By Lisa Maria Garza
(Reuters) - A morbidly obese Texas dachshund once dubbed "Fat Vincent" because his belly was so large it hit the ground when he walked, has found its way out of animal shelter care by dropping half its body weight, on track to become healthy enough for a new owner.
The 7-year-old canine with a love for fast food weighed a whopping 38 pounds (17.24 kg) with a body mass index of over 60 percent body fat in September when he was surrendered to a Houston animal shelter after his elderly owner died, according to his foster mother.
His ideal healthy weight is around 16 pounds.
“Besides terribly high cholesterol and BMI, Vincent's back sloped downward in the middle and our vet was fearful that one false move would cause his back to break,” said Melissa Anderson with K-9 Angels Rescue in Houston.
Now dubbed "Skinny Vinnie," the dog weighs 17.5 pounds due to a healthier diet, swimming with a life jacket in a pool and long walks, Anderson said, adding his fast food craving comes to life every time she goes to a drive-through window of a national coffee house chain.
"He hops over to the driver's seat, sticks his head out the window and waits for the order,” Anderson said.
“He is always disappointed when the coffee arrives, but he never gives up hope.”
(Reporting by Lisa Maria Garza in Dallas; Writing by Jon Herskovitz; Editing by Alan Crosby)