A rescued dog is a candidate for biggest loser in Burtonsville, Md.
The group Oldies but Goodies, which specializes in placing rescued cocker spaniels, rescued Fluffy Pork Chop, a 42-pound, 7-year-old corgi-cocker spaniel mix, from a Delaware shelter late last year. That’s about twice his ideal weight.
His previous owner may have equated food with affection – a kind of love that kills.
"People food,” said foster owner Marilyn Kessinger. “Probably fed scraps off the table, and we did blood work on him when he came in and his cholesterol was extremely high -- not a good thing for a dog.”
Fluffy's time was probably being cut in half by the strain on his little system. While he was determined not to be hindered by his extra mass, his foster owner was determined to get him healthy again through exercise and diet. Kessinger also worked with Fluffy's vet:
"We talked calories,” Kessinger said. “She told me what the acceptable calorie range was. I told her the food. I went and found the amount of calories or the vet found them and we compared and she said, ‘Yes, that’s a good food.’ Feeding them twice a day's better than feeding them once a day.”
Cherry eyes, dental issues and joint problems are among the maladies to be addressed once Fluffy's healthy enough to undergo surgery. Right now, he probably wouldn’t survive the anesthesia.
Exercise and a sensible diet seem to be working. He is walked twice a day and now eats healthy treats, like the raw carrots he now loves.
Kessinger may be working herself out of a lovable, cuddly friend -- once he’s ready for permanent adoption, Fluffy and Kessinger will be separated -- but it’s OK.
“It allows me to help that next dog that needs help," she said.
Fluffy is the second overweight dog Kessinger has fostered. She said Fluffy is well on his way to a smaller frame and hopefully a longer life in a loving home.