After Bertha’s owner passed away, she was surrendered to a local animal shelter. The 9-year-old Chihuahua was suffering from a pretty severe seizure disorder, and also weighed nearly two and a half times what she should have weighed at 12 pounds. The shelter knew they couldn’t give Bertha the care she needed, so she was taken in by Muttville Senior Dog Rescue. Muttville vowed to help the tiny, chubby dog get healthy again.
Once Bertha was settled into the rescue, staffers set about helping her lose weight. Bertha was so round that walks were very difficult, and she needed to take constant breaks. The rescue posted on its Instagram account multiple times, hoping to find a family willing to help her on her weight loss journey. It didn’t take long for the perfect person to notice her.
Allison Hackett saw Muttville’s posts about Bertha and quickly fell in love with her. Hackett had fostered overweight dogs before and empathized with Bertha and her weight loss journey. She followed Bertha’s journey and eventually realized that Bertha was meant to be a member of her family.
“I thought she was so cute and she had the sweetest face and demeanor,” Hackett said. “I wasn’t sure if I wanted to adopt a dog, but I kept going back to her page and looking at her on Instagram and I couldn’t get her out of my head! I knew how rewarding it can be to help a dog lose weight and see what a positive impact it can have on them.”
Hackett officially adopted Bertha in late August. By that time, Bertha had already lost a pound. She weighed 10.6 pounds, and her goal weight was around 5 pounds. Hackett knew exactly what to do to help Bertha slim down and become a much healthier dog.
“Her weight loss journey has been very quick and easy, although if she could talk I’m sure she wouldn’t say the same,” Hackett said. “Basically she has been on a restricted diet, eating a metabolic food, and moving around as much as possible. She gets carrots as treats, and chew treats here and there. Initially, a ton of weight came off right away, and the last few pounds have taken a little longer.”
As of January 9, Bertha weighed 5.9 pounds — and her vet declared that she’s now officially at a healthy weight. The little dog now looks SO different from when she first arrived at the rescue months ago, and her personality is completely different too.
“She literally had no personality at all,” Hackett said. “She wouldn’t even wag her tail. As the weight has come off, and as we’ve decreased her seizure meds, she is a completely different dog. It’s night and day. She wags her tail, she jumps, she gets so excited about food that she runs in circles.”
Bertha is coming out of her shell and discovering how wonderful life is now that she’s healthy and fit. She is the sweetest dog and loves meeting new people. Bertha even has a cat sibling named Birdie, whom she loves to hang out with. She now goes on long walks and has such a zest for life. All thanks to her rescuers and her new family, who refused to give up on helping her become the awesome dog they knew she could be.
“Probably one of the most special things I’ve gotten to see is how resilient she is and how quickly she bounces back,” Hackett said. “And even though things were tough for her, and who knows what’s going on in that little head of hers, she has always been so sweet to everyone she meets. She really is a special little girl.”
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