Overweight dog called Kai lost 100 lbs with her help of his foster mom

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An obese dog has lost 100 lbs thanks to his Canadian foster mom who never gave up on his health journey, helping him drop from 170 lbs to the recommended 70 lbs.

Kai, a Golden Retriever, ballooned in weight when living with his previous owner, who then decided to put him down as he became too much to handle. A vet refused to euthanize the canine and called Misfits of Alberta Animal Rescue to help the poor pooch find a new home. 

Edmonton woman Pam Heggie stepped in and re-homed him, and ultimately helped eleven-year-old Kai lose a whopping seven stone in under a year. 

Transformation: An adorable Golden Retriever called Kai was given a new chance at a healthy life thanks to his foster mom who helped him go from 170 lbs, left, to 70 lbs, right, in a year

Transformation: An adorable Golden Retriever called Kai was given a new chance at a healthy life thanks to his foster mom who helped him go from 170 lbs, left, to 70 lbs, right, in a year

Transformation: An adorable Golden Retriever called Kai was given a new chance at a healthy life thanks to his foster mom who helped him go from 170 lbs, left, to 70 lbs, right, in a year

Then and now: The once-obese dog was abandoned by his former owners after he put on the weight, left, but his health has dramatically improved, right

Then and now: The once-obese dog was abandoned by his former owners after he put on the weight, left, but his health has dramatically improved, right

Then and now: The once-obese dog was abandoned by his former owners after he put on the weight, left, but his health has dramatically improved, right

Mom: Former nurse Pam Heggie, pictured in August 2019 ahead of a TV appearance with Kai, transformed the dog who was saved by a vet who refused to put him down

Mom: Former nurse Pam Heggie, pictured in August 2019 ahead of a TV appearance with Kai, transformed the dog who was saved by a vet who refused to put him down 

Pam is a former cardiac rehabilitation nurse, so she had the compassion and skill set required to safely get Kai back down to the recommended weight after he came home with her in March 2018. 

Golden Retriever owners are encouraged to ensure their pets stay between 65-75 lbs (male) or 55-65 lbs (female).   

However, Kai’s owners had allowed the dog to balloon to 170 lbs. Among the health risks associated with obesity in pets are difficulty breathing, heat intolerance, high blood pressure, diabetes, lameness, low immune system and increased likelihood of cancer.

‘Even the pictures don’t do justice of how overwhelmingly large he was,’ Pam explained to InspireMore.com recently.  

Walk: The first thing on the agenda was for Pam to teach Kai, pictured in March 2018, how to like to walk again as he could only take a few steps at a time

Walk: The first thing on the agenda was for Pam to teach Kai, pictured in March 2018, how to like to walk again as he could only take a few steps at a time 

Health: Pam pictured with Kai, whom she has officially adopted, in June 2019 as he prepares to become a therapy dog

Health: Pam pictured with Kai, whom she has officially adopted, in June 2019 as he prepares to become a therapy dog 

Groomers: A then-overweight Kai getting his hair trimmed in May 2018

Groomers: A then-overweight Kai getting his hair trimmed in May 2018

Cute: Kai in an adorable rabbit costume during the winter weather in mid-2018

Cute: Kai in an adorable rabbit costume during the winter weather in mid-2018

‘He literally couldn’t do anything,’ she stated. ‘He could walk a few steps and then he’d pant and lay down. It would just bring me to tears.’

‘I remember going to the dog park at first, and he’d just sit there. He’d watch everyone play and he’d just kind of look at me and I’d be like, “Buddy, I don’t know if we’re ever going to get there but we’re gonna try.”‘

Pam brought things back to basics and started encouraging Kai to walk. She began to take him for three walks a day and monitored his diet closely – meaning no treats and portion-controlled meals. 

Kai also started water therapy to help strengthen his legs as he was so unused to supporting his own weight. 

‘At first he could just walk maybe five or ten steps and then he’d stop and lay down, then I thought maybe if I could get him in water it would be way better, just for the buoyancy and for him to be able to have full range of motion,’ Pam recalled.  

Big: Kai, pictured left at the vet in April 2018, and right in March 2018, was much bigger when Pam brought him home in early 2018

Big: Kai, pictured left at the vet in April 2018, and right in March 2018, was much bigger when Pam brought him home in early 2018

Big: Kai, pictured left at the vet in April 2018, and right in March 2018, was much bigger when Pam brought him home in early 2018

Canada: The pooch celebrates the national holiday in July 2018 in the middle of his transformation

Canada: The pooch celebrates the national holiday in July 2018 in the middle of his transformation 

Difference: In just over a year, Kai, pictured top in mid-2018 and bottom in early 2019, has completely transformed and is almost unrecognizable

Difference: In just over a year, Kai, pictured top in mid-2018 and bottom in early 2019, has completely transformed and is almost unrecognizable

Soon she started noticing differences like Kai jumping over a stick here or there and before Pam knew it, the adorable dog was running around the park like the other dogs. 

Pam has been documenting Kai’s weight loss journey on a motivational Facebook page called You Can Do This Kai, which has almost 10,000 followers. 

As Kai reached his milestone and dropped the weight before Christmas 2018, Pam decided to adopt the lovable dog. 

While he’s virtually a different dog than the one that first came to her doorstop, Pam doesn’t hold anything against Kai’s former owners. 

‘I do not know anything about Kai’s previous owners and quite honestly, I prefer it that way. I don’t believe in shaming people so I’m not sure blame is the right word,’ Pam said.  

Facebook: Kai, pictured in July 2019, has attracted 10,000 fans on his Facebook page who have been following his health journey

Facebook: Kai, pictured in July 2019, has attracted 10,000 fans on his Facebook page who have been following his health journey

Outfit: Pam continues to share snippets into life with Kai, delighting his social media followers with an array of sweet outfits

Outfit: Pam continues to share snippets into life with Kai, delighting his social media followers with an array of sweet outfits  

Hero: The gorgeous dog, pictured in October 2018, has no shortage of cute costumes like this Superman one

Hero: The gorgeous dog, pictured in October 2018, has no shortage of cute costumes like this Superman one 

‘I do believe that as animal caretakers, our job is to help animals be as healthy as possible,’ she told BoredPanda.com.

‘We owe them that much. I believe educating people in how to care for their animals is more powerful than shaming or blaming,’ she added. 

Kai has new found fame thanks to his Facebook posts, which showcase everything from the healthy snacks Pam is feeding him to cute videos out and about. After reaching his weight loss goal, Kai was featured on several TV shows across Canada.

Pam also shares updates about his route to becoming a therapy dog in Northern Alberta. 



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