Once a weighty wiener dog, Dennis went on a diet and is now a happy shadow of his former self after losing more than 75% of his body weight. And he has a nursing student to thank.
Less than two years ago, Dennis weighed in at a whopping 56 pounds—about the size of four or five miniature dachshunds, which is his breed. A series of “before” photos show Dennis resting on rolls of fat, his head seemingly too little for his blob of a body. He couldn't take more than a few steps without being out of breath.
Then Brooke Burton adopted him from a relative who had fed him White Castle burgers, pizza and other human food, and hadn't paid much attention to the dog's burgeoning belly.
Burton, 26, a nursing student from Columbus, Ohio, recalls how emotional she was when she first saw Dennis in June 2013, and then persuaded her relative to give him up.
“Out comes Dennis, and I couldn't believe it,” Burton told the Associated Press. “I wasn't even sure what breed of dog he was supposed to be because he was so large.”
Burton put him on a diet of dry dog food, plus lots of walks and affection. Now the 6-year-old wiener dog is a svelte 12 pounds, and he happily chases squirrels in the backyard, plays fetch and bosses around the other three rescue dogs that live with him.
“In the beginning, you could tell he was very depressed, that he really didn't feel good at all,” Burton said. “He didn't have much of a personality. After he lost weight, this bossy little demanding man popped out. He's into everything, he wants to play with everybody.”