After his elderly owners could no longer care for him, Obie the Dachshund was handed over to Oregon Dachshund Rescue for re-homing.

A morbidly obese, five-year-old dog, Obie weighed 77 pounds — some 40 pounds above normal — when Nora Vanatta of Portland stumbled onto his online profile. "Ageing owners with failing health were simply loving him with food," Vanatta is quoted as saying. "They just couldn't say no to those big brown eyes."

Vanatta, however, is just the right person to get Obie back down to his ideal weight.

Already a dog owner, Vanatta is also a certified veterinary technician with an animal science degree and eight years experience in the field. Joining forces with Purina to put together a custom low-fat, high-protein diet for Obie, Vanatta plans to reduce the doxie's size before starting him on an exercise regimen.

Vanatta says she will likely start things off slow with some hydrotherapy and a treadmill.

A happy, gregarious pooch, Obie appears to have no other health problems besides his extra weight. And Vanatta hopes he will soon be rid of that. "My hope is that he can be an inspiration to any person or animal trying to lose weight," she said.

[H/T: Arbroath, photo via Facebook]