Yesterday I was buying a large bag of Purina dog chow for Athena the wonder dog at Wal-Mart and was about to check out. A woman behind me asked if I had a dog. What did she think I had, an elephant? So since I’m retired, with little to do, on impulse, I told her that no, I didn’t have a dog, and that I was starting the Purina Diet again.
Although I probably shouldn’t, because I’d ended up in the hospital last time, but that I’d lost 50 pounds before I awakened in an intensive care ward with tubes coming out of most of my orifices and IVs in both arms.
I told her that it was essentially a perfect diet and that the way that it works is to load your pants pockets with Purina nuggets and simply eat one or two every time you feel hungry and that the food is nutritionally complete so I was going to try it again. (I have to mention here that practically everyone in the line was by now enthralled with my story.)
Horrified , she asked if I ended up in intensive care because the dog food poisoned me. I told her no; I stepped off a curb to sniff an Irish Setter’s ass and a car hit us both.
I thought the guy behind her was going to have a heart attack, he was laughing so hard!
WAL-MART won’t let me shop there anymore.
I cannot trace this joke back further than 2008 when it was sent as email to Chris Pietschmann.
Sorry folks, but there is no gentle way to put this. Letting your dog (or any animal) become this fat is the same as abuse. My veterinary has extremely strong views on this subject, having seen all too many examples of the above.
Right off the bat I am going to admit that I am not certain exactly which breed dog no. 2 is. I think it is an American Eskimo dog, but it is so fat and ill-looking that my untrained eyes just have to do their best. My head actually hurts when I think of how these two dogs must have it – wonderfully skinny dalmation and playful AE dog.
Another person with strong views on the matter is Victoria Stilwell. The chapters of her book It’s Me or the Dog: Fat Dog Slim deals in part with the subjects of
Dogs’ Dinners: good food/bad food; what/how much should puppies and dogs eat? How to make simple dog food yourself; food for puppies/older dogs/particular conditions.
Fat Dog to Slim Dog: what is overweight? Eating plans for overweight dogs; top tips for sticking to it.
Problems, Problems: behavioral problems around food and Victoria’s solutions to them including stealing food, constant begging, etc.
Walkies and Workouts: How exercise is crucial to well-being; how much exercise different breeds need; motivating reluctant exercisers; dealing with problems when exercising such as running off, pulling on lead etc.
Thankfully our Angie has never had this problem. My husband is often tempted to fall for those brown eyes, eager to catch any morsel of food that falls her way. But I am the mean one in our family and try to stop him from falling. She does have beautiful brown eyes and there is nothing quite like the look of a pleading dog. And, you know, that is why people feed and feed and feed their dogs. They just cannot stand to see that look without doing something about it.
While it is abuse to let a dog grow this fat, the people who do the deed do not have bad intentions. They just let their hearts rather than their heads speak. It’s super-easy to do, but it hurts the pet we love so much.
If you are struggling with the temptations of letting your dog have “treats” all the time, take a look at Victoria Stillwell’s home page or buy her books. It will be worth your time. Just take a look at these two wonderfully happy dogs below. Wouldn’t you rather have a dog that exudes the health that these dogs do: