May 14, 2008

My Fat Dog

There's a beagle in my family and all the stories about beagles are true. That is, the stories about their baleful howls, their energetic wooves, their naughty, naughty nature. Bad dog! The stories about them flying Fokker Tri-planes are, as far as I can tell, entirely fabricated.

Leica the dog was Leica little boy before there was a Franklin the little boy. He was the little boy in our house because the wife said he was, and when you are in love you make allowances for such irrational statements. I'm sure someone besides my wife has said that dogs are like boot camp for prospective parents. True enough, having a beagle around the apartment taught me a lot about cleaning up shit and piss and slobber. Oh, is the book chewed up? Well, that happens. Spontaneous explosive vomit? That's ok, the newspaper which I've deftly placed in front of your mouth caught the full blast.

My dog has made me awesome.

Did I mention that we live in an apartment? Houndsight is 20/20, isn't it? If I were you, I wouldn't get a dog this size to live in an apartment. Nor would I get a Maltese or a Toy Poodle, but more on that later. Leica, now having two younger, human siblings to play with, gets a workout running around the apartment at night, dodging scooters, chasing cockroaches, and retrieving phantom tennis balls.

He also sheds enough on a daily basis to knit a sweater for our daughter Gretchen, who, not being Catholic, really has no use for a hairshirt. Maggie wants to shave the beagle. I'd like to shave him like a poodle. There will be photos when this happens.

But even hairless, it will be unmistakable that he's packed on the pounds over the years. Maggie fed him from the table whenever he came begging, and when Frank didn't finish his meals after three hours, Leica got the leftovers. This has been stopped, thankfully, but the weight problem remains. His weight control dog food combined with a lack of real exercise equals no change.

We're aware of the situation. We get it. Fat dog, bad. Fit dog, good. We're living with the problem. It's as obvious as a mole with six inches of hair growing out of it. It's as obvious as I am tall, yet people remind me of it twice a day. My dog is fat? Thank you. Thank you very much. Sideways.

Now, the other day, Frank and I were taking the big beagle for a walk around the neighborhood when we bumped into an unknown neighbor with a white haired rat on a rope. It sounded like she said it was a Maltese Rat. The rodent began making Arf Arf Arf noises that sound like a normal sized-dog would make, only much higher pitched. It also made an utterance that would pass for a growl in a dog school for dogs learning how to mince about and be camp. The owner told me that my dog was fat, and that I should take him out for exercise. She also told me that Leica is fed way too much. And that he should lose some weight.

Frank was with me, so I kept it clean. Her rat kept making its little noises and looking quite bitchy, so I told her (the owner, not her wuvwy wittle pookims) that her dog wasn't loved enough and that was probably why the dog was such an unpleasant creature to be around. Everyone knows that the personality of the dog is a direct indication of the personality of the owner, and how the owner treats the animal. Right? I told her that she needs to try to show more affection to the dog and that one day it will be a pleasant creature. To date, I don't know if she's taken me at my word. At the moment though, I could see where the dog got it's curled lip from.

My lunch break is at an end and I don't have time right now to tell you the story about the mother and her fat son who got out of the car at the pet shop and told Leica that he was too heavy.

1 comment:

GLH JR said...

Lima is so slim because we, OK, OK, SHE went on a strict diet of 1-1/2 to 2 cups per day. I feed her Frommes because the nutritious value is higher and easier to digest. Result, healthier dog with smaller stools.

Nothing doing on the shed factor. We have a sweater factory as well.