After reading Dr Mahaney’s Book Review- Something’s Lost and Must Be Found: Six Short Tails of Inspiration on a Long Leash by Lisa Begin-Kruysman Part 1, I’m ready to share my veterinary perspective on the next two chapters in Part 2 (of 3).
Losing the Wait
As there are an inordinate number overweight and obese pets and people in need of motivation to shed excess pounds through healthy habits, I enthusiastically read Losing the Wait. The story features Orange County transplanted teen Sara and her five year old overweight Pug, Flora, who are both in need of slimming down.
According to FlexPet study and The Association for Pet Obesity Prevention, 1/5 of the country’s 170 million-plus dogs and cats are considered obese, so it was certainly time for Sara to make positive changes for herself and Flora.
When Sara takes Flora to her veterinarian, she is informed that dogs maintaining a healthy weight are more likely to live a year and a half longer. The veterinarian also recommends Flora eats a “special food” in metric measured quantities (the vet gives her a metric cup….great idea) and gets more exercise. Finally, there was the firm suggestion that Flora eat “no table food” and takes it “easy on the treats”.
These are all appropriate suggestions, but I cringe at the idea of Flora eating a commercially available (even if veterinary prescribed), likely dry, low fat dog food. Such foods, although capable of contributing to weigh reduction, contain devitalized (heavily cooked, dried, etc) and animal grade components (protein source meals, by-products, etc) that are less healthy for long term consumption as compared to moist, whole food, home prepared or commercial options (like Cardiff and my favorite, Lucky Dog Cuisine). Also, many table foods can be more nutritious and less calorically dense than dry dog foods or biscuit treats. Examples include fresh vegetables (carrots, cauliflower, peas, etc), fruits (watermelon, apple, blueberries, etc) and lean meats (turkey, chicken, etc).
I commend Sara for show maturity and responsibility in taking on a health regimen for Flora and herself. Flora likely also benefitted from the socialization she received while hanging with her dog pals Bunny and Tiny.
Sara’s adventuresome romps also led her to discover and report to her parents the presence of an “abusive breeder of dogs”, who was subsequently arrested and the care of the dogs handled by animal control.
With all the walking Sara did with Flora and her canine clients, she improved her and Flora’s health to the point that they both needed a new wardrobe. I hope Flora continues to fit into her new, skinny collar and Sara maintains a healthy weight well into her adulthood.
Have you ever taken on less than ideal employment just to make ends meet? In Human Directional, John, a twenty five year old business school graduate, dons a Golden Retriever costume to promote a pet store called Pets-4-U! (formerly known as Pups-2-Go!).
The name of this seedy operation should have been sufficient warning for John, as any business utilizing grammatical misuses (like “kwik” or “expresso”) should be avoided, especially from an occupational standpoint. Unfortunately, John had fallen on desperate times and found himself inadvertently promoted the sale of dogs from puppy mills.
During an animal welfare advocate protested protest, a Pets-4-U! customer returns a deceased Chihuahua who was purchased despite being apparently sick. This unfortunate pup raked up thousands of dollars in veterinary bills, for which the store’s owner (Ron) did not live up to his promise to pay. This situation is very common and troubling, as sympathetic dog lovers seek to rescue pets through their purchase only to suffer both emotionally and financially themselves. This is why I applaud cities like West Hollywood, CA (where I live) for banning the sale of pets in stores (see Our Companions: Banning Mill Bred Animals Only Solves Part of the Problem ) but for fee collection in association with rescue organizations.
John’s smarts and humanity ultimately prevailed, as he recognized his role in the propagation of puppies from unscrupulous breeding practices and worked to benefit the fate of the dogs for sale by facilitating their liberation. Ron didn’t fare so well. While fleeing Pets-4-U!, he was struck down by a truck delivering a shipment of puppies. Isn’t it ironic? Don’t you think?
Part 3 of my review of Something’s Lost and Must Be Found: Six Short Tails of Inspiration on a Long Leash will follow shortly. As a palate cleanser, I’m serving this cute photo of Lisa Begin-Kruysman and her dog.
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Copyright of this article (2011) is owned by Dr. Patrick Mahaney, Veterinarian and Certified Veterinary Acupuncturist. Republishing any portion of this article must first be authorized by Dr. Patrick Mahaney. Requests for republishing must be approved by Dr. Patrick Mahaney and received in written format.