We didn’t weigh Cariñitono when he first arrived at Hound Heights because we weren’t sure our scales would be robust enough. Yes, the poor old guy was quite unbelievably overweight, maybe 100lbs, maybe more. He probably loved and worshipped his owner, who fed him a normal dog-food diet – plus everything he ate himself: cake, rich sauces, ice cream, you name it. He died, at the age of 86, and Cariñitono was brought to AWARE.

Don’t worry if you can’t pronounce Cariñitono’s name, it’s a tough one, and means something like Huge Little Love Bug. We call him Tono. We built him a special enclosure where he could be comfortable, and where other dogs wouldn’t steal his special diet and hypothyroid medicine, and where we could treat the inactivity sores on his legs and belly – he even had sores on his throat, from the rubbing of so many rolls of extra chins.

For a few days Tono just lay there, head on paws, seriously depressed and uninterested in life. He couldn’t even stand up unassisted. But little by little he began to enjoy the attention he was getting, and, noble dog that he is, to respond to us. He even started to wag his weird-looking, hairless tail.

Two months later and Tono has lost maybe 30lbs. He goes for two daily walks – frequently managing a good half mile. His sores have all dried up, and his tail has almost completed a new growth of fur – and he likes to wag it! With the opportunity to be sociable, he now has several canine buddies. After a tiring morning walk he’ll lie in the sun and watch them play.

Tono’s owner loved him, and we know that, could he see Tono now he’d be more than pleased with the recovery this gentle giant is making.

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