PORTLAND, OR (CNN/KPTV) -- Most Americans are struggling with their weight, and one dog in Oregon is no different. Obie the dachshund mix was up to 77 pounds! Now he's on a strict diet to get him back to a normal size.
Obie may not fit the dachshund mold right now. At nearly 70 pounds, his walk looks more like a waddle and he can't quite keep up with his new brothers. But that doesn't stop him from trying. Nora Vanatta says, "He's just so happy and easy going. He doesn't care what people think."
Foster mom Vanatta volunteered to take on the extra weight of this meaty dog, after reading about Obie on the Oregon Dachshund Rescue Facebook page.
A family member of the previous owners who lived in Marysville, Washington contacted the group for help. She says, "I just read the story and I was like, I'll take him, he can lose weight, how hard can it be. I hadn't seen a picture or anything."
That was about a month ago. Back then Obie weighed in at 77 pounds. Vanatta says Obie's former owners, an elderly couple, loved the dog dearly, but maybe a little too much. She says, "As far as I know he just ate people food by hand."
That's not the case anymore. Vanatta, a former vet tech turn EMT says Obie is now on a strict diet of high protein and high fiber.
So far, it's working. The five-year-old pooch has already lost nearly 10 pounds. The goal is to get him down to about 40, a feat that could take up to a year, but his many fans-have faith. Vanatta says, "As soon as he loses the weight, he'll just be a happy, normal dog."
Not to mention a role model. Vanatta says, "I think the most amazing part of this whole thing is how he's influencing and inspiring people."
Obie's foster mom says she gets letters and e-mails from people who watch the dog and have become inspired to lose weight too.