My story, faithful friend, happy companion – a dog.

Help! I’m On A Diet

I am a dog who likes his food. Anyone who knows me can tell you that, in fact anyone who doesn’t know me can tell you that by my waistline.

Perhaps that is being a little unfair to Beloved who is after all in control of the food and treat cupboard (to my chagrin). I know that she has our best interests at heart which is why she has been spending so much time on the Internet recently researching the best foods for us.

It really stems from that shameful secret I mentioned in passing recently, you know, the one about my father being my uncle. Well, if you were able to look a little more closely at my family tree (I am a pedigree as I think I have mentioned) you would find quite a few relatives in common going back to when my ancestors arrived in Australia. I think it was due in part to the fact that there were not too many Tibetan Terriers in Australia which made it hard to add new blood. This was a pity really because it has meant several health problems for The Princess and I.

First of all The Princess might think she’s the best, the prettiest and all those things that Beloved might whisper in her ear, but as a Tibetan myself I can tell you she is not all that great in the looks department. Her jaw is a little undershot and with both parents being Champions you can understand why she was got rid of when she was so young. It must have been embarrassing for them.

As for me, I have mentioned the troubles with my joints and muscles which causes me to walk in a slightly strange way, but I haven’t mentioned the trouble I’ve had with ear infections since I was quite small. I found it distressing and I know Beloved did too. In the end Beloved stopped taking us to be groomed because the infections were made worse by our ears getting wet.
That is a good thing. I like to smell au naturel, not all perfumed. And one weakness I will admit to is my dislike of water. I make this very plain to Beloved whenever I have a bath but she has been very slow in understanding.

The last twelve months have been difficult for all of us. The Princess and I have become so itchy that we are licking and scratching all the time until we become sore. This has meant many trips to the vet (and by the way I have a great vet and love going there, The Princess cries – of course).

The vet put me on special medicine to help stop the itching and it helped a little but it made me drink a lot and so hungry that I actually had a fight with The Princess one night after finishing my food first. I would have won and eaten her food if Beloved hadn’t stopped me but it made me ashamed. I am well brought up and I know that I should protect those who are weaker than I am and not bully them. Fortunately Beloved is on the same medicine and though I never see her fight with her beloved over his plate, she does understand.

Anyway, all this to say that Beloved has been trying to find out if what we eat is causing this itching and I freely admit that the last three weeks have been hell. We are on a diet! This is my worst nightmare. I am hungry all the time and I miss our usual treats and little bits of fresh chicken that Beloved’s beloved would feed us.

I know that diet’s are very popular in the human world because I learn a great deal from television. But in my world diets are just not a natural part of a dog’s life. I believe that diets cause suffering, they are cruel and should be abolished. I hope you get the picture.

In the human world there are diets of every kind. Diets to make you lose weight, diets to make you healthy, diets to make you strong, diets to improve your memory; Mediterranean diets, low fat diets, low carbohydrate diets, low calorie diets, detox diets. There are shakes to have instead of eating, pills people can take to stop them feeling hungry and for some, surgery. I don’t understand it. I am thankful to have food, why would I not eat? But in the human world it seems that there is a diet for everything.

I am a simple dog who does not judge. So if a person wants to go on a diet that is fine by me. But I do not want to go on a diet. This is not fun for a dog like me. I understand that Beloved is worried about my extra weight but I’m not interested in becoming Australia’s Next Top Tibetan, I am happy being me. So what if I’m a little rounder around the tummy than a greyhound, we were bred for different purposes, I’m not a greyhound. I am a Tibetan, we are short and stocky and muscly.

Beloved has been researching everything from the uncooked diet to an expensive special food which is supposed to help dogs with allergies stop scratching. And that is the torture that we are now being subjected to. I tried to tell her that the raw meat diet sounded rather good, but the vet said he couldn’t be certain that I wouldn’t be allergic to that food either and to think, until then I had really liked him.

To add insult to injury we are not allowed any of our usual treats and must only eat this food. I refuse to touch the biscuits, a dog has to draw the line somewhere and eating tasteless crunchy bits is my line. The Princess told me she wouldn’t eat them either, but I see she’s been sneaking some from time to time, she has no resolve.

We have managed to get Beloved to bake some of the canned food for treats and that makes a bit of a change but I am always hungry. No, perhaps hungry is the wrong phrase, but I am always wanting something more to eat, something tasty and not this rubbery stuff which is now in my bowl every evening.

I understand Beloved wants to make us better and I suppose that sometimes even in the human world diets are necessary for health reasons, but I am a dog who likes his food and I am very miserable without a tasty meal.

I don’t really know whether to hope that the diet works or not. I don’t like being itchy, but I can’t face this diet forever. How to people do it? With the whole food cupboard and sausage stall at their disposal, how can they choose not to eat? Even Beloved is on a sort of diet and seems to be very pleased that she has lost some weight, but I like a soft, cushion-like lap to cuddle into so I hope she doesn’t lose too much.

I am a dog who likes the simple things in life, I like comfort, I like warmth, I like cuddles, I like the smell of grass, I like television, I like sleeping and I LOVE food.

Sometimes I think we should just keep things simple and appreciate what we have. If I ever get off this diet I will surely appreciate it. And if any of you have any suggestions please send them to Beloved so that I can have some nice, tasty food again.

I think it is now time for me to curl up and have a nap and perhaps dream of something satisfying to eat.

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6 responses

  1. Hi Zac – I’ve asked my pack-leader to write because I’m too busy gnawing on raw hide at the moment. I wanted to tell you that I used to suffer from very sensitive itchy skin, too. I have allergies on allergies. I take a Claratyne every day (although that doesn’t work for all dogs, I know). I am also prone to nasty ear infections.

    About a year ago, I started a great new diet created by an Australian vet, Dr Billinghurst. It’s called the BARF (Biologically Appropriate Raw Foods) diet for restoring animal wellness. I eat the chicken one (mainly because of my allergies but also because, as a poodle, I find the others too rich for my delicate constitution!). I can honestly say I have never felt better and my vet is very impressed at the change in me.

    If you want any more information, the website is http://www.drianbillinghurst.com/

    Good luck with that diet!
    Bella

    March 27, 2012 at 1:42 pm

  2. The easiest way to go is a diet of pork and potato. Pork is used because it is not an ingredient in dog foods. Cheaper then processed stuff and works better in my opinion. Vets don’t like recommending it because it means they don’t get to sell you expensive diet foods. Another option is a product called ‘Atopica’ – cyclosporine based. A bit pricey but at least will help reduce the dose of prednisolone and reduce side effects – ie. drinking and urinating lots.

    March 27, 2012 at 3:10 pm

    • Thank You Dr. Vadim. Beloved will look into it promptly. I know she doesn’t want me back on Prednisone.

      March 27, 2012 at 5:53 pm

  3. Thanks ‘This Sydney Life’. I will speak to Beloved, I would LOVE that diet 🙂 And I know she’s talked about Claratyne rather than Prednisone.

    March 27, 2012 at 5:50 pm

  4. Pingback: In-breeding or Bad Luck? « Zac The All Black

    • Beloved did take your advice last time and the Claratyne did nothing I’m afraid. I also have a delicate constitution and had problems with raw, but we have reached a compromise with a special fish dog meat with lots of omega oils naturally and Beloved cooks brown rice, oatmeal and gives me lots of carrots which I love. She has to find some healthier treats though.

      July 20, 2012 at 12:17 pm

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