A hulking Alaskan malamute dog was feared to be drowning in a stream but was actually so fat he was just stuck in the water.
The tubby lad was heaved out of the stream in a rescue mission, which brought to light just how dangerously overweight he was.
As a result his owners gave him up to an animal shelter where he was eventually re-homed by full-time nurse and part-time dog personal trainer Pam Heggie from Edmonton, Canada.
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Pam, who already helped golden retriever Kai shed half his bodyweight, opened her home and heart to 11-year-old Woody who – thanks to her expertise – has now made it to his 13th birthday.
She told the Daily Star: "Woody was found by a couple of young boys stuck in a creek in a community about five hours south of Edmonton. The boys got help because they thought he was drowning.
"Lethbridge Animal Control came to his rescue. They got him out of the water and discovered his biggest problem was obesity. He weighed 210 pounds (15st)."
The animal authorities had heard of Kai's remarkable transformation and so got in touch with Misfits Rescue which Pam worked with to get the golden retriever trim and healthy.
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Woody, though, was not as forthcoming to his new diet as Kai was – which brought its own challenges.
Pam said: "Of course I just couldn’t say no to Woody’s beautiful old soul.
"So I agreed to foster but was adamant I wouldn’t keep him. I joked I have room in my heart for him but no room in my house. Woody took a lot longer than Kai to adjust to his new healthy menu plan.
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"At first I would pretend to microwave his food and scrape it into an old pot to feed him – like he was getting human leftovers. He wouldn’t eat out of the dog dish at first.
"After three to four weeks he slowly began to get excited about meal time – I think by following what my others dogs do. Meal time is loud excitement at our house."
Woody even benefited from have a raised feeding station at home which was kindly donated by a local business in Edmonton where the cold, snowy weather is right up his breed's street.
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Pam also had to work on Woody's exercise, which was made all the more difficult because he's not great off the lead – one Christmas he even entered full hunting mode and vanished chasing a moose.
Pam continued: "He’s very stubborn and has super poor off-leash recall. Found that out the hard way on Boxing Day when I was snowshoeing with the dogs. Woody saw a moose and took off leash in tow.
"Abby and Kai came back but no shot for Woody! I posted on Kai’s Facebook page that Woody ran away- and notified Misfits. Local people who follow our page started helping look for him.
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"A mother and her daughter found him about 2km away and met me to pick him up. His days of learning recall ended that day- he’s now on leash at all times when we’re out."
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Making it to 13 years old is no small feat for an Alaskan malamute, least of all one who was getting stuck in streams just two years earlier.
Pam said: "There just something so sweet about senior rescues – they are so soulful and grateful. It took Woody around 14 months to lose 100 pounds (7st). He now weighs a healthy 110 pounds (7.8st).
"He’s really looking forward to fall and winter – the cooler temperatures and snow are much easier for him."
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