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Charlie is a Fatloser!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

A year ago our vet told me that our beloved golden retriever, Charlie, was significantly overweight. He was having problems with the skin breaking down on his elbows. She said it was because he was so heavy he was essentially slamming himself down on the floor to take the weight off his feet.

He then weighed 43 kg.

Saturday when I took him for his checkup, he weighed 33.5 kg. A loss of about 20 pounds in 1 year.

Our vet was so impressed! And Charlie is, of course, looking sleek. Feeling lively. And no more problems with his elbows!

She wanted to know how we'd done it. I told her: strict chow control. One cup of grain free high protein organic duck dog chow morning and night. In between meal snacks limited to fresh veggies: carrots, sugar snap peas, cherry tomatoes . . . Charlie loves all of these and sits beside me while I'm making my salads. And: more exercise.

Apparently very few people actually manage to help their dogs lose weight, even though it's vitally important to their well being and longevity. Charlie will be 8 in a few weeks, and we love him very much: "Best dog ever!", we tell him many times a day. Of course I took weight loss for Charlie very seriously indeed and so did everyone in the family.

Interestingly enough, the vet herself (about my age, height and build) would like to lose a few pounds. She asked me a year ago how I manage to keep in shape and I told her: YMCA, SparkPeople.

She asked me again on Saturday (having put on additional weight over the past year), and I told her again -- this time also mentioning

The vet is an absolutely lovely person . . . so kind, so knowledgeable about animals and about pet nutrition. But she thought that a diet heavy in safflower oil (!) and walnuts (!!) -- (nutritious in and of themselves, of course) -- was appropriate for herself. Even though she knows all about calories in/calories out. Knows all about move more, eat less. Thinking back to my blog a few weeks ago about how overweight works at work . . . . I'm wondering how tough it is for a vet to get tough with owners on their pets' obesity when . . . . yeah.

I'm so proud of Charlie!! We got his "weight loss chart" printed out and posted it on the wall in the kitchen, near his chow bowl! Here's to Charlie! We hope he's got many many more healthy years ahead of him!!
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Good for you!! Charlie couldn't have done it without you!!

    I know he must feel a whole lot better and I'll bet you notice the difference as well so GREAT JOB!


    1643 days ago

    Well done Charlie!
    1645 days ago
    Good for Charlie. I hope he has many many years to enjoy his sleek life! And good for you, too, for helping him. I'm trying to figure out about dogs and metabolism, though. I think there must be something to different dogs burning fat differently or something. We have two goldens, almost the same age. They eat the same food in the same amount, get the same treats, go on the same walks, and are more or less the same size, though one is slightly 'heavier boned, broader chested, etc. He's fifteen pounds heavier than the other one. He was kept very very skinny by his former owner and he's frantic to eat all the time, even though we don't feed him more than recommended. But he is definitely much more food oriented and worried he won't get it. The guy we've had since he was a pup is much more settled and less intense about food. He is also the more wired dog. Hmmmm.
    1645 days ago
  • BD3269PM
    Way to go!!! I'm going to tell Bailey just how good Charlie did. Maybe she can do the same emoticon
    1646 days ago
    This is so wonderful! You're such a good pet owner. I know it can be hard to keep a dog's weight in check. Luckily with my last dog I never had to worry about -- Killer could eat anything and he stayed so skinny! And mostly he was one of those dogs who just stopped eating when he was full, no matter what it was. If only some of us could learn that, huh?


    But I remember as a kid, my dog was very overweight (and so were we) and my mom tried really hard to slim Frosty down -- she cooked her special "diet" meals and everything, and that dog would act like we were starving her! She'd always find a way to get in the garbage, sneak something from outside...sheesh.

    So good for Charlie! And kudos to his mom for a job well done. emoticon
    1646 days ago
    Yay Charlie! (and YOU, of course...!)

    1646 days ago
  • NANCY-
    You and Charlie are awesome!

    Regarding the Vet, sometimes it is easier to care for others rather than ourselves.
    1646 days ago
    emoticon WoohOoo...for Charlie emoticon
    1646 days ago
    WTG Charlie!!!!
    1647 days ago
    Congrats to both you and Charlie!! Well, you even more than Charlie, I suppose. Wouldn't you like to have someone (kind and knowledgable, of course) dishing out all your food?? Well, come to think of it, we don't need that person any more. We can do it ourselves!! Yay!! Hooray!
    1648 days ago
    Good job with your dog. You did him a favor for sure. I hope your vet listened to you about losing weight. Eat less, move more, works for people and for dogs.

    I had a cat once that weighed 25 pounds. He was huge. He developed liver problems and had to be put down when he was about 12 years old. I tried to feed him less, but there is really no way to exercise a cat.
    1648 days ago
  • JOHAL52
    Terrific work on Charlie! That is so great!!!

    1648 days ago
    Wow, your blog is a wake up call to me. My dog Mandy is not overweight, but close, and I know I feed her too many small milkbone "cookies", convincing myself the small makes it ok. I know she loves greenbeans, so for goodness sake, thanks to you, I am going to start feeding her various veg's for snacks!! I want her to live as long as possible!!!
    Thanks for your blog, and I'd like to be your "sparkfriend"!
    1648 days ago
    Well done to Charlie's owners, not easy with those sad eyes looking at you. The vet, well, join the rest of the world, intelligence does not come into it.
    1648 days ago
    Good for Charlie, way to go!
    1648 days ago
  • _LINDA
    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
    Go Charlie emoticon GO!
    That is an amazing loss! Well done!
    Good for spreading the Spark! High Five!
    1648 days ago
    Great job..Charlie and of course his family..he couldn't have done it without you!!

    Most of our 20+ barn cats are looking very fat!!! oh darn..that's not fat..they're all having kittens!! Will help wilth the mouse and gopher population!!

    And thanks for dropping by my blog..our snow has all been washed way with the rain!
    1648 days ago
    May Charlie have another 8 years! Yes Dogs need execise, just ask my lulu, shes outside in the yard running 4 times a day. Having fun! sleeps great and is a very good loving dog too. Pets are just like people just smaller and voicelss. But need to eta and exercise just liek people. (Isnt it somehting Drs and vets forget that!) If you love your self you will love your pets! Charlie has a good parent! Pat yourself on the back for caring! (Love all my pets the same, and want them around a ong time! And healthy so I have them as company as long as possible! Cant live without mine! (My last three pets all lived to be at least 12 years, average). Hope Charlies lives and keeps you company for at least another 8! susana
    1648 days ago
    Your vet sounds like some of the people you were talking about awhile back: once you mention Sparkpeople they lose interest! They are looking for a "secret", and Sparkpeople and hard work just aren't sexy enough!
    1649 days ago
    Yeah Charlie!!!! Way to go. Now he'll have the extra energy to love you all the more for hopefully many more years to come. I really liked this blog. You got me to thinking about your approach though. If we all did the same thing, we'd have as much luck. Hmmm.... more "food" for thought.....
    1649 days ago
    Yeah, Charlie!

    I have heard people claim (purely anecdotal evidence) that nuts will stall weight loss. Sure, they're full of good fats, but I guess yeah, some people need to leave out the nuts until they've lost weight.
    1649 days ago
    YAY for Charlie! And for you, for being a smart doggie mom!
    1649 days ago
  • JENNNY135
    Great job.
    1649 days ago
    Way to go Charlie!!!
    1649 days ago
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    Disclaimer: Weight loss results will vary from person to person. No individual result should be seen as a typical result of following the SparkPeople program.