Written by Marin van der Walt
Professional photography by Stephanie Grace Photography
On the 7th of September 2020, I received a call from a fellow animal friend and rescuer, Lynette Carelse, telling me about Danny. His elderly owner lost her job due to COVID, and she was forced to rent out her home to gain some sort of an income. Sadly, she couldn’t take her dogs with her. Danny has a brother – a Lab x German Shepherd mix – that I was blessed enough to home to a fantastic dad. I phoned Sanmarie Jacobsz and she immediately agreed to take him in under DRSA (Dachshund Rescue South Africa).
Danny’s mom said their family had adopted the two dogs from someone else about four years ago and that Danny, who’s estimated at eight years old, was already obese when he arrived. Seeing his size was both alarming and upsetting. I’m just grateful that she’d reached out to my friend and that we were able to help both dogs.
Being more of an “outside dog”, Danny wasn’t used to cuddles and love. When I picked him up on the 8th of September, he battled to walk due to his size. Riaan, my husband, put him in the back seat with me and this old boy just stared at me, lying and looking at me. He then crawled a bit closer and pushed his head under my hand. I began cuddling him and scratching his ears. He just loved it, and as soon as I stopped, he’d flick my hand up for some more. Arriving home, Riaan took him straight to the bathroom, and all the while he was just silent. He was bathed and loved the warm water. He just sat in the hot tub enjoying it.
He took everything in his stride and was such a good boy. We then introduced Danny to the pack. They did their usual sniff and he wasn’t concerned by their behaviour at all. I’ve decided to feed him raw, as all my Daxies are on Doggobone raw and are in excellent condition; he really needs the best food. His fur was horrible, and his skin was dry. It’s now a few months later, and I can see the difference on his fur and skin.
My mind raced, as I’ve never had such an obese dog before. I knew enough to be cautious, because they can develop all sorts of issues if the weight loss isn’t closely monitored. I also started him immediately on Medigut and Glucosamine for his joints. Danny can’t wait for his food – he’ll make soft grunting noises and wiggle his bum, but he eats like a gentleman. He just loves his raw food.
I took him to Dr Lizinda from Animal Land, in Vaalpark, who gave him a full checkup. We were very happy that he was healthy, and his blood sugar was perfect. He was simply overweight; she estimates him to be a standard size Daxie x, and his ideal weight should be anything between 8 and 10kg. He weighed in at 20.4kg. Danny has a tough road ahead of him, but we’re happy and satisfied, because he’s lost almost 2kg so far.
We don’t want to home him immediately because his weight has to come down considerably, and he must be healthy while losing all this weight. He’s settled down well with me and is monitored daily.
Doggobone active raw food is onboard with Danny. Abdul Kader Palekar, the owner, is sponsoring Danny’s food, and he also worked out a diet plan for Danny.
What I’ve noticed so far is that he’s much more active and is moving with more ease. A real cuddle bug, and now he even demands love from us. One thing that’s just quite strange is that he doesn’t bark at all; he makes no noise whatsoever. I made him a soft bed in my room because he couldn’t get into one of the other doggie beds, but now he moves around freely and gets into the other doggie beds without any hassle. Initially, he also wasn’t able to fit through the doggie door, and now he’s walking through without getting stuck. He was such a good boy and slept like a log the first night. He also asks to go out for toilet breaks.
Danny has his own weight loss inspiration exercise motivator called Oscar. From day one, Danny was fascinated by Oscar and would patrol and run around Oscar’s cage, getting in plenty of exercise. Every morning, he’d wake up and run to Oscar’s cage – he’s just besotted with him. Fortunately, Oscar is well out of his reach, but this parrot is Danny’s daily exercise. Danny just loves attention and begs quite often to get on the bed with Daddy or on his lap.
Thank you again for featuring this special boy. I really want to find him his forever home, and maybe by making him a bit famous he’ll meet his special mom and dad!
Dear Danny’s future mommy and daddy: if you feel a connection to this special boy, you can contact me on his Facebook page, Danny’s Journey.