Vincent is a dog that once weighed in at 38 pounds. A healthy weight for this breed is typically around 15 pounds. By all accounts, Vincent was “morbidly obese” and was not in good health or spirits, according to Life with Dogs.
Nearly a year after some thought the animal was headed for death or euthanasia, a woman stepped in and adopted the animal, once called, “Fat Vincent,” according to People. His foster owner, Melissa Anderson, 54, says “Skinny Vinnie” is now a much happier dog with his transformation.
“He’s a very good example of strength and endurance. All of the things that have happened to him — it kind of helps put your life in perspective. We all marvel at his accomplishments because we’ve been here with the whole time and not for one day has he been reluctant or expressed any kind animosity about all of the things he’s had to do like limit his food and follow the rules of this house.”
Often, Vincent would be found in a very depressed state. Also, as if being exceptionally plump were not enough, Vincent had recently been transferred to a shelter after his owner passed away.
— Dogs Monthly (@DogsMonthly) April 18, 2016
“He was friendly, but I could barely discern between his laying down and standing up positions,” said Vincent’s vet, Sharon Anderson. “With his short little legs, there was very little clearance between the floor and his chest and abdomen.”
The extra weight Vincent had to carry caused many health problems. For one, Vincent had astonishingly high cholesterol. Secondly, the burden caused a dipping in the animal’s back. As if that were not enough, the dip in Vincent’s back threatened to cause nerve damage.
Not long after Vincent had been transferred to the animal shelter, a rescue group in Houston heard about Vincent’s problem and took him in.
The group, known as the K-9 Angels Rescue, put Vincent on a weight loss program that would address all of his problems. While the team admits that this was not an easy task, they were dedicated to helping the poor dog.
— HC Public Health (@hcphtx) April 14, 2016
“At his original BMI (Body Mass Index), he was at a severe risk for arthritis, diabetes, reduced mobility, increased physical injury that can lead to paralysis of the hind legs, cancer, respiratory disease, kidney disease, pancreatic and shortened life expectancy,” said Anderson.
Vincent’s weight loss was a long process. Though he did lose weight in the beginning, he soon leveled off. Everyone continued to help Vincent and went to every length to assist the pooch.
During his road to recovery, Vincent even earned a sponsorship from a food company called Royal Canin. The company provided Vincent with health-food-for-dogs that slowly helped Vincent.
With the new diet and intensive exercise, Vincent’s weight loss began to pick up its pace. With water aerobics, long walks, and other aerobics, Vincent turned into a brand-new dog. With the loss of weight, Vincent’s cholesterol came down to a healthy number, and he became a lot more active.
Over eight months, Vincent lost 20 pounds and looks fantastic. Despite his many accomplishments, Vincent remained in search of a forever home.
“The perfect home will continue his daily walks and the monitoring of his food,” said Anderson. “Most important is having lots of love to give!”
The Westin Ottawa in Ottawa, Canada, is known among those that stay there for being pro-pet and allowing dogs to stay with their owners. Not long ago, the hotel partnered with Ottawa Dog Rescue to turn the lobby into a foster home for shelter dogs, where they can stay until they are adopted, according to CTV.
“I have raved about this Westin hotel since 2008!” raved a local citizen. “My dog and I stayed here and the staff were so amazing! I have been so used to being treated awfully for having a large breed dog and even paying a lot extra for the worst rooms in a place… it was SO refreshing to stay here.”
— Stephen Wilson (@GeraldtonSteve) August 17, 2016
Another person chimed in and shared their fond memories of the lodge.
“I’ve recommended a lot of my friends over the years… I talk still about how the bellhops came to take her for walks and a pee first thing in the morning, took her to the park so I could go shopping and of course she had her own heavenly bed delivered complete with bowls and treats! What an amazing hotel – it’s so nice to see a company that truly cares… you really do feel the love.”
A kennel has been built under the hotel’s escalators to house the animals while allowing guests to see the dogs up for adoption. Visitors are even allowed to take the dogs on walks while they stay there. At night, the dogs are sheltered behind the front desk or into an office.
A very busy year :) pic.twitter.com/PJdnE3f2Dv
— Ottawa Dog Rescue (@OttawaDogRescue) January 3, 2016
The hotel’s employees evaluate the animals before letting them stay at the hotel; they would not want a dog with a bad temper to be housed in such a luxurious hotel.
“So far, the program has been fantastic,” said Andrea McCoy of Ottawa Dog Rescue. “I think it brings a lot of awareness to rescue and the rescue world in general.”
The hotel’s guests have raved about the dogs, most playing with them the second they see them.
[Photo by Liliya Kulianionak/Getty Images]