The dramatic weight loss of a severely chunky golden retriever mix could be an inspiration to people caring for overweight pets.
Obesity is a real problem for cats and dogs in the United States, and extra pounds can lead to serious health issues and a lower quality of life.
That’s why when Kristy and John Cotthaus, owners of dog training business Zoom Room Virginia Beach, first heard about Strudel over the summer, they knew they had to help.
Strudel had just come into the care of dog rescue group Hearts for Hounds, where she ended up after the death of her elderly owner. Weighing in at almost 81 pounds, the 7-year-old Strudel was visibly far too heavy and suffering from issues like inflamed joints.
The couple offered their fitness services for free, working with a veterinarian to develop a proper diet plan and designing an agility course that wouldn’t be too strenuous. In spite of her heft, Strudel was a natural.
“We motivate dogs with treats, toys and praise but Strudel was actually easy, it’s almost like she knew what she had to do,” Kristy Cotthaus told HuffPost in an email. “We didn’t have to use any treats at all because she was motivated to do the agility [course] with just lots of praise.”
Strudel is up for adoption through Hearts for Hounds, and in the meantime she’s being fostered by volunteer Kristen Horton, who can’t stop singing her praises.