About Ike

Speak! St. Louis agreed to take Ike into their care and were shocked to find he weighed an astonishing 104 lbs.  He belonged to an older couple that fed him out of love. He was a matted mess and his prior name was Tank. Speak St. Louis quickly decided he needed a new name, a new life, and it should not only be a happy one, but a healthy one, so he‘d be around long enough to enjoy it. This kind of extra weight is so hard on the joints and the organs.

We want Ike to inspire you to live a healthier lifestyle and to join along in his journey to a healthier lifestyle! #hikewithike #speakstlouis #fitnesswithfido #ikecandoit

August 11, 2019 – Rescued

While most of us were playing with dogs at Saturday’s event, one of our volunteers spent her day bringing this big deaf boy to Speak St. Louis. Big is an understatement; he is obese. He is a standard size Aussie who weighs 102.8 lbs. Yes, that means there is more of him to love, but it also means in order for this boy to live a happy and healthy life, he is going to need a lot of work. This much weight is hard on the joints and the organs. We will start first with a complete physical and blood work, including a thyroid panel. He is also horribly matted and we hope the only thing we find under the layers of mats, is feces. 

August 21, 2019 – Cleared for Exercise

His blood tests also reveal I don’t have any medical excuses for being overweight. Therefore, after surviving the week without any extra food, only extra walks and snuggles, I’ve decided I really love life and want to be healthy because not only is this extra weight hard on my joints, it also makes it hard for me to do any of the Aussie things, we love to do like zoomies, hiking, and herding sheep; so I’m going to get fit! As you can see by my frequent frog leg pose, I am still agile. I also walked right up the ramp to the car without any training. 

A lot of people think he is a great Pyrenees because of his size, but he is actual an Australian Shepard/Aussie who is deaf and only about 4-5 years old. Kim from Fitness with Fido stepped up to foster Ike and help him along his journey.

Starting Measurements 8/27/19

  • Neck 18″
  • Chest 39.5″
  • Waist 35″
  • Weight 100 lbs

Skill & Goal Assessment:

  • Going up the stairs
  • Getting into the car without assistance or ramp
  • Building endurance & mobility 


Ike has conquered the stairs! Getting into the car is getting easier and he doesn’t need much assistance anymore. He was placing his front feet up, then I would give him lift, but now with a running start he jumps up onto the floor of the car, then onto the seat by himself. (my car isn’t very high) We are going to keep building up to him to jumping into the backseat…. He loves car rides by the way!

He went to 2 dog swims and swam a little bit, which he enjoyed a lot! He also went to the underwater treadmill twice. The first time September 10th was for a total of 10 minutes for ~ .16 miles, the next time was for a total of 15 minutes ~.28 miles.

Swimming is a great low impact exercise especially for bigger bodies as the water minimizes stress on the joints due to it’s anti-gravity effect. It also helps build endurance, strength and range of motion.

He also had 1-2 mile walks a day and going to a Fitness with Fido class 2x/week.

Right now we’re focusing on building up Ike’s endurance and range of motion to help him on his healthy weight-loss journey. Building on those foundations will help him feel better. We’re not focusing so much on the number on the scale, as it can become obesesive and can fluctuate depending on things like how much water intake and muscle gain when trying to lose weight. Focusing on movements like going up the stairs faster and increasing distance are more attainable to reach your goal and the numbers will naturally drop in time with proper nutrition.

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    to see Ike’s 1 month progress!! 

    Measurements 9/27/19

    • Neck 18″
    • Chest 38″
    • Waist 34.5″
    • Weight 95 lbs

    Skill & Goal Assessment this month: 

    • Getting into the car without a running start
    • Building endurance & mobility is still a priority
    • Lose 5-10 lbs & another 1-2″
    • A down without frog pose


    1 Month Progress

    Mobility, endurance and diet are still a priority, but now that Ike is more acclimated to a new enviroment,  we can really build on his skill set, not just physically, but mentally. He is taking dog training classes with DLee’s Dog Traininga volunteer with Speak St. Louis, who speacializes with blind and deaf dogs grasiously offered a free 6-week training class to the foster parents so we can both learn sign language to communicate!

    This month goals are to work on a “down” without frog pose. It is an aussie thing to do, but also with his extra weight it is hard for him to lay down properly and tuck his feet in. As his weight comes off it will be easier, but exercises like puppy push ups and laying down on a stepper or fitbone will help improve his down as well. 

    We also have our Hike with Ike Online Challenge coming up October 1st-15th and we will be giving away a free pair of shoes! Also Speak St. Louis is raising funds with Hike with Ike Shirts so check out the different styles! Stay tuned for next month’s updates by following us on Facebook!