Saturday we began a discussion of fat dogs and I mentioned a dog, Bear, who is a “self-regulator.”
Such dogs are unusual, as most dogs for whom too much food is put out will eat to a point of gluttony. Self-regulators, on the other hand, eat just enough to stay healthy and then stop.
Our little Pearl is another good example. She is 15 years old and spry as she can be. She is losing her vision to a degenerative retinal condition and she has hearing loss that is age-related. she knows she will get a treat every time she goes out to use the bathroom and she can fly back indoors in anticipation of that treat! Quite impressive for a dog her age.
We used to have her littermate, Peyton. He has been gone about three years, having succumbed to liver disease. He, too, was a good self-regulator, though he had a stocky build unlike his sister’s svelte body.
When Pearl and Peyton were puppies my wife, Brenda, used to jokingly say, “There is nothing uglier than an old, fat poodle.” We still laugh, 15 years later, about that saying, though it was never a problem for either of them.
Pearl certainly qualifies as “old” now, but she would not be able to perform the physical antics she does if she were suffering from the obesity we see in so many of our patients.
Please let Pearl be an inspiration for you to control your pets’ weight so that he, too, can be just as active into the winter of his years.
See you tomorrow, Dr. Randolph.