An Overweight German Shepherd Loses More Than 50 Pounds And Falls In Love


 “He’s FIFTY pounds overweight.”

Those were the first words everyone would use to describe Tony — a German Shepherd at the Sacramento SPCA who was unfortunately too overweight for his own good. 

Without true love and faith in himself, Tony did nothing but eat. He needed a family… someone to believe in him and love him, but there was no one. Unfortunately, food was the only thing that brought him happiness. 

But, everything changed the day Lee Asher entered the shelter and turned Tony’s life around. Tony craved an adventure, and he got an incredible one — one that inspired many people all over the world. 

The Incredible Story Of “Tony Too-Tone”

photo of tony in a cage
Source: YouTube screenshot

Tony’s life was very hard. He went from being a dog that was adopted, and returned to a dog living on the streets, and then again in the shelter. All he ever wanted was to be loved. 

While laying in the animal shelter, he was lonely, depressed, and in desperate need of help. 

When Lee first saw Tony, he immediately could see that this dog had really given up. He weighed 150 pounds, and had no will to do anything. 

“I don’t think that he felt he’d ever really experience love. But, this time, he’s never going back”, said Lee. 

It was love at first sight. Ever since Lee adopted Tony, they’ve had a special bond… a very father and son bond. 

“He’d been so used to people not giving him affection. I didn’t want him to think that’s what is going to happen. I’m going to swarm this dog with so much love, so that he knows he’s the most special dog.”

Tony's owner with his pets
Source: @theasherhouse

Tony’s new family was a unique one filled with eight other rescue dogs just like him. As a child, Lee used to go to a dog shelter every day. He would say to the dogs: “I’m going to save all of you”, and now, that’s exactly what he is doing. 

With his furry children, Lee travels around the country and promotes dog adoption. His one true mission is to inspire people to adopt, not shop. 

“In this family of misfits, what we have is unconditional love.” 

— The Asher House

Each dog was a great example to Tony, and one of the reasons why Tony felt at home. 

Tony’s Journey To Getting Fit  

tony on his fitness journey
Source: YouTube screenshot

When Tony first came to the Asher House, he didn’t really believe in himself. He was distant, and he even tried to hide from everyone. He couldn’t walk up the stairs, and he couldn’t hold himself up or even catch a treat.

Since there was a huge possibility of heart problems and hip and joint issues, he needed to lose a third of his body weight. 

His road to getting fit was about to commence, with love and affection as key ingredients, according to Lee. 

tony running through snow
Source: YouTube screenshot

With lighter meals, hard work, and training sessions, Tony was slowly starting to lose weight. He had to learn to keep up with the pack, but he was slowly becoming more motivated each day. 

In the first two weeks of training and exercise with the whole squad, Tony lost three pounds. After one month, he weighed 123 pounds, and had 23 lbs more to lose, which was an incredible improvement. 

He needed to lose just a little bit more weight to be able to go on a family road trip. But now, Tony had one more reason to keep him motivated — his Lillie. 

The Most Beautiful Love Story   

Tony cuddling with his girlfriend Lillie
Source: @theasherhouse

Tony did not only find his furever home, but he also fell in love along the way. Lillie, a beautiful Saint Bernard girl, and Tony, soon became very attached. They adored each other and loved spending time together. 

Lillie became Tony’s girlfriend. She helped boost his confidence, and his personality really started to come out. 

Tony's owner holding him
Source: @theasherhouse

“Tony is starting to realize that it doesn’t matter how much weight he gains or loses… whatever he does, he’s always going to be perfect in my eyes. He is home.”, said Lee.

Tony’s First Real Adventure 

Tony on his adventure after losing weight
Source: YouTube screenshot

When Tony reached the 115-pound weight mark, he was finally healthy enough to be able to go on his first adventure with the whole crew. 

For the first time in his life, he visited the beach, experienced new smells, did some new activities, and had an amazing time. He was running around with his family and friends and losing even more weight. 

Last Two Pounds To Lose 

Tony running across Brooklyn Bridge to lose weight
Source: @theasherhouse

In order for Tony to lose the last two pounds, Lee had a great idea about running across the Brooklyn Bridge. 

With the help of his family, he achieved the unthinkable. He managed to lose over 50 pounds and get his life back on track. Lee truly believed in him, and that’s exactly what helped Tony regain faith in himself. 

“It doesn’t matter the size, what the breed is, we accept each other no matter what. A healthy family requires unconditional love. Love with no judgment.”

cute photo of tony and his owner
Source: @theasherhouse

“To make a life better, that’s what life is about. Rescuing is so beautiful because you save a life… actually, it is a pretty easy way to see what love and life are all about,” concludes Lee.

Tony’s weight loss is truly inspirational, but to see him finally learn to love and be loved is even more heartwarming. My heart is full knowing that during his life, he got to experience the love he truly deserved. 

He was a beautiful dog — loyal, loving, and gentle

Unfortunately, Tony passed away in August 2022, but the memory of him and his outstanding achievement will surely live forever. You’ve touched and inspired many… Rest well, beautiful boy.