I lifted the short but stout beagle mix from the van and wondered for the second time that day how anything that small could weigh so much. The first time was when I hoisted her into the van (with some help from the people at animal control). She was a hefty armful as I struggled, trying to be gentle. She was doing nothing at all on her own to help with the process. Then again, she could not. She could barely breathe much less leap from the van. Leaping had been way back in her past. Way back.
Once we got her on the ground, she waddle rolled….there is no other way to describe it…from the van to the front gate. It is about 15 human steps. She had to stop and rest twice. Moving that much bulk is hard to do!
Kirstie’s back story is achingly familiar to CPR. Owners died. No one to take dog. Dog ends up at shelter. As people move towards end of life, I often find they do not take care of their dogs because they can’t take care of themselves. It is obvious that Kirstie was fed from the table and as life slowed down more and more for the humans, life also slowed down for the dog in the home. It is so very sad. I believe she brought them comfort but when the end came, there was no one to bring comfort to Kirstie. Except us.
Kirstie’s weight was 53.2 lbs on her intake date in January of 2017. Our vet had us monitor her and watch her diet closely. He knew that if she did not drop quickly, there was more here than just too much food. Kirstie dropped weight quickly.
Today, Kirstie is down to a still robust but much better weight of about 36 lbs, just one pound off her target of 35. She is still very slow because her back knees are bad due to carrying all that weight. Those years of obesity took their toll.
Life with Kirstie is rather interesting because she still thinks food is love. We’ve learned that any treats, even a small treat to hide her monthly heartworm preventative, is to be given in a bowl. Kirstie has a hard time distinguishing between fingers and food! When not in pursuit of her next meal, Kirstie is happy to hang on the porch or tool around the dog room, doing laps and working on her waistline. It’s not the life she had, but it is working okay by her.
Kirstie is now 11 years old and chances are slim that an overweight lemon beagle with bad knees is going to find a home. When I first heard about Kirstie, I hoped she would be able to make the trip up north with us and find a home but that did not happen, and she has never gotten mobile enough to be a New York kind of girl. She has joined our SOS program.
Our goal is for each dog to have 12 or more sponsors donating $20 per month to help us support each dog in our sanctuary program. Kirstie has two sponsors now.
Many of us struggle with weight challenges (too much or too little) and know how hard it can be. If you would like to see Kiristie hit her goal and keep at her goal, please become one of her sponsors and join her virtual family.
To become a sponsor,
Text cprsos to 41444 for a smart phone link
Or visit here for a direct credit card link – https://app.mobilecause.com/form/S9ihCQ
To learn more about our SOS program and meet more of our fabulous SOS dogs, please visit our webpage at
Welcome to our family – thank you for keeping Kirstie on the path to health.
Donna Ezzell, Director
Jennifer Reel, SOS Coordinator