3 Career Lessons From Obie, the (Formerly) Obese Dachshund

Sometimes, career wisdom comes from the oddest of places -- for instance, from the life and struggles of Obie, a dachshund who once weighed 77 pounds.


(Photo Credits: Obie's Facebook Page/Flickr)

With the help of owner Nora Vanatta and an Oregon veterinary clinic, the 7-year-old pooch has dropped 50 pounds. Vanatta adopted him last year, after a local rescue announced online that they had a severely overweight dog in need of a home -- and help.

"He arrived on August 18 and to my astonishment he was a dachshund and he actually weighed 77 lbs," Vanatta told the Daily Mail. "He is extremely sweet and loving. He was obviously loved and is a joy to work with. The aging owners just couldn't say no to those big brown eyes. But we are thrilled to be able to help him, and now [he is] moving on with his new life."


What can we learn from this leaner and meaner wiener dog? (Sorry. We are so sorry.)

A few things:

1. Doing things the right way is more important than doing things quickly.

Vanatta, who has a degree in Animal Science from Colorado State University, put Obie on a healthy diet, on which he has gradually lost the weight over the course of eight months. He's also had in-patient care at a local clinic. No fad diets or starvation for this puppy.

The same goes for your career. Don't be discouraged if success doesn't happen overnight. Keep plugging away and you'll see results.

2. Ask for help.

Obie's owner solicited donations over PayPal to help defray the costs of his care. (Not without controversy, but she says all monies were used for Obie.)

Folks who are reluctant to network often feel like they're asking for handouts when they investigate new job opportunities and professional connections. Don't let this be you. Learn from Obie, and ask for a hand when you need one.

3. Use social media to your advantage.

Vanatta and Obie have appeared on "The Today Show" and "Live With Kelly and Michael," among other media outlets, but their true success is more grassroots. Obie's Facebook page currently has over 100,000 likes, and is still growing.

Social networks like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn give us the chance to create our own brands and promote them. Make sure your profiles are camera-ready.

Tell Us What You Think

What's the best career advice you've ever received? We want to hear from you! Leave a comment or join the discussion on Twitter.


  1. 10 marc 30 Sep

    why do people have to be so angry? the bottom line is a young doxie's life was SAVED and now he is living a happy life surrounded by active family and other dogs. Not many would take that challenge and Nora did.

    Kudos to her and all she did to get the job done. Nothing else matters. The rest is just non-issue. Stop the negative and angry comments. Take some yoga classes and release your anger in  a positive way.

    Keep on going Obie and Nora! love and kisses!

  2. 9 Linda Suttee 29 Sep

    I see that the ODR trolls are alive and well.  We know it is them because they are repeating the lies that were made up by them.  Envy and jealousy are so sad.  

  3. 8 anothercasualobserver 22 Sep

    Wow, @CasualObserver. You certainly make a lot of assumptions. . . like that the people commenting here are even looking for jobs. They might have just seen an article about Obie and came over to criticize. . . not necessarily the best use of anyone's time, but no indication that they don't have jobs, that they didn't study, that they spend too much time on social media, etc.

    I could go on and on, but really, you spelled "penance" as "pennants" and that's just hilarious coming from someone trying to act superior to the other posters on this thread.

  4. 7 CasualObserver 20 Sep
    LOL!! I'm just noticing that the comments are obviously off track… however it's poignant in another way.  I find myself asking “if all these commentators can’t seem to even stay on focus long enough over a simple parable, how can they stay focused over a typical 9 hour work day?”  No wonder they don’t have a job (just my guess)… My job search advice to them would be to stay on task; get on and off of social network sites quickly and just get what you need done; read your resume over and over and if you don’t like what’s on there (or not on there as the case usually is) then change it… it’s usually your damn fault that you’re not hired, your just not as qualified.  While others are out there volunteering you’re looking at Facebook; while others were studying in the library you were partying with your Sorority/Fraternity brothers and sisters or the likes.  So now you have pennants to do in the form of volunteering and begging for whatever opportunities cometh your way. Good Luck!
  5. 6 Ray Cooper 17 Sep

    Too bad the ODR lemmings have to pee on every article about Obie and the good that has come of this... Good read on the article.

    Wish you the best Nora , Obie, Noggin & Hunter too....

  6. 5 Obiedietisnotgood 14 Sep

    She feeds the dog FREE crappy food.  She probably starved him so he would loose the weight.  Fools.

  7. 4 Shameonthiswoman 14 Sep

    I would love for this woman to show us her "expenses" for this dog.  Putting a dog on a diet does not cost thousands of dollars.  Her claims? She needs to be transparent.  Why is she still showing a paypal account on her facebook page ? She is still accepting money from people because I sent her a "small" amount to see if she still took money.  She does.  She is unreal. Why is it that people do not see this?  What has she done with that money? It's In THE BANK! She continues to exploit this dog for more money.  If people only knew the real story about this woman.  She is looking for fame. Ask her about her hollywood agent and now much of the Obie money she spent on that? And why would she call the dog OBIE? Short for Obese, that's not secret. How shameful. It is not rocket science to put a dog on a diet. She got free food, free medical, and what did it cost her? Nothing.  Lawyer fees? Last I heard there were none.  She needs to come forward and provide receipts to show people where this money is going.  Unreal.

  8. 3 none your business 14 Sep
    FYI Look at the details NORA never spent a cent on this dog...everything was handed to her for FREE so please tell me where did all the money get spent on really..who ever writes these article maybe should do their god damn research...everything even the dog food was FREE..and till this day she never adopted OBie she took him she was a foster for the rescue but when the money  started comin in she booted them off the FB page and the paypal aaccount...the mistake was making her manager of anything. not she is tryong to put this poor dog on a world tour to rake in more money why who needs the money...ask yourselves why did DR. Oz cancel the appearance with the dog...they were less than thrilled that they found out the dog flew cargo against the vets advice so she can march her fat ass on tv...With all that money at least fix your hair an buy nice clothes you look like trash
  9. 2 Sheri 12 Sep

    Check out Obie's page for all the info about his diet.  It's in the notes  section on his Facebook page


  10. 1 Joyce Rogers 12 Sep

    I  live  in  Phenix  City,  AL  and  I  own  a  female  "Obie" - her  name  is  Heidi  and  I  am  her  3rd  owner.  She  is  the  sweetest  dog  but  has  the  same  problem  as  Obie.  After  she  was  spayed,  she  gradually  gained  weight.  I  do  not  know  what  she  weighs  now  but  she  is  too  big !!!  When  we  go  outside  she  loves  to  run  but  is  panting  when  we  get  inside.  Can you  tell  me  about  the  diet  Obie  was  on......Heidi  is  7  years  old.  Thanks  !!!  :)



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