A neglected canine who had ballooned to the size of a table was almost put down—until he met someone who changed his life for the better.
Kai, a golden retriever, used to weigh an astounding 173 pounds, more than twice the recommended weight for male adult members of his breed.
The dog’s previous owners brought him to a veterinarian for euthanasia as he had gotten so big that he was having a hard time standing up. However, the vet thought Kai “still had a lot of life in him,” and so there was no point putting him down.
Instead, the vet looked for someone who could take on the challenge of helping Kai lose 100 pounds. He found Pam Heggie, a nurse, who was willing to foster Kai.
Pam had worked with cardiac rehab patients before, so she decided to implement a similar program for Kai; only this time, the goal was to shed off all that extra weight. However, the principle was the same—they would start with small, simple efforts and work their way up.
Image credit: This is Kai on Facebook
Kai’s weight loss journey wasn’t going to be trouble-free, though.
The first time the golden retriever arrived at his foster home, it took him 20 minutes just to walk up the stairs into the house.
“He literally couldn’t do anything,” Pam shares. Kai would walk a few steps, and that’s it; he would then lie down, panting from the effort.
Hence, Pam placed him on a strict regimen. She didn’t give the canine any treats at all, and she monitored everything Kai ate. Also, they walked three times a day, every single day—there were no rest days for them.
The obese dog made significant progress when his foster mom introduced him to pools, rivers, and seas. Kai could walk all he wanted in the water, which supported his weight instead of letting it drag him down.
Soon, Pam saw little signs of improvement—Kai started pulling himself out of the water without assistance.
He could now step over a fallen branch, and he was able to groom his hind legs again.
Several months into the dog’s journey, Pam was overwhelmed by how much headway Kai had made. The canine began to walk longer distances without needing to rest, and then he started chasing other dogs around.
Eventually, he was able to jump into the car and even leap on his foster mom’s bed.
A year after Pam took him in, he finally achieved his goal. The formerly obese Kai had lost 100 pounds and was now at a healthy weight!
That wasn’t the end of the golden retriever’s story, however. After all the hard work Pam and Kai had done together, she couldn’t let go of the canine and decided to welcome him into her life permanently. She says Kai inspired her to remain optimistic in the face of seemingly unachievable goals.
Watch Kai progressively become healthier in the video below:
Source: The Dodo on YouTube
If you want to save your dog from a hard weight loss journey, find out how to feed them properly!