Portly pooch who loves pasta loses half her body weight

    Tramps be damned — this lady prefers pasta for one.

    An overweight dog who never met a carb she didn’t want to scarf down immediately has finally lost 63 pounds — about half her body weight prior to dieting.

    Rosie, a golden retriever, Labrador, husky and chow chow mix, was “the biggest dog they had ever had in the veterinary practice,” said owner Emmabele Hodges.

    Hodges brought the portly pooch to a clinic in April 2020. At the time, the 10-year-old dog weighed in at around 140 pounds, and couldn’t walk more than a “few steps” without taking a breather, or get into the car without a ramp.

    But after months of healthy eating and vigorous exercise, Rosie is finally down to a healthier size — and is a “completely different dog.”

    “The biggest transformation we’ve seen is watching her run, because for years she couldn’t,” said Hodges, 25, of Thomasville, North Carolina. “It’s just completely night and day.”

    In April 2020, Rosie, a golden retriever, Labrador, husky and chow chow mix, weighed about 140 pounds.
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    Rosie had been rescued by Hodges’ in-laws in 2014, when the dog was an estimated 4 years old. Hodges took on care for the pup a few years later.

    At the time, she was on a regimen of shredded chicken, egg, boiled noodles and some dog food, plus various sweet treats for pets and all the doggie bags of table scraps she desired.

    Before dieting, the hefty canine enjoyed all the boiled chicken, eggs, pasta and other table scraps she desired.
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    “I think my mother-in-law was unable to resist her sweet little face,” Hodges said. “Pasta was a big thing,” she added.

    The vet’s dire assessment was “surreal to hear,” Hodges told Kennedy News: “They said that if we wanted her to live a happy, long, healthy life, she won’t be able to do it the size that she is,” adding that Rosie’s weight put her at a higher risk for injury and disease, including cancer.

    Rosie — who required multiple hands just to lift her onto the vet’s examining table — had no idea the work she was in for.

    “You would never think that for a dog of her size she would still just be so playful and loving toward others,” Hodges said. “She’s always been such a bundle of joy.”

    But the pediatric health care worker knew they had “to do everything we could to get Rosie the healthiest she could be,” Hodges said.

    Rosie’s human, Emmabele Hodges, put her on a weight-loss prescription diet and forced the dog to exercise more, per veterinary recommendations.
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    The fact that Rosie’s pedigree is mixed can make it difficult to pinpoint the appropriate weight-loss approach. “The vet said that a mixture of the metabolisms [associated with different breeds] seems to be what caused her weight gain,” said the pet parent, who noted that Rosie’s sister, Piper, a golden retriever mix, “would eat the same things as her and was super active, but for whatever reason Rosie just always gained weight from what she was eating,” Hodges said.

    Initially, Rosie’s weight-loss journey was a struggle, but she was motivated to keep up with her sister, according to Hodges: “It was hard for her to see [Piper] move so much faster … I could tell that it bothered her.”

    The vet prescribed Rosie food and treats formulated to help dogs maintain a healthy weight, and also recommended an elevated feeder to slow eating and promote easy digestion. As the pounds came off, Hodges encouraged her dog to exercise more and more by implementing physical barriers that forced Rosie to work a little harder, such as a set of stairs that led to the backyard.

    The happy dog now weighs a healthy 63 pounds — and finally able to jump, play and keep up with her sister-pup, Piper.
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    “At one point she’d stand at the bottom and I guess almost prepare herself to go up them, and sometimes we’d have to encourage her,” Hodges recalled.

    These days, Rosie enjoys healthy, organic snacks with whole-food ingredients like blueberry, pumpkin and watermelon, plus her specialty diet food. And now friends hardly recognize her.

    “They cannot believe it’s the same dog and they’re so proud of everything that we’ve done and that she’s been able to do,” said Hodges, who relishes in seeing Rosie leap for her toys.

    “It has amazed us to see all the things she can do now, and seeing her realize that she can do them. She can do just about anything she wants to do.”

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