Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Oh you Little Dog....

There is a little dog that has captured my heart. From the moment I spotted his snaggle-toothed, little face peering out at me from behind kennel bars, I was smitten. His big, bulging, brown eyes melted my heart. I had just started working at the Vet Clinic where I am currently employed, and he was a dog rescued from the streets that was up for adoption. I started taking him for walks everyday, playing with him during slow times and then finally I brought him home on the weekend.

I told Jason that it was to foster the little dog. You know, until he found a REAL home with a REAL family that wanted to adopt the little cutie pie. We have fostered dogs in the past, so I knew I could get away with that line in order to get the little bugger into our home. When Jason agreed as long as it was ONLY to foster him, and that there was NO WAY that we would be keeping the little dog, I was ecstatic! Afterall, I knew it would only be a matter of time before Jason fell in love with the little dog, just like I had, and we could keep him forever!

Mwa ha ha ha!

My plan would work, I knew it would work!

The little dog came with a name, that name being Flip Flop. He has one ear that stands up and the other that flops down... so I guess the name fits. We started calling him Flippy, and that's what stuck. It only took two weeks and the little guy was ours. He got along well with our two cats, who enjoy beating him up. Flippy thinks that the kitties are playing with him, but really they are wishing that they hadn't been declawed so they could scratch out his cute little, bulging eyeballs!

Our big boxer Charlie plays remarkably well with him and they became fast friends. Flippy took to cleaning Charlie, mothering him if you will. They love to cuddle, chase each other in the yard and play "tug"... which really means they each hold onto the end of a rope toy and Charlie pulls Flippy around the house.

So, life is good. We now have two dogs and two cats. Everybody has a playmate; Jason and I are pleased with the new arrangement. Then, we start to see a different side of this new little dog. Yes he is cute. He does funny things like chase his tail and sit pretty. He also makes the cutest snorting noise when he is trying to tell you what he wants. He even lets me dress him up for Halloween!
(Sitting pretty in his Halloween costume.)

But there is something else...


He hoovers his food in under 10 seconds. I swear it's a world record! Then he tries to stick his little face in Charlie's bowl so he can eat his food, too! After that it's off to the laundry room to see if he can score any cat food. The dog is hungry ALL of the time! I think that maybe it's because he was on the streets. Poor little guy. Maybe he thinks he may not eat again, so he tries to eat whatever he can. I feel bad for him. Wouldn't you?

This leads to Flippy gaining 5 pounds in 6 months!

This is not good. I am a bad mother.

For a dog who should weigh 15 pounds to gain that kind of weight so quickly is not a good thing. Are other doggie mothers judging me? Are those people we pass on walks looking at my little "tube dog", as Jason refers to Flippy, thinking that he is fat.

That his mother must overfeed him.
That she lets him do whatever he wants.
That a dog controls her life!!

The weight gain must stop. Flippy is put on a special prescription diet. He begins to lose weight. I am happy. Jason is happy. Flippy is NOT happy. We catch him constantly trying to eat the cat food. This results in him being put in timeout. He knows that timeout is in a corner in our foyer. He will go there as soon as he knows he has been caught.

He puts himself in timeout.

(In Timeout.)

He will stay there for 45 minutes. He also has learned the words "cat food" mean he is in big trouble. When those two words are spoken he tucks his ears and rolls over on his back, letting us know that yes it was him, he ate the food. He knows timeout is next. He even puts himself in timeout when Charlie is in trouble!

We put the cat food up on the dryer, but one of our cats cannot jump that high. So the food is back on the floor. We can't win. Flippy is not gaining weight, but he is also not losing weight. He is holding steady at 18 pounds. He is chunky. People at my Clinic notice. "Has Flippy gained weight?", they ask me. "He looks thick", they comment.

I blush
I make excuses.
What can I do??

We go for more walks. I change his prescription diet to ANOTHER food. Jason plays with Flippy until he is exhausted and can't move anymore. The weight stays on. Maybe it's genetics? Who knows?? What am I going to do?

Well, I don't know, to be honest. We love him. He is sweet. He cuddles with us at night. He gives kisses. He is fantastic with children. He is my little kitchen helper. (Okay, he's waiting for me to drop food on the floor!)

(Helping me in the kitchen.. right at my feet!)

He is my little baby and I love him so much.

I guess we'll just keep doing whatever we can to help him on his weight loss journey.

Who would've thought keeping a dog on a diet would be THIS hard?


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