And when a man drove two hours to meet him at an adoption event in Bakersfield, California, over the weekend, Ricky Bobby met him with a resounding growl.
And that might have been it for a dog who had already been dealt a bad hand in life. He had, after all, been left in the yard after his owner died. Sympathetic neighbors would throw hamburgers and Spam over the fence, likely saving the dog's life - while adding to his unearthly girth.
When Marley's Mutts finally got to Ricky Bobby, he weighed 108 pounds, nearly twice as much as a healthy Australian cattle dog should weigh.
"Ricky Bobby is one of the most unnaturally titanic organisms we've ever rescued," the rescue group declared at the time.
Still mourning the loss of his owner, the dog proved surly at first. Rescuers had trouble taking him out of the only yard he had ever known.
But gradually, Ricky Bobby came around. Through diet and exercise, he even shed some weight - Marley's Mutts founder Zach Skow suggests as much as 10 pounds.