Woman fosters obese golden retriever to help her lose weight — incredible transformation inspires internet

When pets become severely overweight, it can be a real threat to their health and quality of life. These hefty pets need someone who will give them the love and care they need and get them back into shape.

Recently, one woman decided to foster an obese golden retriever — beginning a weight loss journey that has inspired people everywhere.

Annika Bram, a 24-year-old student at UC-Davis School of Veterinary Medicine, had no plans of taking in another dog any time soon, after the death of her dog Georgia last year, according to the Washington Post.

But then she heard about an 8-year-old golden retriever named Frannie, who was in desperate need of a caring home. Frannie was obese: at 125 pounds, she was double the normal body weight of her breed.

Frannie’s owners were planning to euthanize her due to her obesity, but a rescue group called Rover’s Retreat wanted to give her a chance.

Annika knew she could be the one to turn Frannie’s life around: her late dog Georgia had also been overweight when she adopted her, but she helped her lose a huge amount of weight. “I think Georgia sent her to me. Georgia is telling me I need to help this dog,” she told the Washington Post.

After meeting Frannie, she knew she had her work cut out for her. “I didn’t really realize the extent of how bad off she was,” Annika told Good Morning America. “I couldn’t get her to stand up. She had no energy left in her. She couldn’t walk.”

“She just sat there and kind of panted and just looked miserable.”


Annika said that Frannie’s excessive weight was caused by untreated hypothyroidism, and as a result she was suffering other health problems like calluses on her elbows and back legs, poor skin and a fur-less tail. With her previous family, Frannie had lived outside most of the time and was often fed table scraps.

“She never had proper vet care,” Rover’s Retreat president Sydney Maleman told the Post. “She was drinking out of a paint bucket.”

Despite the many challenges, Annika was undeterred. “I knew I was the best person to help this dog, and if anyone was going to do it, I was going to do it,” she said. “I wasn’t going to give up that easy.”

Annika documented Frannie’s weight loss journey in an Instagram called “Frannie’s Fight.” Initially she used a container to help the golden retriever relearn how to stand on her legs. Over time, she began to walk on her own.


Frannie has been working so hard every single day and is now getting up much more often on her own! She still definitely appreciates the help getting up but when she really wants something (and she’s on non-slip ground) she can actually get up on her own! She has been particularly getting up when I leave her sight and she wants to see where I went! I often come back to her and she’s already standing walking towards me! I can tell she is going to be a major “Velcro dog”. She has improved SO much in this last month and we cannot see what this next month has in store for her! 💗💗 @Rovers_Retreat #fightlikefrannie #fyp #foryoupage #dogsoftiktok #dogs #goldenretriever #goldenretrieverlife #dogrescue #rescuedog #rescueanimals #animalrescue #obesity #weightloss #animalsoftiktok

♬ Happier – Marshmello & Bastille

With exercise and a weight loss diet, Frannie has shown remarkable improvements in the months since Annika took her in. She has lost 31 pounds in three months, and it has done wonders to her physical and mental health.

“She goes crazy for her tennis ball and will, like, run around with it and throw it up in the air,” Annika told GMA. “Just the fact that she can walk is incredible to me. It sounds crazy but every little thing is a big thing for us.”

“She’s a completely different dog,” she told the Post. “Every day, her personality comes out more. All that personality has been hidden away for so long.”


Frannie is progressing so much every day! She started out barely able to walk more than a few steps, even with a lot of encouragement and support. Now, she is walking a little more on her own! She still requires a lot of help and is far from being independent but is getting stronger (and sassier) each and every day 💗💪✨ @Rovers_Retreat #fightlikefrannie #fyp #foryoupage #dogsoftiktok #dogs #goldenretriever #goldenretrieverlife #dogrescue #rescuedog #rescueanimals #animalrescue #obesity #weightloss #animalsoftiktok

♬ Unstoppable (I put my armor on, show you how strong I am) – Sia

Frannie still has some ways to go — Annika’s goal is to get her down to 70 pounds — but she’s shown remarkable progress, and her story has inspired many people online.

“It’s just incredible to see the response from people,” Annika said. “I didn’t really realize it was because of how much of an impact she was making on people’s lives and how much of an inspiration she was.”


Frannie broke some new records in the last few days! On Friday she walked 0.28 miles (0.45 km) and on Saturday she walked 0.3 miles (0.48km)!!!! Her previous longest walk was 0.17 miles (0.27km). Frannie has really shown us how much fight she has in her! I cannot stress how much of a big deal this is! Just two months ago Frannie was 99% immobile and had to be carried or supported everywhere. Now look at her! It’s incredibly rewarding to see her transition and to know that a lot of love and patience can go a long way. 💖 Thank you guys so much for your never ending support for Frannie! We are so appreciative of our Fran Club Cheerleaders!! 💖✨💗💪 #fightlikefrannie #fyp #foryoupage #dogsoftiktok #dogs #goldenretriever #goldenretrieverlife #dogrescue #rescuedog #rescueanimals #animalrescue #obesity #weightloss #animalsoftiktok #petsoftiktok

♬ Fight Song – Rachel Platten

Frannie’s first snow! I know that might seem silly to a lot of you guys that have snow regularly but we never get snow where we live in California! So yesterday we drove Frannie up to go see some snow for the first time! It’s safe to say that she loved it! She didn’t quite know what to think of it at first but then she really started to enjoy it. I believe it is so important to give your dogs fun and unique experiences to really enhance their quality of life! If you would have told me she could be walking around in the snow two months ago I wouldn’t believe you! I am so proud of her and hope that next time we visit the snow she will be mobile enough to run around and play in it! 💖🤩 #fightlikefrannie #fyp #foryoupage #dogsoftiktok #dogs #goldenretriever #goldenretrieverlife #dogrescue #rescuedog #rescueanimals #animalrescue #obesity #weightloss #animalsoftiktok #petsoftiktok @Rovers_Retreat

♬ Walking On a Dream – Empire of the Sun

Thank you for giving this precious dog the love and care she needs and helping her get back to a health weight! What an incredible transformation from being unable to stand to stand to a happy, playful dog!

You can follow Frannie’s weight loss adventure on TikTok and Instagram!

Please share this incredible story!