a unique take on life from some unique women
If one more person tells me my dog is fat, I will…try to make them shut up as politely as possible. If we’re being honest. But if we’re being really honest (we?) I would like to punch them in the jaw. These conversations typically consist of someone I barely know launching into a lecture about the proper care of my pet, while I, getting the message after 2 words and already knowing everything they’re telling me, try to hold my anger back at their presumptive condescension (I get it – I look like I’m 12. Let it go.) while nodding and saying, “thank you very much, we actually do care about our pets. Yes, thank you, we have cut back his food. Yes, he’s just large – he eats less than she does. Okay, I understand. I get it. Thank you. Okay, thank you. THANK YOU.” I have never been great at getting people to shut up.
I have two dogs, about five weeks apart in age: a black lab named Blue, and a lab/hound mutt named Zoe. Blue weighs about 90 lbs, and just turned 1 year old. He’s not particularly tall, and yes, he’s a..stocky dog. Our vet encouraged us to feed our puppies and increase their food slowly in quarter-cup increments until they seemed less hungry. We stopped after a while with Zoe, who is the younger of the two, and weighs in at about 60 lbs,and doesn’t have much appetite, but Blue never seems to stop eating. The two dogs have a completely different build – Zoe’s shape resembles a greyhound, and Blue is more the size of a short, black, grizzly bear. In months of going to the vet throughout both of their first years of life, the one person who has not commented negatively on Blue’s weight is our vet. All he says is, “Wow, he’s gotten so big!” And he’s not being passive aggressive. He would tell us in no uncertain terms if he though we were abusing our pet.
Meanwhile, every other WOMAN (never a man) I walk Blue past has an insight on our dog’s weight. These extremely helpful strangers barely have time to introduce themselves before they’re telling me about how hip displasia is caused by excessive weight, and how I’m giving my dog cancer, and have I taken an obedience course, and have I considered decreasing the amount of food we give Blue. Like I own two dogs and didn’t take the time to learn about them. So. Damn. Annoying. And for the record, ladies, we did lower Blue’s food, almost a month ago, to less than what Zoe eats. He remains enormous. He runs and walks with me almost every other day, as does Zoe. We’ve reduced treat intake. And no, we did not send our dogs to obedience classes, because we read Cesar Milan’s book, and watched “The Dog Whisperer,” not to mention the additional research we did from (okay, mainly the internet) other sources as well. If this bothers you, you are welcome to pay the cost of obedience classes and cover our mileage expenses while you’re at it, because I don’t know of any such classes nearby.
Our dogs are very well cared for. So keep your weight issues to yourself and have fun starving your pets, while I walk my naturally fat dog around the neighborhood, free from harassment. I hear friends with kids get this kind of “helpful” advice constantly. I dread being pregnant – or being a parent – and having society comment on my every move. Ah well. Here’s to desperately trying to have a thick skin – instead of being passive-aggressive…