######## Update 10/14/2015:
When we first reported on Cody in March of this year, he had lost half of the 104 pounds of weight that was endangering his life. That was an incredible transformation all on its own, but now, this dog is a svelte 38 pounds and one of the handsomest Shibas we've ever seen!
Check out our original story below to learn how Cody went from a chubby ball of fluff to a super-Shiba stud in less than a year.
When Kim and Sean Linde took on the hefty project of caring for Cody, a 104-pound Shiba Inu, they had no idea that he would impact hundreds of lives.
The couple had been looking for the perfect brofur for their two-year-old, timid Shiba, Norman. It was love at first sight when Kim saw Windham 4 Paw’s post about Cody, a six-year-old Shiba inu that was 60 lbs overweight. Most people would shy away from adopting a dog like this, but Kim wasn’t daunted by his special needs. Currently a fitness coach, Kim is very open about how she changed her life through fitness and she knew she had the right stuff to transform Cody’s life.
In August 2014, Cody arrived at his new home, but he was so unhealthy that he couldn’t even make it up the few steps to his new front door. He couldn’t breathe without whining, and he was too overweight to lay down properly for doggy naps.
There was a lot of interest in Cody’s story from other pet lovers, so Kim began documenting his journey to fitness. She keeps everyone updated on his progress through regular videos and posts about his workout routine.
There are a lot of long walks and swim sessions, but it’s the small, creative tasks that are the most fun for this plump pooch. Kim believes these types of things are how you really bring exercise into your life and the lives of your pets.
“I want you to think about the little things that you can do to make it more challenging. Not in a way that makes it uncomfortable, but make a game out of anything you can.”
Kim keeps Cody, who’s since been diagnosed with a thyroid condition, active by doing laps around the house using positive reinforcement, like a small piece of boiled chicken (yum!), to get him up and running. Indoor games like this are especially important if you’re up to your paws in snow or it's too hot to safely exercise outside! But if you are a snowbunny and want your dog to be a snowpuppy, shovel a racetrack in the snow and let them pounce and play without getting in over their fluffy heads. Kim also notes that even daily trips to the mailbox help to shed the pounds.
The road to health isn’t all just fun and games. Just like with us two-legged folk, dogs need to count those calories. Kim has some tips for those of you with a pup who might be a bit overloved:
Know your dog’s ideal weight and feed them the correct amount of food for that weight, not their current weight.
*Dish out food with a regular measuring cup. Dog food scoops are often larger than one cup and can cause you to overfeed your dog.
*Try to feed zero calorie treats like carrots.
*If you do go for standard dog treats, decrease the amount of food you give at mealtimes to offset the extra calories.
*If these things don’t help your BFF lose weight, it might be time for a vet visit to make sure there’s not a medical issue.
Cody now weighs in at just under 56 lbs and can jump up on the couch for some major snuggle time. With all of that weight off of his poor shoulders, his true personality is starting to shine. This spunkie shibe has brought his little brother Norman out of his shell. Though still timid, Norman follows Cody’s lead and isn’t afraid to receive pets and scratches from strangers.
More amazing than his transformation is its effect on his fans. Not too long after the Lindes adopted Cody, Kim began receiving messages from people sharing their personal struggles with weight. She chalks this up to the fact that “he is such a representation of what so many pets AND people are struggling with. It's so hard to get started and to stick to a healthy plan when you've gotten used to overindulging and nurturing your soul through indulgence.
As a response to the outpouring of heartfelt messages, Kim created Get Fit with Cody
, a Facebook group several hundred strong. The group provides a safe space for people to support each other on their journies and to share healthy tips. It’s been a great success with some members having lost over 20 lbs!
Kim says, “I think it's a lot less "scary" to lose weight by being inspired rather than through shame and I really hope that Cody can do that for as many people as possible.”
Cody is definitely one inspiring pup! You can keep up with his story on his Facebook
fan page and on Kim’s blog
All images via Cody - The OverLoved Shiba Inu's Journey to Fitness.