The dog, named Hank, was photographed by a fellow passenger, tweeted, and widely retweeted.
“It was huge. I have never in my life seen a dog that fat – it was massive,” said Madeleine Sweet, who took the photo.
The passenger said it appeared that Whitman had bought two first class tickets on the LA flight – one for her and one for Hank.
“Everyone, both while boarding the plane and on the plane before takeoff, was speculating as to how the dog got so fat,” she said. “You could legitimately hear hushed whispers of ‘He’s riding first class.’”
Hank sat in the front row of first class on the flight bound for Denver.
Hank belongs to Kari Whitman, an interior designer who founded Ace of Hearts Dog Rescue in Beverly Hills. He is a service dog who detects her seizures., according to NBC in Los Angeles.
As for Hank’s weight issues, they are the result of an illness, and have left him unable to get around much without the aid of a cart.
It appears that this wasn’t Hank’s first flight, or his first first class one, judging from an Instagram for @hankthetank.
Fellow travelers say Hank sat on the floor and that he stayed quiet for the entire flight.
More than probably can be said for some passengers.
(Photo: Madeleine Sweet, via Twitter)
Posted by John Woestendiek October 29th, 2015 under Muttsblog.
Tags: 165 pounds, airlines, airport, american airlines, animals, detecting, dog, dogs, fat, first class, flight, hank, hank the tank, lax, los angeles, mastiff, overweight, pets, seizure, service dog, travel
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 John Woestendiek 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
If your dog is fat — and statistics indicate nearly half are — you might want to check Dr. Ernie Ward’s recent online chat, sponsored by the Washington Post.
About 45 percent of all adult dogs and 58 percent of cats are overweight. That’s 34 million fat dogs and 54 million fat cats — all at risk for diseases such as diabetes, arthritis, high blood pressure, kidney disease, cancer and more.
Ward recently published a book on the pet obesity epidemic, “Chow Hounds: Why Our Dogs Are Getting Fatter – A Vet’s Plan to Save Their Lives” (2010 HCI Publishing).
Here are a few excerpts from his online chat:
“No one is getting enough physical activity in this country. This is why owning a dog is a great incentive for exercise. All dogs need at least 20-30 minutes of aerobic intensity walking per day. Larger breeds often need much more…
“Neutering and spaying reduces a dog or cat’s metabolic rate by 25-35%. This is why you can not feed according to pet food labels. These guidelines are made for intact adult pets. In my book, I go into considerable detail on how to calculate the exact number of calories your pet needs each day based on its lifestyle…
“Most dogs eat until the are full and tend not to overeat. The reasons that dogs overeat are largely due to the changes in dog food formulation, hence the term ‘Kibble Crack’ I use in Chow Hounds. I go into great detail on how pet food companies have added sugar and fat to trick a dog’s normal appetite…”
Then there was this exchange, and I can only hope both were joking:
Q. ”I like to carry my little dog around in my purse. Is there anything I could get for the dog to exercise while in the purse? You know, like a wheel for him to run in?”
A. “I recently patented the ‘pocket treadmill.’ I would be glad to sell you a prototype.”
Posted by John Woestendiek April 15th, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, books on dogs, chat, chow, chow hounds, crack, dog, dog books, dog food, dogs, dr. ernie ward, ernie ward, fat, feeding, health, hounds, kibble, news, nutrition, obesity, online, overweight, pets
Jiffy — an obese border collie mix found frozen to the sidewalk a year ago in Wisconsin — is 40 pounds lighter, a good deal warmer and living with a new family.
Adopted last spring by Patty and Peter Geise, the elderly dog didn’t suffer any lasting injuries from the incident, but it did lead to his previous owner relinquishing her ownership of the dog, the Sheboygan Press reports.
“He’s moving like a regular dog again,” said Patty Geise. Jiffy weighed 116 pounds then, about three times what he should. He’s now down to 76 pounds.
He’s still overweight, but nothing like he was in December 2008, when he arrived at the Sheboygan County Human Society shelter, where Patty Geise volunteers.
He had been found frozen to a sidewalk after being left outside overnight in single-digit temperatures after his owner couldn’t get him back inside the house. His girth turned out to be friend and foe. It contributed to him getting stuck to ground, but his layers of fat also are believed to have kept him warm enough to survive.
His former owner was charged with intentionally mistreating animals following the incident, but the charge was later dismissed. The owner had tried to bring the dog inside, called 911 seeking help, put a blanket over Jiffy, and checked him periodically through the night.
After reports about the incident, the humane society was contacted by hundreds of people from as far away as Spain, all wanting to adopt Jiffy.
(Photo: Geise walks with Jiffy; by Gary C. Klein/The Sheboygan Press)
Posted by John Woestendiek January 25th, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: adopted, animals, border collie, charged, cruelty, dog, dogs, frozen, health, jiffy, lost, misdemeanor, mistreating, new home, obese, overweight, owner, patty geise, peter geise, pets, pounds, rescue, sheboygan, sheboygan county humane society, sidewalk, weather, weight, winter, wisconsin
I’m not going to make fun of this study. I’m not going to make fun of this study. I’m not going to make fun of this …
Ah, I can’t resist.
If that sounds like a no-brainer — one of those things that perhaps man could figure out without an expensive study – consider this: “An early look at the data shows that the dogs who walk the most steps have a better body condition score.”
In all fairness, there’s more to the study than determining whether exercise is good for us and our dogs; and dog walking habits could, if properly approached, make for some pretty interesting reading.
Basically, I see three types of dogwalkers: Those who jog with their dogs, clearly getting exercise; those who hike or walk laps with their dogs, also getting exercise; and those who take their dogs to the park and let the dogs get all the exercise while they sit on the bench, yap with fellow dog walkers, smoke, or talk on cell phones.
In defense of the latter group, it should be pointed out that we they, are still getting exercise by virtue of walking to the park, and that, rather than being total slouches, they may prefer to let their dogs playfully romp and socialize off leash with other dogs — thereby getting even more exercise (the dogs, anyway) than they would by being walked in boring circles on a rope.
It should also be pointed out that members of the more sedentary latter group — while violating leash laws — are also allowing their dogs to gain social skills, and, perhaps, honing their own in the process.
But back to the study. Cornell researcher Barbour Warren says they are analyzing everything from how much dogs and humans actually walk together to human attitudes, and the decisions to walk the dog or not walk the dog.
“We’re trying to get people to make small changes in the amount of food they take and the amount of physical activity they take,” says Warren, “and finding out how dog walking might be involved and how typical veterinary practices might be involved in helping more.”
Warren says the study stems from the rise of obesity in the USA and obesity-related illnesses, including cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and arthritis. More than two-thirds of the people across the nation are overweight and one third are considered obese. Dogs are increasingly falling into those categories as well.
“We became interested in trying to prevent weight gain,” he says. “Dog walking offers two of the key elements for regular physical activity, purpose and companionship. Dogs can provide both of these in spades.”
The goal of the study is to develop the necessary data and tools to build a program to combat obesity by increasing dog walking as a form of family exercise.
Posted by John Woestendiek August 18th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: cornell, date, dog, dog walking, dogs, dogwalking, exercise, humans, obesity, overweight, research, skills, social, socialize, study, university, walking, weight gain
Americans are increasingly making provisions for their pets in their will, placing their pet’s medical needs over their own, and planning vacations around their pet — all signs that pets, more than ever, are considered part of the family, according to the American Pet Products Association (APPA).
The APPA has released its 2009-2010 National Pet Owners Survey, and it shows pet ownership at its highest level ever, with 71.4 million households in the U.S. owning at least one pet — 62 percent of all households.
Furthermore, during the past decade the current number of pet-owning households increased by 12 percent, up from 61.2 million pet-owning households in 1998.
According to the survey, there are 77.5 million dogs, 93.6 million cats, 171.7 million freshwater fish, 11.2 million saltwater fish, 15 million birds, 15.9 million small animals, 13.63 million reptiles and 13.3 million horses owned in the U.S.
“The findings in the survey clearly demonstrate the importance of the role our pets are playing in our every day lives. Two decades of trended data show that now more than ever people consider pets an important part of the family and are still providing for their faithful companions even in these trying times,” said Bob Vetere, president of APPA.
“As pet ownership continues to rise, so has the demand for quality products and services. This has led to an amazing evolution of innovative products and services that truly enhance the experience of owning a pet,” he added.
Since the inception of the APPA National Pet Owners Survey in 1988, dogs and cats have accounted for more than two-thirds of all households that own a pet. The actual number of pet owning households is significantly higher than it was twenty years ago, as is the overall number of U.S. households.
The survey showed 17 percent of dog owners have an electronic tracking device implanted in their dog, with the Western region having significantly more tracking devices than dogs in other regions.
The survey found dog visits to the veterinarian are up, averaging 2.8 visits a year. Thirteen percent of dogs and 21 percent of cats are considered obese or overweight by their veterinarian. When asked to indicate their priority if there was a choice between a large medical expense for themselves or their pet, 15 percent of dog owners would attend to their dog’s need before their own.
Seven percent of dog, cat, bird and horse owners indicated they had made financial provisions for their pet in their will. One-third of dog, cat and bird owners and almost half of equine owners have named a caretaker or guardian for their pet in their will.
More than 20 percent of vacationing dog owners take their pet with them in the car when they travel. These owners take their dog on an average of five car trips per year. Three percent of dog owners take their dog to work at least more than once a month.
Posted by John Woestendiek August 11th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: america, american pet products association, appa, attachment, birds, caretakers, cats, closeness, data, diet, dog, dogs, family, fish, food, gifts, guardians, horses, households, medical, microchips, national pet owners survey, obese, overweight, ownership, pet owners, pets, products, relationship, travel, trends, vacations, veterinary, wills, work
Meet my new hero — Raleigh, the dog. I’m thinking of taping his picture to my refrigerator.
Raleigh, through diet and exercise — and we all know that, unfortunately, is what it takes — dropped 100 pounds in just over three years.
Raleigh weighed 60 pounds when owners Jane and Jay Whitehead of Oconee County adopted the then one-year-old mixed breed at a Gwinnett County animal shelter about six years ago.
But, as the Athens Banner-Herald points out in a lovely story about Raleigh’s weight battle, he just kept growing – sideways.
By February 2006, Raleigh was a Goodyear blimp on legs, ballooning to 187 pounds.
The Whiteheads tried cutting back on Raleigh’s food, and took him to their vet, who found no disorder. Other than his weight, he was perfectly healthy.
He couldn’t walk more than a few steps at a time before he flopped over on his side, and it would take three people to get him up again, his owners said.
“It just kind of equates to people you see on TV that are so obese they can’t get out of bed. That’s what he was,” said Jane Whitehead, the chief financial officer for a Gwinnett County company. “You just don’t know what to do. He had no quality of life, but nothing seemed to help.”
In late 2005, the Whiteheads’ vet referred them to Sherry Sanderson, a professor in the University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine’s department of physiology and pharmacology who was beginning a study on a new weight-loss drug for dogs.”
Raleigh turned out to be ineligible for the study, but Sanderson remained interested in his case, and suggested the Whiteheads began feeding Raleigh a specially formulated dog food that is low in calories but has the nutrients dog need. It was was provided free by the Nestle Purina PetCare Co., which also helped pay for the rest of Raleigh’s therapy.
That was the other problem. Raleigh was too far gone for normal dog exercise, but Sanderson asked one of her students to set up three-times-a week sessions on an underwater treadmill in the College of Veterinary Medicine’s Small Animal Hospital. The treadmill, most often used to rehabilitate dogs after surgery, allows dogs to move their legs without putting much weight on their joints.
The treadmill and new diet worked for Raleigh, who began shedding pounds. In a few weeks, he was able to walk short distances on his own.
By January 2007, Raleigh had slimmed down to 116 pounds, and by last April, he was down to 89. His owners are aiming for a goal weight of 70 to 80 pounds.
“After seeing what he did, I don’t think there’s any case that’s truly hopeless,” Sanderson said. “I hope he can be a motivator for others.”
Posted by John Woestendiek June 1st, 2009 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: canine, college, diet, dog, dog food, exercise, fat, food, georgia, gwinnett county, jane whitehead, joints, loss, medicine, obese, obesity, oconee county, overweight, pounds, raleigh, treadmill, underwater, university of georgia, veterinarian, veterinary, video, weight loss