“A large balloon with sticks for legs.” That’s the image that came to Gail L.’s mind when she first encountered Chili, a 5-year-old Australian shepherd mix, at the Dumb Friends League in February 2017.
Chili came to our Quebec Street Shelter after his owner passed away and her family could not care for him. Morbidly obese at 115 pounds, Chili was a friendly, mellow fellow. He just needed an adopter who would help him shed a great deal of excess weight.
Enter Gail, who owns a ranch in Kiowa, Colo., and decided it would be the perfect place for Chili to start a new life. Recalls Gail, “When I adopted Chili, he couldn’t walk across the room without lying down. He had trouble getting up from the floor. It was like he had been fed nothing but chili! I thought he was going to have a heart attack. He also couldn’t get into the barn truck but desperately wanted to be with my family, so my son and I had to lift him.”
Gail changed Chili’s name to one less burdened with food memories—Hank—and started feeding him Hill’s® Science Diet® Perfect Weight dry dog food mixed with low-fat, healthy proteins. “Believe me, he was not happy with that! He barked and begged to eat from our table for the first couple of days,” says Gail. “I remedied the difficult transition by feeding him several small meals throughout the day, including during our meal time.”
In his first month with Gail’s family, Hank lost 16 pounds thanks to his new regimen of a healthy diet and exercise. Today, he weighs a trim 75 pounds and loves all his “jobs” on the ranch. “Hank is the smartest dog I’ve ever had,” says Gail. “He not only learned his new name but all his new herding commands within two weeks.”
Adds Gail, “I am so glad we found each other. Thank you for being there for him, and for me.”
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