creature out of the goodness of her own heart, it seems that other humans are thinking about adoption too. In what has become a teaching moment, it appears Miley Cyrus is actually showing people how much goodness is found in the process of adopting an animal.”
In November, Cyrus lost Lila, her two-year-old Yorkie, when Ziggy, a bulldog she bought for fiance Liam Hemsworth, killed the smaller dog. Ziggy was sent to a rescue organization to be rehomed.
Cyrus has adopted at least six dogs in recent years, including Floyd, an Alaskan Klee Kai, also known as a miniature husky, a Rottweiler-beagle mix named Happy, and a black and white mixed breed named Mary Jane.
Posted by jwoestendiek January 8th, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: adoption, animals, bean, celebrities, cyrus, death, dog, dogs, floyd, grieving, happy, lila, loss, mary jane, miley, miley cyrus, pets, rescue, spot dog rescue, ziggy
The first time I met Steve Wilson, in 1978, he asked me where I wanted to be in five years, and I looked at him like he was crazy.
Five years? How could anyone possibly plan that far ahead? Five years was, like, forever, and I wasn’t sure where I wanted to be next week, or for that matter tomorrow.
I was applying for a job in Lexington, Kentucky, at a newspaper where he was managing editor. I was 24, and among the many things I didn’t know at the time was how quickly five years can zip by.
The same holds true of 11 years.
At age 11, Ranger, the golden retriever Wilson took home as an eight-week-old pup, passed away just before Christmas.
Wilson wrote about Ranger — “my best friend and maybe the happiest soul I’ve ever known” — in a recent article in the Kentucky Enquirer, where he’s the editor:
“Golden retrievers are famously sweet, friendly and mellow. Ranger was true to his breed and then some. He radiated joy. He was gentle, innocent and steady as a rock. He wanted nothing more than to be a faithful companion and to give and receive love. His devotion never wavered.
“A person can learn a lot from a dog, and he gave lessons in appreciating everyday moments. When we took walks and hikes, he seemed to enjoy every step and gave me looks that said, “Hey, is this a great day or what?” When I came home from work, he rushed to the door to greet me with a smiling face that made whatever I was dealing with that day a little easier to handle … He was unacquainted with discontent”
Wilson, who helped open a dog shelter in Flagstaff, Arizona, has had many dogs, dating back to the era we worked together at the Lexington Leader. We even had the same dog. His family called her Jessie; I called her Carrie (in honor of my crush on Sissy Spacek). We disagree on who had her first. I remember him giving her to me; he remembers me giving her to him. In any event, Jessie, a tad neurotic, ended up with another reporter, who had a farm in the country.
Wilson and I would go on to work for a handful of other newspapers, and he’d end up in Phoenix, where he left journalism and went to work for Arizona Attorney General Terry Goddard. When he brought Ranger to visit the offices, Wilson recalled, the place seemed to brighten up.
In August of 2012, he returned to the newspaper profession, hauling Ranger and his coonhound mix, Clara, with him to a new job in Kentucky.
Ranger quickly made new friends, at Kenton County’s Paw Park and when Wilson brought him into the offices of the Kentucky Enquirer, where he quickly hit it off with the news staff.
In the past few weeks, Ranger lost weight and grew weak — to the point where he could barely stand. At the vet, it was agreed it was time to let him go. Wilson stroked Ranger’s coat as a lethal injection was administered.
The following week, Wilson returned to the office from lunch to find a card on his desk signed by his new colleagues, along with a copy of ‘The Power of Dog,’ a Rudyard Kipling poem:
There is sorrow enough in the natural way
From men and women to fill our day;
And when we are certain of sorrow in store,
Why do we always arrange for more?
Brothers and sisters, I bid you beware
Of giving your heart to a dog to tear.
Posted by jwoestendiek January 2nd, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, arizona, death, dogs, editor, golden retriever, grief, kenton county, kentucky enquirer, loss, mourning, northern kentucky, paw park, pets, ranger, rudyard kipling, steve wilson, the power of dog
After a stray dog was struck by a car in Zhangzhou, China, her canine companion stayed by her side for six hours, nudging her with his nose, licking her, and, according to a local butcher, even shedding tears.
It can all be seen in a series of photographs being described by most major media as both “heartbreaking” and “heartwarming” — though we’d note it would have been much more heartwarming if somebody had gone to the aid of the two dogs in the street.
Xiao Wu, a local butcher, said he had recently started to feed the female stray. Her male friend, also a brown and white mutt, were often seen together.
“He stayed beside her the whole day, keeping licking her and pushing her, trying to wake her up, the butcher said. ”… Then he pushed her with his head, and licked her face … I even saw tears.”
The male dog showed up in the neighborhood about a week ago, he said. Since then, “They were together all the time, playing and in love.”
(Photos by HAP/Quirky China News/Rex)
Posted by jwoestendiek December 20th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: accident, animals, car, china, couple, dogs, friends, grief, loss, loyalty, mourning, pair, pets, strays, street, struck, team, vigil, Zhangzhou
A team of golden retrievers has arrived in Newtown, Conn., to comfort those impacted by the recent school massacre.
About ten therapy dogs, part of a Lutheran Church Charities program, made the 800-mile journey from Chicago over the weekend, according to the Chicago Tribune.
“Dogs are non-judgmental. They are loving. They are accepting of anyone,” said Tim Hetzner, president of the Addison-based organization. “It creates the atmosphere for people to share.”
Their first stop Sunday was Christ the King Lutheran Church, where funerals for two of the slain children were being held this week.
The dogs are made available to residents who want to pet them while they talk or pray.
“You could tell which ones …were really struggling with their grief because they were quiet,” Hetzner said. “They would pet the dog, and they would just be quiet.”
Dogs in the program most commonly visit people in hospitals and nursing homes. Each has his or her own Facebook page, Twitter account or email address, allowing those they meet to stay in touch. You can find the list of dogs who made the trip on the Lutheran Charities website.
The program also has a Facebook page.
The comfort-dog initiative started in 2008 at Northern Illinois University when a group associated with the charity brought their dogs to campus after a gunman shot five students before taking his own life.
Since then it has grown to 60 dogs in six different states.
The program’s dogs have responded to other disasters, including Hurricane Sandy and the tornado that hit Joplin, Mo.
Hetzner said the dogs would be available to Sandy Hook Elementary School students for after-school activities.
(Photos: Lutheran Church Charities)
Posted by jwoestendiek December 18th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, calming, children, comfort, comfort dogs, disasters, dogs, effects, elementary school, grief, guns, impact, loss, lutheran church charities, massacre, newtown, pet, pets, pray, sandy hook, schoolchildren, schools, talk, therapy, therapy dogs, tim hetzner
Tish Cyrus, in an entry on her blog, says Ziggy “grabbed” Lila in “just the wrong spot and Lila didn’t survive.”
“For some unknown reason, Ziggy grabbed Lila …Not really sure if she was playing or what … We dont think Ziggy is a mean dog.”
She said Ziggy was “taken to SPOT dog rescue and they found her a new home with no other pets or children just in case it wasn’t a fluke.”
Miley Cyrus tweeted about Lila’s death last week: “For everyone asking … I have never been so hurt in my life My heart has never been so broken … Lila my sweet baby girl has passed away.”
Lila, a Yorkie mix, turned 2 in November.
Cyrus has adopted at least five dogs in recent years, including Floyd, an Alaskan Klee Kai, also known as a miniature husky, a Rottweiler-beagle mix named Happy, and a black and white mixed breed named Mary Jane.
Each time, news coverage resulted, as it did when she dyed Lila pink for her second birthday.
Her mother Tish said Miley was not ready to talk about what happened:
“As for Miley, its been a really tough week. As you all know her beloved baby girl Lila passed away. Everyone has been so precious and so supportive of her and I love you all so much for that. Miley loved Lila more than anyone can imagine. I know some people were saying its JUST a dog, but to Miley she was so much more.”
(Photos: Top, Cyrus and Lila; below, Cyrus and Ziggy / Twitter)
Posted by jwoestendiek December 18th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: adoption, animals, cyrus, died, dogs, english bulldog, floyd, grief, happy, killed, lila, loss, mary jane, miley, miley cyrus, miley cyrus dogs, mix, pets, rescue, shelter, surrendered, tish cyrus, yorkie, yorkshire terrier, ziggy
I’m not sure any dog owner can, with any degree of certainty, know what his dog is dreaming, or for that matter thinking, but the owner of this big fella imagines that he’s missing a friend.
The dog, named Judge, seems to still be looking for Eini, his much smaller buddy.
Dogs, whether or not they understand death, do seem to be affected by the absence of a friend, and they do seem to keep looking around in case they might reappear.
We could call it hope, or loyalty, or grief, but we’d only be attributing what are generally considered human emotions to them. We’d only be guessing.
It might be a pretty good guess, though.
Posted by jwoestendiek December 14th, 2012 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animals, cognition, dog, dogs, dream, dreams, eini, emotions, grief, judge, judges dream, loss, loyalty, pets, video
Obie, the former 77-pound dachshund, reached another milestone this week, weighing in at under 60 pounds.
According to his Facebook page, “Biggest Loser – Doxie Edition,” Obie tipped the scales at 59.14 at his weekly weigh-in Tuesday.
That brings his total weight loss to 17 pounds in 12 weeks — an average of 1.5 pounds a week, according to his foster mom for now, Nora Vanatta.
Vanatta, a veterinary technician who volunteered to foster the dog for Oregon Dachshund Rescue, has also started an Obie store, selling, for now, Obie t-shirts.
Obie, formerly known as A.J., was surrendered by his elderly owners, who apparently didn’t know when to stop feeding him.
Vanatta immediately put him on a diet, detailing his progress on a Facebook page and getting some major media attention in the process.
After that, Oregon Dachshund Rescue owner Jenell Rangan filed a lawsuit, claiming Vanatta wasn’t properly caring for him and seeking to get Obie back.
The case has yet to be heard, but a judge ruled last month that Vanatta should maintain custody for now.
Vanatta has collected thousands of dollars in donations for Obie from supporters, and says the money is being used for his care. He still needs dental work and may eventually need to have excess skin surgically removed.
“Whatever is left over after his rehab will go to help other reputable rescues and continue to educate the public and bring awareness to obesity,” she says on his Facebook page. But, she adds, she will have to use some of the donations to pay legal fees in connection with the lawsuit.
“The saddest part is that legal fees for 2 weeks are already 5 times what Obie’s medical bills are in 3 months,” Vanatta wrote in a Facebook post.
That doesn’t seem to be a big issue, judging from those leaving comments on the page. Wrote one commenter, ”I donated through Paypal and I don’t care how you use the money. Take yourself out to dinner if you want.”
The far more common message is this: Go Obie!
Posted by jwoestendiek November 16th, 2012 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: 60 pounds, aj, animals, custody, dachshund, diet, dispute, dogs, donations, facebook, fat, foster, loss, nora vanatta, obese, obie, oregon dachshund rescue, overweight, pets, progress, store, weight
It’s a children’s story, centered around an aging boxer named Snort and the two children who love him.
But it’s a tale that applies to any grieving pet owner, serving to remind us, when that sad and difficult time comes, not to dwell on what you have lost but to celebrate the dog you got to have, and reflect on all he taught you.
In reasoned tones, and without relying once on that old fallback, ”The Rainbow Bridge,” it tells the story of a family that loses their dog, works through their grief and honors him in healthy and respectful ways.
The book centers on a boxer named Snort, and the two children, Savy and Sunne, who worry when he gets too sick to chase his ball.
Savy’s parents explain that Snort will need to leave their family because it’s the only way that Snort’s pain will go away.
Savy accepts that, but isn’t so sure how she will cope without her best friend.
In “Snort’s Special Gift,” Savy and her family explore different ways to grieve for and remember a beloved pet — from planting a tree in his memory to crafting tributes, like the one Savy composes in his honor.
In the end, Savy discovers that all the gifts Snort shared with her in life will, like his memory, always be there.
The author of the book, Suzann Yue, lives with her two adopted children and husband in Medina, Minnesota , where she coaches martial arts and is a photographer. She has won eight world karate championship titles, and started a karate school specializing in training children with attention deficit disorders.
The remarkable illustrations were done by Lin Wang, who received a bachelor of fine arts degree from Guangzhou Academy and a Masters degree from Savannah College of Art and Design. She lives in San Francisco with her husband and children.
(For all our news and reviews of dog books, visit our “Good Dog Reads“ page.)
Posted by jwoestendiek September 17th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, beaver pond books, book, books, books on dogs, childrens book, death, dogs, gift, gifts, good dog reads, grief, grieving, lin wang, loss, mourning, pets, review, savy, snort, snorts special gift, sunne, suzann yue
That’s about three times the average weight of a Labrador — and enough that it required four people using towels as slings to lift him when he arrived at the RSPCA’s Leybourne Animal Centre in Kent.
The 12-year-old dog was surrendered to the RSPCA by an elderly owner who kept forgetting he had already fed his pet, according to the Daily Mail.
(I am pretty sure I did that with Ace yesterday, giving him dinner twice.)
Alfie struggled to walk more than a few steps when he arrived, and he couldn’t lift his legs the few inches needed to get into a slightly raised bed at the kennel. He’s now about halfway to his target weight, staff members say.
“He literally could not stand up when he arrived because he was so fat,” said Christine Dooley, center manager. “I have never seen a dog that fat before in my 27 years with the RSPCA … He was just a massive blob with a leg at each corner. He was being fed to death …”
“When he first came in he couldn’t go on walks because of his size, but each day as the weight is coming off he is able to take a few steps further. We have to be careful when staff take him for a walk because if he sits down and refuses to get back up we have to call in extra people to lift him up again.
“We want the weight to come off slowly to give his leg muscles a chance to build up strength and for his skin to shrink … He’s such a lovely dog and his tail never stops wagging. Everyone here has fallen in love with him.’
Once Alfie has reached a manageable weight, the center will put him up for adoption.
(Photo: Ferrari Press Agency, via Daily Mail)
Posted by jwoestendiek September 6th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: adoption, alfie, animals, britain, canine, diet, dog, dogs, elderly, fat, fattest, feeding, forget, forgot, kent, labrador, loss, obese, obesity, overfed, owner, pets, retriever, rspca, surrender, surrendered, uk, weight, yellow lab