Lori, now Lucy, was having a hard time finding a home at the Animal Welfare League of Arlington in Virginia. After several months, and even with a sponsor who paid for her adoption fee, Lucy was still homeless. She was a pretty heavy girl at 26 lbs. – the average Chihuahua only weighs about 5 lbs. On top of that, she had some social anxiety issues and was given treats to help her calm down.
Though the treats helped her feel more comfortable, they didn’t help her waistline.
A chubby dog isn’t just a vanity issue. Obesity can cause very serious problems for dogs, especially as they age. Treats weren’t the only thing that was keeping the weight on. Exercising was difficult because Lucy would tire easily even after just a little walking. Getting slim would be tricky for the little pooch.
Around the time Lucy was with the shelter, a local TV station was looking for puppy participants for a morning news segment. The Pet Show with Dr. Katy focuses on pet health and was challenging owners to see how healthy choices could change the lives of their pets. As a participant, Lucy was put on a special diet, got personal training, and made appearances on the show!
But even better news? Lucy’s person, Jennifer Chemel, finally spotted her at the shelter and gave her a home! Only four days after Lucy started Dr. Katy’s Freshpet Fit Challenge, Chemel put in an application. A week later, Lucy was home! Chemel tells PEOPLE magazine:
“She was so sweet and friendly with me, and she loved snuggling with me in the visitation room. I felt so bad that everyone else had passed over adopting her. I knew that adopting Lucy would be a great way for me to have a friendly face waiting for me when I got home at the end of the day, and I wanted to help her get healthy again.”
Chemel took the challenge to get Lucy to a healthy weight seriously. She maintained the recommended 300-calorie-a-day diet and took Lucy to her training sessions. She even started an Instagram account for people to follow Lucy’s progress.
It took a year, but Lucy hit her goal weight! Lucy now weighs about 13 lbs. – a good number for her size! She’s much healthier and more active than she was before. Together, she and Chemel go on trips, hikes, and even completed a 5k! Recently, she appeared in PEOPLE magazine’s “Half Their Size” issue to celebrate her weight loss! She really is half her size!
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