Saturday, January 5, 2013

Stuffed Animal

My dog is fat. My dog is not supposed to be fat. I guess no dog is supposed to be fat, but I was told that my dog would be the smallest version of a Shih Tzu there is. That would mean she should weigh somewhere around 9 lbs. Not even close. She is light years away from 9 lbs. She is light years away from small. She is far from medium. In fact, she couldn’t be much larger if I fed her elephant-sized portions. She seems to just keep getting wider as each day passes. You could set a table of eight on her back, that’s how wide she is. This is what my dog would look like if she wasn't a dog.


About a year ago I started getting worried about her weight when her breathing became a little labored, so I took her to the vet. He said she is healthy but quite the chub, so cut back on her portions and she should start losing some weight. So I did. And she lost a couple of pounds within about a month. A couple of pounds in doggie weight are like 10 pounds in people weight. I was quite happy about that. Even the groomer noticed she had lost weight, as did others who commented on her svelte body, [comparatively speaking, that is.] I thought that was strange that they noticed a two pound weight loss, but hey…I’ll take anything I can get.
I also cut back the 80 gazillion treats I was giving her every day. Now I only give her a teeny pinch of her treat when we get back from our walks. I walk her twice a day. Maybe not long walks. Maybe not vigorous walks. Maybe they’re slow, drawn out, sniffing every f**king bush and tree and fire hydrant every two frickin’ steps kind of walks. But they are walks, nonetheless. My sister’s dog pees on a wee-wee pad in her apartment and she is slim and trim, getting almost no exercise. Not my dog. My dog could be in the canine Olympics and would still be slim and trim-challenged. Actually she’s too fat to be an Olympic sprinter, but you get what I mean. But…two pounds is two pounds. We were headed in the right direction. For a very brief moment in time.


Recently I noticed, [because people started commenting], that my dog was getting fatter again. I thought maybe it was because her hair had grown long so she was fluffy and appeared fatter, but after taking her to be groomed, getting her thick hair cut really short, she didn’t look any smaller. Hmmmm…what’s that about? How did that weight loss reversal go unnoticed? How did I not see that my dog was looking more like Elsie the cow than Brutie the Shih-Tzu? Love is blind.


So the other day, when I ran out of food, I thought that maybe I should start feeding her diet food. When I called the vet, they said I should bring her in for an evaluation to see if she needed to be put on a special diet. I also thought maybe it could be a thyroid problem. She shouldn’t be this fat considering she really doesn’t eat that much. She should be losing more weight than the two pounds she had lost (and then gained back, plus some.) She doesn’t even eat all her food or sometimes she doesn’t eat at all, in a 24 hour period. That’s the thing…she really doesn’t seem to eat that much as compared to other dogs. I’ll put her food out; she will sniff it and usually walk away and eat it later, or not at all. It had to be a medical problem. I was sure of it. I hoped it was nothing life threatening.


They didn’t have any open appointments during the week, but on Saturdays they have walk-in hours in the morning, so I brought her in to see him then. When I got to his office, there was a line of animals out the door, waiting to be seen.


I guessed they all had a little holiday weight gain, although I came to find out that that didn’t seem to be the complaining ailment of any animal but mine. They were actually all there for ‘normal’ reasons you take your pet to the vet. Not obesity. While I was standing in line, people were asking me what kind of dog she was. “A Shih Tzu” I replied. “A Shih Tzu? Really? She’s kind of large for a Shih Tzu, isn’t she?” Well…DUH. That’s why I’m here, genius. Although, in all honestly, I couldn’t expect them to know that. Guess I got a little defensive. I didn’t know whether to crawl into a hole because of embarrassment or verbally beat the shit out of them for criticizing my dog.  My precious adorable, abnormally large dog.
After about 45 minutes of schmoozing with pet owners who were in amazement of my exceptionally large ‘little’ dog, they finally called me into an exam room. But first, “We need to get her weight please.” [In front of all these people?] They kept the scale in the waiting room. It took all the strength I had to get her on the scale. Not only is she heavy, she kept trying to make a get-away. She probably didn’t want to see what the scale would say either.

After the assistant shut her gaping jaw, “Oh...21 pounds. She IS quite the heifer, isn’t she? I guess we know why you’re seeing the doctor.” Oh…aren’t you just the Joan Rivers of the doggie palace. Let me pick myself up off the floor from laughing so hard. Why don’t you get on that scale Nurse Ratched?
We headed toward the examining room, I picked up ‘Plumpy’, sat her on the table, and without hesitation, she peed all over it. (I don’t let her hear me call her ‘Plumpy’.) Nervous pee every single time. The vet walked in and immediately started his babbling. I have never heard someone who could jabber as much as he does and examine his patients at the same time, never missing a beat. I know when I go there…it’s going to be about a 5 minute exam, and a 45 minute chat session. Even with a waiting room full of anxious customers.
“So, what’s the problem, besides her weight?” “That IS her problem.” “Stop feeding her so much.” “I don’t…I’ve been giving her much less of the wet, and a little dry food, which she doesn’t always eat.” “Cut back even more.” “But I’ll starve her.” “Obviously not.”
He went on to tell me I shouldn't feed her both wet and dry food. One or the other will suffice. He said if she doesn’t start losing weight in a few weeks, he will run some tests to see if there is anything going on that he wasn’t seeing, but upon examination, she was healthy.
As I was walking out the door, he said, “By the way…how much ARE you actually feeding her?” I told him around a can a day. “A can a day? Are you kidding? You should only be feeding her a third of a can in total for the day, or the dry food…not a can a day and definitely not both!”
Ooops...Problem solved. (As I walked out of there with my tail between my legs.)





12 comments:

  1. Dear Jaime - these last two blogs - very funny! Writer's block is definitely behind you - Dawn

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    1. thank you dawn!! love your feedback xoxo

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  2. You are so creative. Sounds like you and your humor.

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    1. wish i knew who you were...so i could thank you!!

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  3. 21 pounds? According to Wikipedia, that's not even a Shih Tzu. "A Shih Tzu ... is a breed of dog weighing ... 11–16 lbs with long silky hair." You've discovered a new breed!

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  4. This Siamese I adopted....can't get her to lose weight and I don't feed her much either. She gets some dry food in the morning, and late in the afternoon I open a can of wet food and split it 4 ways among the other cats which isn't much, and then a little more dry around 8pm...think of the 1/4 can of wet as an appetizer I guess.

    When I saw her prior to adoption she was normal weight. In the 3 months while I was making up my mind, I guess she put on quite a bit having the run of all the food bowls at the foster mom's house.

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    1. or she's eating all the other cats' food when you're not looking! or you're feeding her too much just like i am! now i feel like i'm starving my dog since i cut back. i'm not entering her in any modeling contest so what's the difference as long as she's happy!

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  5. That is a large Shih Tzu. I think Frank is right. It's a new breed. Sounds more like a Ship Tzu. Liked the read Perlbaby. Keep rm coming. Sorry I missed ya over the holiday. Hope to meet ya in person someday. You are still one of my favorite people that I have yet to hug..ttys..

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    1. HEY MM...glad to see you are still reading my blog...missed ya for a couple. hope your visit to my part of the country was great! and one of these days...maybe our paths will cross!! :)

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  6. I guess no dog is supposed to be fat, but I was told that my dog would be the smallest version of a Shih Tzu there is. That would mean she ... shihtzustuffed.blogspot.com

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