Monday, January 8, 2007

Tanker on a Diet

Tanker, November 2000

Tanker, January 2007

A full 25 percent of last month's paycheck went to the vet, where my two dogs were boarded, vaccinated, microchipped and treated to a day of beauty while I was out of town for the holidays.

Both of them are about seven years old, and both were rescued at age 1. Shane, the Irish/Australian terrier mix, was neglected and underweight and had never had any vet care but was otherwise healthy. Tanker was a street stray who came one day and wouldn't leave, a rottweiler/chow mix who had pneumonia, heartworms and was so skinny at 39 pounds that his hip bones stuck out. His diet had consisted of trash, when he could find it, and leaves.

Last week, I was informed that Tanker, at 74 pounds, is officially overweight. He's fat. He needs to lose 8 pounds. "I'm sure it's his Katrina weight," said the vet tech, referring to the stress poundage all of us who lived through Hurricane Katrina in August 2005 experienced. I had 25 Katrina pounds of my own, which I have, thankfully, lost.

So now Tanker is on a diet, and he's going to join me in a new exercise regime.

Will I give Tanker the new Canine Obesity Pill? No way. All diet pills do is offer you the promise (usually unfulfilled) of allowing you to continue your bad eating habits without paying the consequences. Tanker needs fewer treats, just like his mama.

And, if the last couple of days is any indication, it isn't going to be a piece of cake (pun intended).

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