It took this chunky pup all summer to get her beach body back after an intense workout routine that will hopefully help her live a long and healthy life.
Strudel the golden retriever weighed 83 pounds — twice as much as she should have — when a Virginia couple decided to foster her in May.
“The first time we saw Strudel, she wobbled over to us,” said Wynn Horton, 24, of Chesapeake. “She was so heavy she couldn’t get into the back of the car, so I had to lift her in.”
Horton explained they adopted Strudel from an elderly and disabled woman who was unable to take her out for walks and often fed her scraps of her own food
When the woman passed away, her family members said Strudel’s various health issues would make it impossible for them to care for her.
Veterinarians said, because of her weight, the 7-year-old pup was struggling with joint pain and could eventually suffer heart failure.
But Horton and his wife, Kristen, 25, said they were happy to take on the challenge and help Strudel lose the weight.
"At first it was hard for her to keep up on walks and stand up for a long time. She was very lethargic and she didn’t have a lot of stamina. She would even lie down to eat her food," Horton said. "Now she loves to go for walks and when we come home she will run out and meet us at the door."
From taking on a healthier diet to working out at the local dog gym, the couple has helped Strudel lose nearly 30 pounds — just 10 pounds away from her goal weight.
Although Strudel could barely walk a quarter of a mile when the couple fostered her, she now easily leads the pair on five-mile walks over the weekends with the help of joint pain medication.
“When we first got Strudel her personality seemed very pale and muted,” he explained. “Since she started losing the weight she has really come alive.”