By Kerri Fivecoat-Campbell | Pet360.com
Obie, the once morbidly obese Dachshund may have lost the weight he needed to regain his health and keep it off for nearly a year, but he isn't through with his message, says his human, Nora Vanatta, a certified veterinary technician who guided Obie through his rehabilitation.
Obie remains a popular animal figure on traditional and social media. His Facebook page has over 303,000 fans.
"Pet360.com first wrote about Obie in 2012, when the big guy was turned over to Vanatta who stepped up and took on the extreme challenge of helping Obie lose 54 pounds and return to his optimal size."
A custody dispute eventually ensued and Vanatta won the right to be Obie's forever dog mom.
Flashing back to when Vanatta took Obie in, he had been literally almost loved to death by his elderly humans and could hardly walk. It took Obie about a year to safely lose the weight and he's had it off almost a year.
Obie only underwent one very necessary surgical procedure to help him and that was to remove excess skin that was becoming infected. "This was a necessary surgery and was not done for cosmetic reasons," Vanatta wrote on Obie's Facebook page at the time.
Today, Obie is a shining example of how pets and people can take on a healthy regimen and stay at their goals. Obie, 7, is now able to run and play, take long walks on the beach with his two canine siblings and is enjoying a full, healthy life.
"Obie is doing amazing, he is healthy and happy with minimal lasting effects of being obese," Vanatta told Pet360.com. "He has possible arthritis and lack the muscle tone of a never-obese-dog, but he's doing great otherwise."
Obie has also been helping people, as well as pets spread the word about obesity prevention. He visits schools and Vanatta says it is a full time job answering questions on the Facebook page.
Obie does extremely well with crowds, Vanatta says, and seems to revel in the attention. "He is extremely easy going. He grins and kisses people and their response is fabulous," says Vanatta.
What's next for Obie, who Vanatta labeled "The People's Dog" when his popularity began to soar?
"I would like to continue helping others with their pet's weight loss struggles," says Vanatta. "I would also like to get Obie certified as a therapy dog. He would be perfect for it. I think Obie's story would make a great children's book, so hopefully, I can do that eventually."
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