It’s a sad day in the Sontag house. I have had to put our dog, Kirby, on a diet.
Look, I didn’t want to do this. But I’ve been driven to it. You see, like me, Kirby’s weight fluctuates. And by fluctuate, I mean her weight goes up and hardly ever goes down. Now I know what causes this in my case (hello, cupcakes – I’m talking to you), but with Kirby, I suspect it’s a combination of both diet and exercise.
First let’s look at the exercise. Specifically, Kirby gets tons of it – as long as you count a walk and then a day of napping, peppered with the occasional barking spree as exercise. Look, the dog is a napper. I honestly believe that if Kirby were human, she’d be in the Guinness Book of World Records as a person who could nap 24/7.
I don’t understand this. No-no Lulu is not a napper. And she is sleek and svelte and eats a ton more than Kirby. You would think that Kirby would look at No-no Lulu, who is the poster puppy for ADHD dogs and think, “huh, maybe I should get up and run around the backyard a bit.”
But she doesn’t. In fact, other than her walk, she pretty much spends her days in a lounge chair, snoozing. Oh sure, once in a while she lifts her lazy head and lets out a “woof.” And on really active days, she rolls over into a position that can only be described as distinctly unladylike and snores loudly as she naps.
No-no Lulu is the complete opposite. I don’t see her nap. Instead she is patrolling the backyard with a zeal Kirby reserves for yam treats. No-no Lulu jogs the perimeter of the backyard. She barks at the dog next door. Then she reverses course, goes to the other side and barks at that dog.
And should our neighbor have the audacity to actually water the trees in his yard, well, No-no Lulu has that covered too. She barks and then tries to leap over the fence. And should a child dare to play in front of our house, No-no Lulu will bark her head off, run up and down the side of the house and generally work herself into a tizzy over the potential intruder.
Kirby watches all this from a patio chair. Oh, of course she barks and sometimes she even gets out of the chair and really barks loud. But the truth is I don’t think she’s worried about intruders. I think she’s ticked off that her naptime has been disrupted.
And of course, because the answer to the second part of the “why is the Kirbster such a chunky monkey” question is the fact that she eats too much, I have had to cut down on her food. Honestly? This is the part that ticks Kirby off the most.
First, I cut out treats. Kirby does not appreciate this. In fact, this might actually tick her off more than an interrupted nap. I’m telling you, no more yam snacks makes Kirby a very grumpy girl. Next, I cut back on her meals. Oh, please. I only cut back a bit. I mean, I don’t want to starve her. But with the way Kirby acts, you’d think I only feed her a couple bites of kibble, then snatch her bowl away.
I know this because the dog actually smart talks me at mealtime. Oh, yes, about 2 minutes before mealtime, Kirby sits on the area rug in the kitchen and barks at me. Then, when I am filling her bowl, she howls, and then gives two sharp barks. I believe this translates to, “you’re late with the chow; give me my kibble, dog servant.”
Honestly, she’s sassing me. She’s worse than the teenager.
And after she is finished eating, she licks the bowl so clean it shines. I swear you can see the shine on that dog bowl from space. Even No-no Lulu, a notorious bowl-licker, doesn’t get her bowl as clean.
But all of this will be worth it in the long run. After all, Kirby will live a much longer and healthier life if rolls of fat don’t bog her down. And that means she can sass me for many years to come.
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