Taking care of a pet is never an easy task. Sadly, grooming, socializing them, taking care of nutrition, making sure their health is good and many other things can get a bit overwhelming for some people. So instead of getting help or simply trying harder for their pets, some people resort to placing their pets up for adoption or even worse. This is exactly what happened to Kai – a beautiful and friendly golden retriever who had put on a lot of weight while living with his owner, who then decided that Kai is too much trouble and decided to put him down.
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However, once the dog was taken to the clinic, the vet refused to euthanize the canine. Instead, the vet called Misfits of Alberta Animal Rescue which helped Kai find a new home.
This is how he met his rescuer Pam Heggie. When she took him home, Kai was huge. “I could not believe my eyes. His size was staggering. The pictures don’t do justice to how huge he was, and how difficult even a few steps was for him,” Pam told Rare Norm.
The pooch weighed 173 pounds and had to lose more than half of his weight. Being this overweight, it took Kai 20 minutes to climb a small set of stairs so he could enter Pam’s house.
The new owner knew that it will be a long and tough process for Kai to lose the excess weight and get back to his normal life. But unlike Kai’s previous owner, Pam refused to give up on him.
Despite everything, Pam doesn’t blame his past 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. I do believe that as animal caretakers, our job is to help animals be as healthy as possible. We owe them that much. I believe educating people in how to care for their animals is more powerful than shaming or blaming,” she said.
Kai was put on a strict diet and started water therapy to strengthen his legs and build stamina. Pam started taking him for a walk three times a day. “At first he could only go a few steps before resting or laying down. So we went 3 times a day for very short distances.” But Kai didn’t give up either.
Eventually, he was able to walk further and further, climb stairs and even started running in the park. The progress was stunning.
“It was more exciting to watch him regain his freedom than watching the numbers change. I never dreamed he would be able to run, play and enjoy life as he does now. Kai was 10 when he was surrendered, so he is now 11 and full of life,” Pam explained how she felt when Kai started losing weight.
It took almost a year, but he managed to lose 100 pounds and become a normal, healthy, and happy dog. While at first, Pam was just fostering him, she eventually made a decision to adopt.
After all, he’s clearly not an ordinary dog, but a true fighter. “Kai exemplifies what we all find good in this world- an indelible spirit and unconditional love. He could have chosen to lament his past and give up but instead he chose to embrace the chance to be better. We all need to believe we can be better. He is a very grateful soul and I am extremely lucky to have him in my life. I am now his adopted mom and he will live out his life with me. I am the lucky one.”
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