GGPWCF's HUGE success story!Golden Gate Pembroke Welsh Corgi Fanciers logo

Updated 2010! See bottom....


Gus's owner died in the Spring of 2008, and he was taken in by the owner's son. However, after 6 months, Gus and the couple’s existing male had “marked” their house so badly in competition that the couple did not know what to do. This was a behavior they did not know how to correct, and decided it was best if Gus just went to another home. So, they contacted GGPWCF Rescue. We were told that Gus came from a ranch breeder, but they did not know any of the details, and had not found any records.

I had arranged to meet this couple December 7, 2008 at the GGPWCF Corgi Faire. Thankfully the owner's son was able to find a crate to bring Gus, a #400/large kennel. When I met the son, he asked me, "is your husband here? This crate is heavy; it will take both of us to transfer it." I assured him that I was strong enough to help him. That was when I learned just how "huge" Gus was..... Gus came to us morbidly obese at 78 pounds!

When they contacted me, Gus had not been to the vet since January 2003. The owner's son took him to the vet for us, and vaccinated him, and tested him for heartworms before surrendering him. This was when they learned just how large "Gus-Gus" had gotten. 78 pounds! They had known this information for two weeks; maybe were afraid to tell me; afraid that I would not take him. Thankfully he is a large male. His frame is large enough that his belly does not drag the ground.

We got the crate moved and the release forms signed. After they left, I just sat down and thought I was going to be ill. I wasn’t sure I knew where to start with such a obese dog. I had only read about such things. "Huge" to me was when my male corgi had put on 5 pounds when I was pregnant with my first child. I gathered myself, and went back into the Corgi Faire.

Over the next couple of hours, I began to learn how I was going to fix this. We were able to get Gus over to the grooming booth because he was a mess. I actually think the wonderful ladies there removed a pound of fur from him! Gus was scared, and he was in pain. We tried to pick him up to put him on a grooming table and he whined and growled, because it hurt, so they groomed him on the floor. We got him micro-chipped too.

At the end of the day, Gus was put back in the crate, lifted into my van and we headed home. All the way home, I could hear him breathing heavily. I kept telling myself that we would just take it one day at a time. After we got him unloaded, my husband Bob remarked, "Well you always said you wanted a pot bellied pig." It sounds cruel, but he was right. This corgi has the body shape of a pig. My husband had already set him up an ex-pen, with several blankets and towels for a bed. He figured if this dog is as big as I told him, we don't have to worry about him trying to escape.

So this ends our first day with Gus. Gus has still got this scared, shell-shocked look on his face. We know this will be a long process, but we are committed to fostering him. We do have young boys, so if there are any aggression issues, he will be moved to another foster home. Gus will not be available for adoption until he reaches an optimum weight. We are planning on Gus will being with us for at least a year.


December 8, 2008

The next morning, we discovered Gus did not touch his kibble and green beans from the night before. It will be two days until he finally eats. He is drinking water.

Although Gus was groomed at Corgi fair, he was still dirty. I have this nice large stainless steel restaurant grade utility sink in my garage to bathe the dogs. It is more than large enough for my male. However, given the fact that we cannot lift Gus, I just hooked a garden hose to it and bathed him in the driveway with warm water. Please understand that I live on the Central Coast of CA, and the climate is very mild. In fact, it was 78 degrees, even in December. I scrubbed with a wash cloth, rinsed, and toweled off. I took him out back, hooked up my dog dryer, and proceeded to dry him. He was not thrilled! But after walking around in circles he resigned himself to the fact I was not giving up, and it was too much effort to try to get away from me.

Gus also began to get some “house” time. Our kitchen and family room is one large room with tile floor. That way if there is an accident, it’s easy to clean it up. It’s also completely gated off from the rest of the house. So, Gus spent time inside on leash. I introduced him to my boys Billy (5) and JC (3) through the gate. I am always very careful about the dogs and the boys. Although my children have been raised to have utmost respect for animals, this is an unknown dog. Gus spent the majority of the afternoon and evening inside the kitchen lying down. The scared look on his face seems to be gone.

His vet appointment to get a blood panel drawn and discuss his care is scheduled for Friday afternoon.

December 9

Gus still has not touched his food. I keep dumping and replacing his kibble and green beans. Gus had a great day. I introduced him to my female Gabby. Gabby stiffs, but just leaves him alone. She normally tries to engage any new dogs into a game of chase, but she does not even try. He has no reaction to Gabby, in fact he does not even get up from lying down to check her out. Bob also took Gus for a very short walk. I am getting worried about Gus not eating, so I mix a tablespoon of canned food into his kibble. He finally eats.


December 10, 2008

His diet is 1/4 cup Nutro Ultra Senior kibble, 1/4 c. low sodium green beans and 1. tablespoon of canned.

Gus is also leaking urine, literally. He is not marking, just dribbling. I will discuss this with the vet. I will probably look into getting him a belly band. Gus is extremely sensitive on his belly, to the point that he will yelp when you touch it, so we have to figure this out first. He is a sweet soul, but a very stubborn one. He now will follow me around the kitchen. I guess it is a good form of exercise. He did walk with me and my son to the bus stop this morning (very short distance and very slow). He did well, but was thankful the walk was over afterwards. We are extremely cautious about doing too much. Our greatest fear is that his heart gives out. We are trying to be optimistic, but will not get our hopes up too much until we talk to the vet.

December 12, 2008

Gus here! "Today I went to see the doc (Dr. Anndrea Fling); why, I don't know...I'm not portly, it's all muscle! I think of myself as "Arnold-With-Fur" and I'm so important that two people have to lift me in and out of the car! I got on the scale and I weigh only 76 pounds. That's two pounds less than when I arrived, so all the added exercise must be doing something. The doc says I've got little issues here and there. My right eye weeps a little from a small growth, but no big deal, so I hear. My heart goes pitter patter real fast, but that's because of all the exercise I'm doing (or thinking of doing while I am laying down). I guess the humans want me to see the doctor every couple of weeks, and they keep saying that I'm on a twice a day, 1/4 cup of food, green bean diet. And I'm like 'Duuuude, I'm a corgi, we can self-feed, really we can!' I also have crystals in my urine. Since the doctor had to use an ultrasound to collect the urine, she was able to rule out stones. We are hoping that it was my poor diet that caused this, and that they will go away with time. Finally, the humans I am fostering are learning that I can howl! Those hound doggies got nothing on me, I can sit in the back yard and howl like the best of them...and the other doggies in the neighborhood think I'm "Too-Sexy-For-My-Fur!" Well, nuff for today..."

January 20, 2009

Gus is doing wonderfully, and as of his bi-monthly weigh in 1 week ago, only 69 pounds. The vet is very pleased with his progress, and is very hopeful that he will continue to thrive. Since he will be with us for an extended period of time, we integrated him with our pack. He is a very well mannered dog, and gets along well with both our female (alpha) and our male. He lives mainly in our family room/kitchen, and has proven that he is house trained, and really likes the big round doggie bed from Costco. He is now on a diet of Nature's Logic & green beans. This is a gluten free diet. He does well with our children, but he has shown that when it gets too loud, that he asks to go outside, by standing at the back door. After he was more comfortable and settled, he now will play fetch with the other dogs, and gets exercise that way. However, we are very careful about exercise since his frame was never intended to carry this amount of weight.


March 11, 2009

Well, Gus has been with us for about three months now. He has continued to visit the vet every 2-3 weeks and his weight is now (drum roll please.....) 58 pounds! We are extremely happy and pleased that he has done so well. He is doing so well, that we have decided to go ahead and place him on the "available list."We will continue to monitor his weight loss, which should be about 20 more pounds, however, he is such a good boy, he deserves to go to his forever home.

Gus' new family
Gus' new Happy Family!

April 25, 2009

Gus went to his new home in Sunnyvale and is now living with a wonderful couple and their two children. He has a lovely home and a wonderful backyard to call his own. Gus is the third corgi this family has had, so they are VERY corgi savvy.

The day before I took Gus to his new home, he went to see the vet for one final weigh-in. His new weight on April 24th was 52.8 pounds! That gives him a total weight loss of 25.2 pounds, or over 30% of his body mass. He still has about 18 pounds to go, but his new family will be taking him for monthly weigh-ins at their vet, and will be in close contact with us to keep us updated.

Gus is learning his new surroundings by taking daily walks. He is enjoying sniffing and exploring, and we are told he is "a very quiet corgi."

I am so thankful for all the positive responses we have had over the past 4 1/2 months. I appreciate all the success stories sent; they really helped get us through those first few weeks. And although I know this situation has been a success, it has given me a whole new perspective on overweight corgis. It is just NOT acceptable. An overweight corgi will not be able to enjoy its life to the fullest. Being overweight is not comfortable for a corgi, and makes it difficult to exercise since it is hard for it to even get around. It is hard on its heart, back and circulatory system. Heat can become a problem too; it does not handle heat well when suffering from obesity. There is no excuse for letting your corgi become grossly overweight, and honestly in my eyes it is abusive. I hope that if you do have a corgi that has more than a few pounds to lose, you will begin doing something about this problem today.

(Gus' story contributed by previous Rescue Chair, Amy McNab)

The New Gus!
The New Gus!
The New Gus!

November 16, 2009

Gus is an amazing 33 lbs. He looks incredible. I just brushed him today and I wish you could see him. He is a changed man. He now loves riding in the car and going on walks. He has made friends with a few dogs that gather at our local school at night. He runs around the field chasing them. He runs small circles while the bigger dogs run in larger circles. He seems to really enjoy life. I think he might be at his ideal weight. It is a little hard to tell since he still has a small roll right above his front legs. It might be loose skin, who knows. We are thinking we will increase his food just a bit to keep him at this weight for a while and see what happens.

- Gus' new family's update



Gus 2010!

November 14, 2010

Gus, The Biggest Loser! 34 lbs Ta-Dah! (started, as you will remember, at 78 lbs!)

Two years after, at Corgi Faire 2010. WOW!!! GO GUS! The biggest Congrats to his new family for taking such good care of him and achieving this AMAZING turnaround!!!!