Pets

Pet Parenting: River Does Dieting (The Sequel)

There are days, I wonder what I did to deserve such a wonderful dog. But there are other days, I can’t help but wonder…why me?

River went for his annual check-up a week ago. He got his vaccines, some dewormer, and a once-over by his vet. Nothing really out of the ordinary. We did this the year before too. Some of you may recall the adventures I had in trying to adjust his diet at the recommendation of the vet and the fun the ensued. After trying a few things, we settled on duck and potato. I bet you’re wondering how that’s all going, aren’t you? (You’re probably not, but I’m going to tell you anyway). Well, good news! He took to the diet!

…you thought that was the end, didn’t you?

Well…you’d be wrong.

So, he went to the vet. He got his vaccines. He had his dewormer. The vet tech came out with the little guy and told me everything looked good. There weren’t any major concerns!

“That’s great! I thought.

Then, he paused, looked at me, and said, “just a few things…”

I froze.

After a few moments of silence, the vet tech cleared his throat, looked at the chart, and then looked back up to me.

“He’s fat,” the tech continued.

It felt like my stomach dropped. “River’s what?!”

“Fat,” he said again.

I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. I was insulted! My little guy. My best bud. My support animal, my friend, and my cuddle monster. Old Man River!! FAT?!

I looked at the vet tech square in the eye, stared him down, and said…

“I know.”

Truth be told, I could see it coming a mile away. Over the last year, especially since the change in diet, River started filling out. Initially, I thought it was a good sign. Maybe he was actually absorbing all the nutrients from the food rather than having it shoot through him like a speeding bullet? He seemed to be enjoying the new food enough. And his…movements…well, they were something a father could be proud of! But underneath all that hair, something else was going on. In fact, there was an extra 3 1/2 lbs. of something going on under there. River was working on his “dad bod,” and it was being carefully disguised by a fluffy exterior for which he is well known.

There’s nothing funny about it. I feel like I’d failed River as a caretaker. That I let him down. But now, the real adventure begins! River’s diet – round 2!

After making several calculations based on the food guide on the back of the bag, I was ready to tackle this. And with a little bit of exercise, River will be back on track in no time!

So, the evening after the vet appointment, I prepared his dinner as usual, but this time with the adjusted food amounts. He sat patiently, waiting for his dinner like he typically does. I put the bowl in front of him and gave him a little pat on the head for being a good boy. I then gave him the ok to go ahead and eat. He hopped out of the sitting position, stuck his nose in the bowl, and I swear, he stopped dead in his tracks. His eyes focused on the pittance of a meal in front of him. I’m almost certain, at that moment, he knew what was going on. He gave me one heck of a side-eye, sighed, and then slowly, begrudgingly, started eating.

“This seems to be going ok,” I thought to myself. I brushed off the little bit of attitude that River was giving me. I understood. It’s tough, but I forgave him. It was for his own good!

When he was done, he started walking towards the door opened to the backyard. It seemed like he was head outside for some playtime!

“Great! Now he’ll get some exercise!” I giggled with delight. I reveled in my easy and quick success.

Suddenly, he bumped into my leg, walked right past me and the door, hopped up on the couch, and settled down for a nap. With one last defiant look, he let out a giant “huff” before closing his eyes.

“Why, you little…”

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