Meet Tux. Our dog.
He was the bait used for my husband’s wedding proposal and he’s been in our lives for nearly five years. He was our first baby and when he wasn’t cuddled between us in bed (so sad – for all parties), he would be on walking or swimming excursions. Why? Because we didn’t have a child, so he got our full attention.
Let’s photo montage his life:
Many new parents will tell you: when the baby arrives, the dog doesn’t thrive.
Although we’ve continued to give Tux two walks a day, the time and distance that once went into those walks got cut short thanks to exhausted owners with poor excuses.
Since the fall, Tux – who has Grade 3 hip dysplasia – developed a weird skin rash. He was also gaining weight and was often anxious.
My wake-up call about Tux’s health came when we spent… wait for it…. ready? oh, Jebus….$600 on vet bills two weeks ago to find out what was wrong with him.
We got a thyroid test done and new x-rays on his hips. To be fair, it had been four years since his last x-ray, so this was a “let’s see how much out of the socket his hip bone currently is” check up (grammar slammars, go crazy).
$600 later and the vet’s verdict? He’s fat.
His tests came back just fine and his hips are about the same. But, as the vet told me, Tux is overweight and needs to lose 12 lbs.
“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” I replied to the vet while handing Tux mittfuls of bacon.
I looked at his file and he’s gained 15 lbs over a year and a half.
I’m actually astounded by this number, especially because he gets absolutely no treats at home and we do get him out every day (see? more excuses!).
The vet said before we consider any option for his hips, we need to get him down 12 lbs. This is good for his health and helps alleviate his hip pain.
And so….February’s Focus of The Month: Doggy Boot Camp.
For the next month, I’m going to work at getting Tux’s weight down. This includes at least an hour of walks each day and picking up any of the food our baby chucks on the floor rather than allowing Tux to get at it (okay, so I guess that counts as treats).
Like anyone who’s online and on a fitness kick, I’ve posted some “Before” pics:
I’m a numbers loser, so I actually measured the dog.
I know, it’s just a sad house over here.
Hips: 28.5 inches
Largest part of his tummy: 33.5 inches
Weight: 85 lbs.
We’re actually already a week in and, guess what? No guess. Guess again. Guess again. Just guess. One more guess.
Tux is happier, has more energy and his anxiety has reduced.
I wanted to blog about this for a few reasons. I’m going to discover different ways to get our dog in shape, and it’s a preview for any couples considering getting a dog when they know they’ll be having kids in the near future. Here’s your potential future reality. I’ve faced a lot of post-baby dog guilt and Tux has been pushed to the side. It’s life, and I get that. But he didn’t ask for it.
We’re $600 poorer, but at least we got the wake-up call that our dog needs to lose the weight. I’ll check in on how we’re doing at sticking to our dog’s health plan.
How do you keep your dog in shape?
Do you want to share $600 with me?