Kai, a neglected 173-pound Golden Retriever, was brought to a shelter by his previous owners to be euthanized because he could barely walk. Thankfully, a vet and kind-hearted woman stepped in to save his life.
The vet at the shelter knew that the dog had a lot of life still in him and just needed someone to help him lose the extra weight.
Pam Heggie met Kai and was determined to help him. She offered to foster him and started him on a strict diet and exercise routine. He was described by the vet as the “fattest dog” he had ever seen. Kai was 100 pounds overweight, making it very difficult for him to walk.
Heggie is a nurse and knew she needed to start out slow with Kai, so she started with short walks three times a day. At first, the obese boy could only walk five or ten steps and then needed to rest. She told the Dodo, “He could walk a few steps and then he’d pant and lay down. It would just bring me to tears.”
Kai and Heggie both refused to give up. No treats were allowed, so she praised Kai with affection for all his hard work. He started to thrive once he started to walk in water, which helped increase his range of motion and strengthen his muscles.
Slowly, Kai started to lose weight and he was able to walk farther and faster. They visited the local dog park often and the other dog parents started to encourage and praise Kai on his progress. He continued to improve and then one day he started to run and jump again.
“People might have given up on him, but he never gave up on himself,” said Heggie.
One year later, Kai made his goal and lost 100 pounds! He was a completely different dog that could run and play with other dogs again. Heggie could not imagine her life without him, so she adopted him. He spends his days playing with his canine siblings and waiting by the door to go to the park.
“Oh the progress I have made and yet there has been failure along the way. Today was a failure of epic proportions. My foster family has failed. I’m ecstatic to announce that I have my FOREVER FAMILY!! I AM HOME,” posted Kai on his Facebook page.
Watch Kai’s amazing transformation in the video below.
Andrea Powell is an animal enthusiast that resides in West Michigan. When not writing, she is exploring the great outdoors with her dogs and horses.
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