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Overweight Golden Retriever’s Owner Demanded Vet Put Him Down, Luckily, He Refused

It’s no secret that dogs love food. They often beg for it at the table, and who can say “no” to an adorable stare from a puppy? Well, this golden retriever is no different. Kai was severely overfed by his previous owners. He ended up weighing about 173 lbs, which is way more than a golden retriever should weigh—about 100 pounds more. He couldn’t move normally, let alone do simple tasks every dog should be able to do, like run and play.

Kai’s old owners decided to put him down, but the vet refused and instead took him into the shelter. Soon he was adopted by a kind-hearted woman who changed his life for the better.

“He was a rescue surrendered to Misfits of Alberta Animal Rescue. Misfits is a small local animal rescue that is based solely on fostering. At first, I fostered Kai, but on December 26, 2018, he officially joined our family. He was taken in to be put down by his previous owners due to obesity. He was 173 lbs when he was taken in, and his mobility was very limited. He now weighs 68 lbs and is healthy and active,” said his owner, Pam Heggie, to Bored Panda.

“When I first met Kai, I honestly could not believe his size. He weighed 173 pounds (78.6 kg). He struggled to do everything and panted all the time. We often had to lift him using a big soaker pad to get him up the stairs. Getting him in and out of the car was so hard. Always took two of us and I took a seat out of the van so he could fit easily. Eventually, he got to where he could use a ramp and that gave us so much more freedom. I honestly was scared I would wake up and he would just be dead in his sleep. From the beginning, he seemed to understand we were trying to help. At first, he did water therapy because he limped so bad and I was worried about his joints with all that weight. A vet clinic here had a water treadmill and Kai did therapy there once a week for 6 weeks. It really helped with his stamina. Then we could go to the dog park. We walked every single day. Edmonton, Alberta has very cold winters, but we never missed a day. I started his Facebook page to keep us motivated and accountable. Plus I thought he was so amazing and that others would enjoy his determination and progress.”

The owner shared some of her favorite things about Kai: “My favorite thing about Kai is his laid-back personality. If I could pick the perfect dog for me, it would be Kai’s personality. He is funny, loving, and very easygoing. He just loves to be wherever I am. He’s truly my best friend.” Kai was supposedly 10 when he was surrendered in March 2018, so he is about 12 years old now.

Golden retrievers are one of the most popular breeds. They are very tolerant of children, which makes them the perfect family pet. They are very intelligent and loving, which makes them great at being therapy dogs. They are also very good athletes and need lots of exercise. Golden retrievers are very easy to train and are known for their obedience and loyalty. Retrievers usually weigh from 55 to 75 pounds. So Kai used to be severely overweight. Good thing he found an owner that helped him get healthy again. Retrievers are known foodies. They will usually eat as much as you give them, so you have to be really careful while feeding them and measure their food.

Kai’s owner shared some information about her other pets: “I have two other dogs. Abby is a 4-year-old black lab, and Eddie is a 14-year-old beagle cross rescue I adopted from the SPCA 12 years ago. He had been returned twice and is the naughtiest dog ever. Abby I have had since a pup. She is always at the park with Kai. Kai is more a people dog than other dogs, but he and Abby definitely have a big brother/little sister relationship. They compete for affection and she is who really encouraged him at the off-leash, especially in the beginning. If Abby is by me, Kai has to come to get closer and push his way in. She’s a more nervous dog than Kai, and if she is scared at the park, he’s there to be sure she is safe. He sleeps by the bed and every morning jumps up to cuddle once my husband goes to work.”