Gremlin is a valley bulldog from Alberta that’s become a beacon of hope for pets with trouble eating. Since being skin and bones nearly four years ago, he now looks like a new dog.

At one year old, Gremlin was diagnosed with a condition called megaesophagus.

“It’s like his esophagus is paralyzed and the muscles that are supposed to propel his food down into his stomach don’t work properly,” his owner, Chrissy Wilson, explained.

Because food couldn’t be digested properly, it would come back up. Gremlin would regurgitate regularly – more than 20 times a day.

“It was a little sad, because we thought he wouldn’t make it,” said Chrissy’s youngest son, Rayden.

At his sickest, he weighed just 19 pounds.

WATCH: Gremlin has been able to overcome his condition that limited his food intake thanks to a special chair. Now, he’s on an adventure.

“He was getting really, really skinny and we couldn’t put any weight on. Then he started getting colds. He got pneumonia once,” Chrissy said.

At one point, he could hardly walk – his muscles were so weak.

“It was really really difficult to see someone literally wasting away and to do everything in your power to make it so he could eat, but he just kept regurgitating and regurgitating.”

When the Wilson’s took their dog out – strangers cast judgement.

“Most people were pretty cruel. They didn’t understand and there was a lot of ‘why don’t you just put your dog down?’ or ‘just let him go, you’re hurting him by keeping him alive.’

“But they didn’t get to see that he had so much spirit in him. So much to give and so much to live for.”

Even veterinarians told the family their beloved pet wouldn’t survive.

Refusing to give up on Gremlin, the Wilson’s found a mega-esophagus support group on Facebook and other owners suggested they make a doggie high chair that would force Gremlin to eat vertically. That way, gravity could help push the food down his throat, into his stomach.

It worked. Nearly four years later, Gremlin weighs 47 pounds and is loving life – playing fetch, chasing other dogs and cuddling with the Wilson kids.

You would never know he was sick – unless you watched him eat in his special chair.

“We just want to tell everybody that there is hope out there for people that do have dogs diagnosed with this condition,” said Chrissy. “It’s not a death sentence.”

Now, in hopes of raising awareness about mega-esophagus and sharing how their dog is overcoming the disease, the Wilson’s are spoiling Gremlin by taking him on a “barket list” adventure – the canine version of a bucket-list.

On Monday, he ate like royalty at Mr. Mike’s Steakhouse in Camrose – drawing lots of attention from other diners.

“With the permission of Alberta Health Services they granted us the OK to do this on our patio,” explained owner Colleen Konowalyk.

Konowalyk has a pair of labrador retrievers and said she could relate – and wanted to help. “I can’t imagine if someone, a veterinarian especially, said your only hope is to put your dog down.”

The meal at Mr. Mike’s crossed off two items on Gremlin’s list – eating a steak dinner and dining in a restaurant with his family. He’s also been jet-skiing.

Still on the list? Playing in a pool full of squeaky toys, having a play-date with all 10 of the other dogs in his litter and going on an ATV ride.

“He’s one of our kids. He’s part of the family. There’s no other way to put it.”

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