This Obese Dog Was Found On The Brink Of Death. But Then, Something Incredible Happened
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This Obese Dog Was Found On The Brink Of Death. But Then, Something Incredible Happened

By Chris
May 12, 2017
Source: Facebook/Pearl's Path to Health & Happiness
Source: Facebook/Pearl’s Path to Health &
Happiness

When Pearl the Jack Russell Terrier was found wandering the streets of Georgia, her life hung on the brink. Indeed, dangerously overweight, the poor pup could barely walk. Eventually, however, she found her way to a local rescue center – where her grueling recovery could begin. And two years later, her transformation was incredible.

Source: Facebook/Pearl's Path to Health & Happiness
Source: Facebook/Pearl’s Path to Health &
Happiness

In September 2014, four-year-old stray Pearl was spotted in a parking lot in Augusta, Georgia. But she wasn’t any ordinary stray dog: in fact, she weighed a whopping 76.5 pounds. It was clear that she desperately needed help with her dire situation.

Source: Facebook/Pearl's Path to Health & Happiness
Source: Facebook/Pearl’s Path to Health &
Happiness

A concerned local resident, then, quickly called up a nearby rescue center, Augusta Animal Services. As Pearl was a stray, however, there were very few details that they could ascertain about the pooch. Indeed, there was absolutely zero explanation available as to her gargantuan weight.

Source: Facebook/Pearl's Path to Health & Happiness
Source: Facebook/Pearl’s Path to Health &
Happiness

Due to that weight, however, Pearl suffered from various health problems. She couldn’t walk, or even move her head. And according to veterinarians, her heart could have stopped at any second. In fact, Pearl’s rescuers were worried that they might have to have her put down, before she succumbed to other complications anyway.

Source: Facebook/Pearl's Path to Health & Happiness
Source: Facebook/Pearl’s Path to Health &
Happiness

But then, not long after she arrived at Augusta Animal Services, Pearl was adopted by Dog Networking Agents, a foster program focusing specifically on pooches. One of the charity’s co-founders, Hayley Zielinski, had heard about Pearl’s plight.

Source: Facebook/Pearl's Path to Health & Happiness
Source: Facebook/Pearl’s Path to Health &
Happiness

Zielinski told the Augusta Chronicle, “We realized nobody else could really deal with this extreme case, and we wanted Pearl to make it.” And so, after a brief period in a rehabilitation center, Pearl moved to Zielinski’s home as a long-term foster animal.

Source: Facebook/Pearl's Path to Health & Happiness
Source: Facebook/Pearl’s Path to Health &
Happiness

At the time, Pearl was in such a dire physical state that she couldn’t walk far without having to lie down, and she certainly couldn’t climb steps. When she arrived at Zielinski’s home, then, her new human had to create a makeshift bridge between the car and the top of the stairs ton her house, so that Pearl could walk across it.

Source: Facebook/Pearl's Path to Health & Happiness
Source: Facebook/Pearl’s Path to Health &
Happiness

As such, Zielinski put Pearl through an intense exercise regime, with her diet cut back dramatically. And as a result, the portly pup ended up losing a pound a month. However, her poor fitness levels led to several complications, including Pearl contracting pneumonia.

Source: Facebook/Pearl's Path to Health & Happiness
Source: Facebook/Pearl’s Path to Health &
Happiness

Thankfully, Pearl managed to successfully battle through the illness, and resumed her long road to fitness. As part of her recovery, she paid regular visits to Aiken Pet Fitness and Rehab for physical therapy sessions. And after six months, she was beginning to show signs of progress.

Source: Facebook/Pearl's Path to Health & Happiness
Source: Facebook/Pearl’s Path to Health &
Happiness

Indeed, by March 2015, Pearl had lost 16 pounds, and could finally walk around Zielinski’s house without losing her breath. And she could even roll onto her back, something that she could only really dream of doing before.

Source: Facebook/Pearl's Path to Health & Happiness
Source: Facebook/Pearl’s Path to Health &
Happiness

The vets soon figured out that there were no real medical reasons for Pearl’s excessive weight levels. It turned out that she’d simply been overfed to an extreme degree by her previous owners, before being cast out on the street. It didn’t help that she was also very lazy, but the vets figured that once she started slimming down, she would become more active.

Source: Facebook/Pearl's Path to Health & Happiness
Source: Facebook/Pearl’s Path to Health &
Happiness

Once she began losing weight, however, it quickly became obvious that that wouldn’t happen. Sybil Davis, founder of Aiken Pet Fitness and Rehab, told the Augusta Chronicle, “We thought before that she was lazy because she was so fat. Now we know she’s fat because she’s so lazy.”

Source: Facebook/Pearl's Path to Health & Happiness
Source: Facebook/Pearl’s Path to Health &
Happiness

Nevertheless, even though she was on the road to recovery by this point, Pearl wasn’t really on board with playing outside, or even going for walks. Indeed, that time was still a distant dream for the poor pooch.

Source: Facebook/Pearl's Path to Health & Happiness
Source: Facebook/Pearl’s Path to Health &
Happiness

But Zielinski refused to give up on the overweight animal. She put plenty of effort into a strict exercise regime for Pearl, which even involved making her walk for her food by throwing it across the floor.

Source: Facebook/Pearl's Path to Health & Happiness
Source: Facebook/Pearl’s Path to Health &
Happiness

It wasn’t just weight loss that Pearl required physical therapy for, however. Indeed, she also needed to improve her muscle, coordination and balance – all things that had suffered due to her egregious weight levels.

Source: Facebook/Pearl's Path to Health & Happiness
Source: Facebook/Pearl’s Path to Health &
Happiness

Pearl’s intense exercise regime involved training on an underwater treadmill and using exercise balls. And while she had begun making progress as a result of these routines, Zielinski knew that she was in for the long haul with Pearl.

Source: Facebook/Pearl's Path to Health & Happiness
Source: Facebook/Pearl’s Path to Health &
Happiness

But just two years later, in March 2017, Pearl had made a spectacular transformation. In fact, she’d slimmed down to just 44 pounds – still not quite her ideal healthy weight, but a tremendous difference to where she’d been just two and a half years previously.

Source: Facebook/Pearl's Path to Health & Happiness
Source: Facebook/Pearl’s Path to Health &
Happiness

Zielinski told the Daily Mail that she was massively proud of Pearl’s progress. “She went from being trapped in her own body and scared of the outside world to confident,” she said. “Plus she can even jog every now and again.”

Source: Facebook/Pearl's Path to Health & Happiness
Source: Facebook/Pearl’s Path to Health &
Happiness

Indeed, Pearl can now go for walks like a normal dog, although she’s still incredibly lazy. For instance, Zielinski says that often while on walks, Pearl will simply drop to the ground and refuse to move another muscle.

Source: Facebook/Pearl's Path to Health & Happiness
Source: Facebook/Pearl’s Path to Health &
Happiness

Pearl has also had skin reduction surgery, following her incredible weight loss. And, perhaps unsurprisingly, she’s since become a true inspiration for human dieters everywhere – particularly at local Weight Watchers meetings.

Source: Facebook/Pearl's Path to Health & Happiness
Source: Facebook/Pearl’s Path to Health &
Happiness

Indeed, in her local community, people recognize Pearl everywhere she goes. “People point when they see her and say, ‘Oh my god, that’s Pearl’. She’s very popular in our community,” Zielinski told the Daily Mail. “Everybody loves her and she’s inspiring a lot of people to lose weight themselves.”

Source: Facebook/Pearl's Path to Health & Happiness
Source: Facebook/Pearl’s Path to Health &
Happiness

When Pearl was found lost, alone and overweight in that Augusta parking lot back in 2014, things didn’t look good for her at all. But through a combination of diet, exercise and a whole lot of love and commitment from Zielinski, she’s since made an absolutely remarkable transformation, turned her life around – and become a true inspiration.

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