I love my dogs. I do. I feed them. Bathe them. Walk them. Discipline them. So what does that leave for Chris? Spoiling them, of course. And it shows. Literally. Samson topped the scales at 13.1 lbs. this week at the vet. Chloe came in a curvacious second, at 12.8 lbs. It’s true. It’s not just American kids heading toward obesity. Apparently, American Dachshunds are on their way, too. And I’m an enabler. Miserable. It’s not bad enough that they have bathroom issues, now they have food issues. Mine.
Ironically, there is nothing worse a vet can say to a gay man than “your dog is fat.” Nothing worse. Just put a gun to my head or snag my Theory shirt. Either way, I’m dead. And angry. And defensive. But still an enabler. I mean, look at those faces! Who can say no? Me, that’s who! But Chris? Are you kidding? No. He’s like Santa on crack. “Treats, puppies, treats!” “No rules today, don’t sit, don’t stay, just come get treats!” “Oops, I dropped part of my muffin, Chloe!” “Wow, how’d that get on the floor, Samson? Better not waste it!” You get the picture. And the picture is plump.
So… the diet is on. And it is killing me. Right now, every time they hear a fork scrape a plate, they get that crazed look in their eye. They watch me cook dinner like every move might mean life or death. The run back and forth between Chris and me every time we make a motion that resembles taking a plate to the sink. It’s brutal. Have you seen a Dachshund on a begging mission? The focused eye contact. The deep sighs and whines. The pacing and prancing and pawing. And then, of course, that dance of abandon when they think you’ve given in, only to see you rinse even the smallest of crumbs, that they thought for sure were theirs, down the drain. With their hopes. Their dreams. And then they give you the sulk — that head down, tail dragging, half-limp that only a Dachshund can give — as they mope back to their bed to give you the evil eye until they decide that ignoring you will be the better choice.
I keep promising them both that they’ll thank me for it. That when they hit the dog park looking svelte and healthy and happy, they won’t mind the starvation it took to get them both down to 10.8 lbs. “Nothing tastes like skinny feels,” and all that. Now… if I could just apply the same discipline to my own waistline, things might really start looking up. But until then… I’ll focus on man’s best friend — and diet vicariously.