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 104 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.

Month One Beginning & Progress

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.

    month one progress and new goals

    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

     

    Mobility, endurance and diet are still a priority, but now that Ike is more acclimated to a new environment,  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 specializes with blind and deaf dogs graciously 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!

    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!

    Subscribe to our Youtube Channel

    to see Ike’s 1 month progress!! 

    Month Two Progress

    Measurements 10/30/19

    • Neck 17″
    • Chest 36″
    • Waist 33″
    • Weight 93 lbs

    Skill & Goal Assessment this month: 

    • Working on “Stay” and “Crawl”
    • Building endurance & mobility is still a priority
    • Lose 5 lbs to get out of the 90’s  & another 1-2″

    He lost 2 pounds, but  lost 2 inches around his chest & waist! Also an inch around his neck! That’s why it’s important to not just keep track of the numbers on the scale as they can fluctuate because as he is building muscle his body is transforming like seeing an indentation of a waist.

    Ike is becoming more jolly and he is loving car rides because he is always ready for the next adventure! He still needs a bit of a running start, but he is getting in easier.

    He is getting better at down without a frog pose as weight is coming off and with exercises like practicing a down on a raised piece of equipment.

    Endurance and mobility are still a priority even if it’s getting cold outside we will work on exercises like stairs and hurdles inside!  This month we will work on “crawl” as it’s a great exercise for their abs and legs! We’re also going to work on “stay” as he likes to wiggle because he is so excited! Stay is such an important skill for your dog to learn.

    Diet: He gets 2 1/2 cup meals a day along with a digestion supplement and treats proportioned out. He also gets toppers like primal or veggies like green beans or carrots. Veggies are full of fiber which help you feel fuller longer!

    We also have our Hike with Ike Online Challenge #2 coming up November 1st -15th and we are giving away over $100 worth of prizes! It’s a free contest click here 

    Subscribe to our Youtube Channel

    to see Ike’s 2 month weight-loss journey!! 

    Ike’s 3 Month Progress

    Measurements 11/30/19

    • Neck 17″
    • Chest 36″
    • Waist 33″
    • Weight 88 lbs

    Skill & Goal Assessment this month: 

    • Working on “Stay” and Hurdles
    • Building endurance & mobility is still a priority
    • Lose 2-5 lbs & another 1-2″
    Guess who’s out of the 90s!!

    He weighs 88 lbs! He lost 5 pounds and his measurements are the same! Isn’t it cool to see his transformation and how numbers and measurements can vary?

    The best way to measure improvement, is energy levels! Ike is getting more energy, he still gets tired quickly and out of breathe, but he is loving life and always willing to keep on going!

    He completed the 12 Days of Christmas Challenge and hopes you can join along with us! Watch him complete the challenge in the video below! 

    Diet: He gets 2 1/2 cup meals a day along with a digestion supplement and treats proportioned out. He gets a lot plain cooked green beans and carrots.

    Ike’s 4 Month Progress

    Measurements 12/27/2019

    • Neck 16.5″
    • Chest 36″
    • Waist 32″
    • Weight 87 lbs

    Skill & Goal Assessment this month: 

    • Get down to 85lbs
    • Running a mile with minimal breaks

    Watch Ike’s 4 Month Progress video below and see his difference from August to December in his frog pose.

    Ike is ticking away getting ready for the new year! He’s going into 2020 strong and putting his best paw forward!

    This month he only lost a pound, an inch around his waist and a .5″ around his neck. It may not seem like much, number wise, but now you’re visually starting to tell he’s losing weight as he is getting more a figure. You’re able to see his legs more and a little waist!

    He’s getting better at staying still, only for a minute or so, but it’s a huge improvement as he doesn’t want to miss anything! He’s starting to play with toys a little bit, not for very long, but he picks up a toy a couple times day and plays with it for about a minute.

    We’re still working on building up his endurance. We’ve been working on hurdles, but they sure do tire him out! So we will be working on those more this month and also trying to run a mile with minimal rest.

    He’s still been eating green beans with Purina Weight Management food and dehydrated apples for treats. When we’re training we use mainly his dog food to stay within his calorie limit.

    Join Ike in our 2020 Challenge beginning January 1st! Read more here: https://www.fitnesswithfido.fit/2020-challenge/

    Ike’s 5 Month Progress

    Measurements 2/3/2020

    • Neck 16.5″
    • Chest 35.5″
    • Waist 31.5″
    • Weight 85 lbs

    Skill & Goal Assessment this month: 

    • Working on “Stay” and Hurdles
    • Building endurance & mobility is still a priority
    • Get closer to 80 lbs

    January was a cold month so we weren’t quite as active outdoors to practice running a mile, so we did a lot training indoors as he’s helping me with my Best in Show Online Workout Program. We managed to hit last month’s goal of getting down to 85 lbs! Ike lost two pounds, but he also lost a half inch around his waist and chest! I wasn’t sure if we were going to see any differences this month because it didn’t seem like we were as active, but it seems the workout program and managing his diet worked!

    Also it seems like his collar is starting to get looser around his neck and will need adjusting soon! We did end up having a couple nice days so I got the hoop out which he hasn’t done since October, watch him go thru it now!

    It really is all about time and consistency! 

    Ike’s 6 Month Progress

    Measurements 3/19/2020

    • Neck n/a
    • Chest n/a
    • Waist n/a
    • Weight 83 lbs

    Skill & Goal Assessment this month: 

    • Building endurance & mobility is still a priority
    • Get closer to 80 lbs

    I didn’t get his measurements this month, time flew by with everything going on and shifting to online classes, but here is Ike’s latest water treadmill adventure 🐬

    He’s up to 34 minutes and down to 83lbs, so he lost 2 pounds from last month!

    It will be awhile until he goes back again due to covid-19, but we will keep busy with our virtual online classes we can do together while at home 🐾

    Watch the video until the end to see his favorite part 💕

    This was Ike after our Canine Conditioning class tonight.He fell asleep on the Cato Outdoors Board while I was talking 😴

    I can’t believe he’s been with us for over 8 months already! I need to do another weigh in soon, because I’m pretty sure he’s under 80 lbs now… Just might have to weigh him the old school way since we’re staying at home practicing social distancing 💪

    Ike’s 8 Month Progress

    Measurements 5/27/2020

    • Neck 16″
    • Chest 35″
    • Waist 30″
    • Thigh 16″
    • Weight 83lbs

    Skill & Goal Assessment this month: 

    • Get closer to 80 lbs
    • Change up his exercise routine to make it more challenging, more cardio and strength exercises

    So Ike has finally hit a plateau with his weight. He still weighs 83 lbs, so he hasn’t lost any weight since his last weigh in March 19th, 2 months ago. He has lost some inches though around his entire body. A plateau is a state of little or no change after a time of activity or progress, so that means we now have to begin switching up his exercise routine. 

    Up to this point it has mainly been daily 1 mile walks and strength building exercises and his body has gotten use to that, which is good, but to continue seeing results we will have to begin taking it up a notch like running instead of walking or for longer distances, adding in more dynamic moves like agility. This is a good point to be in though because now he can physically do this, which he wasn’t able to before because of all the excess weight made it hard on his joints. 

    The goal now is still get to that 80 lb mark, which the smaller he gets the harder it will be for him to lose weight. His goal weight is still to get to 60 lbs which is still a ways to go.

    Oh and almost forgot to tell you he got adopted!!! by me!! I’m a foster failure, the way he looks at me I couldn’t picture him in another househould, plus he fits in so well here and I think it would break his heart if he had to leave.

    Ike’s 11 Month Progress

    Measurements 8/21/2020

    • Neck 16″
    • Chest 35″
    • Waist 30″
    • Weight 82 lbs

    Skill & Goal Assessment this month: 

    • get under 80 lbs
    • weight pulling 
    • celebrate 1 year of his journey!

    I can’t believe it’s almost been a year since he started his journey! Ike started at double his body weight at 107 lbs, he currently is at 82 lbs. We’re still working on getting under that 80 lb mark, but it’s been so hot out we haven’t been quite as active as we could be and with covid. However though he has way more endurance and can jump so much higher, that’s why it’s so important to pay attention and celebrate those non-scale victories because sometimes the scale does lie. 

    Watch this video of him running, something he couldn’t do when we first met him! Also please subscribe if you haven’t already, we’re doing a mini fitbone giveaway when we reach 100 subscribers and also to see his 1 year progress video, it’s going to be amazing! 

    Also to celebrate 1 year of his journey Hike with Ike 2.0 will be starting up in Septmeber. It’s a free challenge and we will be giving away prizes to those who walk the most and post the most on social media. Get the details here

    Ike’s 1 Year Progress

    Measurements 11/19/2020

    • Neck 16″
    • Chest 35″
    • Waist 30″
    • Weight 82 lbs

    Skill & Goal Assessment this year: 

    • get to his goal weight of around 60 lbs
    • get faster and more endurance
    • enjoy life!

    Wow, I can’t believe it’s been a year since he started his journey! So i’m a couple months late with his update, this year is just flying by, but wow has he come a far way! When I first got him he could barely do the stairs, he had trouble getting into the car and now he is doing all of that with flying colors! He still has awhile to go to reach his goal weight of 60 lbs, but this is why it’s a journey. The first pounds are the easiest, it’s the last ones that are hard to lose, but he is getting there one day at a time and we’re not focused on the number, we’re just focused on enjoying life. So for any of you that are on a weight-loss journey, don’t get discouraged, you didn’t gain the weight all at once it was gradual and that’s how you’ll lose it too, gradually. Just keep going, don’t give up!

    You’re going to love his progress video seeing his side by sides and how far he has come, so make sure to give it a thumbs up, comment, share and subscribe! When we reach 100 subscribers we’re doing a mini fit bone giveaway and we’re super close, they will be the perfect prize for the winter time!

    Also our 12 Days of Christmas Challenge begins December 1st and we’re giving away a ton of cool prizes like a Barkbox, Treats Unleashed and a whole bunch more!! Plus it’s free to enter, get all the details here: https://www.fitnesswithfido.fit/12-days-of-christmas-challenge/