Apparently This Matters: Obie, the obese dog

77-pound wiener dog can barely move
77-pound wiener dog can barely move


    77-pound wiener dog can barely move


77-pound wiener dog can barely move 01:32

Story highlights

  • Bellini: For whatever reason, the Internet world seems to be fascinated by fat
  • A dachshund named Obie in Portland, Oregon, weighs 77 pounds
  • Obie's new owner started a Facebook page to track his weight loss
  • Bellini: I don't get why my dog's not hyper-bonkers-insane about food like other dogs

This week, as I was searching for popular topics and interesting articles, I kept finding posts dealing with obesity. It doesn't really make sense, but for whatever reason, the Internet world seems to be fascinated by fat.

There was chatter about a new report that says by 2030 half of all adults in America will be considered obese. Essentially, in 18 years most of us will be sweating actual bacon grease. Sunbathing will smell delicious.

Reading this report was sort of depressing, but at the same time, it was also kind of encouraging. Depressing, because we're all becoming a bunch of disgusting fat-bodies. Encouraging, because it sounds like, perhaps, the future holds pie!

Another trending article told how lawyers for an obese death row inmate in Ohio say their client can't be executed because he weighs almost 500 pounds -- it'll cause too much pain and suffering to administer the lethal injection. On top of that, they argue that the gurney literally might not even be able to hold him.

I simply can't imagine how one actually gains that much weight sitting behind bars, presumably separated by several states and (at the very least) a sheet of plexiglass from Paula Deen. I seriously don't know. Maybe he has conjugal visits with a tub of buttermilk.

"Apparently This Matters" Is Jarrett Bellini's weekly (and somewhat random) look at social-media trends.

"No, silly. I love you more."

But the story that really got to me -- the one that really tugged at the empty space where my heartstrings would be if I had the ability to feel -- was about a dog. A dachshund. But not just any dachshund. A 77-pound dachshund! I don't know how to put this any other way, but ... that's a huge wiener!

(Thanks, folks. I'll be here all week.)

The 5-year-old dog's name is Obie, and he was originally owned by an elderly couple in Seattle. Apparently, they expressed their love for him through food. And Obie expressed his love for them by becoming a zeppelin. A relative of the elderly couple eventually put out a plea for help, and a willing foster mom emerged in Portland, Oregon.

When Obie finally arrived on August 18, driven down by a friendly volunteer, Nora Vanatta was shocked by the size of her new dog. The former vet tech had seen a lot in her day, but this thing here was blocking out the damn sun. Thus began Biggest Loser, Doxie Edition -- an epic quest to get Obie back into shape.

Vanatta started a Facebook page for Obie -- who's otherwise healthy -- to track his weight loss and solicit donations for help. She also wanted her dog's story to rally humans. Vanatta wrote, "My hope is that he can be an inspiration to any person or animal trying to lose weight. It is so important to introduce pups and kids to a healthy lifestyle and food choices as early as possible. Prevention is the key!"

And she's right. Good habits make healthy dogs.

Hopefully, excessive weight gain won't really be something I'm going to have to worry about with my dog, Mikey. He's a Great Dane mix who, one would think, could eat the entire contents of my fridge given a full hour and nothing better to do. But, amazingly, he's not overly motivated by food so much as he's completely motivated by licking the place where his testicles used to be.

I stopped judging him a long time ago. I've got my hobbies. He's got his.

Still, I don't get why he's not completely hyper-crazy-bonkers-insane about food like other dogs. I don't allow him any people food, so it's not like he knows he's missing out on something better. Which he is. Specifically, the McRib. Don't laugh. I swoon for that stupid thing. It completes me.

"No, silly. I love you more."

Eventually, Mikey eats. But when he's full, he stops. This dog literally has the self-control to leave remaining food just sitting in the bowl. Whereas I can't remember the last time I didn't lick my plate.

I'm single, ladies. Your parents will love me.

But despite my dog's disinterest in food, what's even more amazing is that Obie -- that short, stumpy dachshund -- actually weighs more than Mikey. And he's still completely adorable! Besides, chubbing out wasn't Obie's fault. Naturally, it was human error.

Getting all nice and fat has clearly become the great American pastime. And these days there's an added incentive, because, now if you manage to get your entire family to weigh more than a Buick they give you a show on TLC!

Though, not to be outdone, Obie has already been on the Today Show. And in his own private version of The Biggest Loser, he's sure to be the big wiener.

(Thanks, folks. I'll be here all week.)

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