I’m not sure which of the following facts disturbs me more.
1. The Assn. for Pet Obesity Prevention has released a new study indicating that half of all American pets are obese.
2. There is an Association for Pet Obesity Prevention.
I have no doubt this information is true, however. A visit to the local off-leash dog park in Albuquerque confirms it. Half the dogs walk. The other half waddle.
The other day the cowboy observed that my own dog, Topaz, was looking leaner. Unsurprisingly, so am I. As I’ve gotten fitter, so has my dog, who accompanies me on my hikes and jogs.
The cowboy’s five dogs, while not pets, similarly reflect his own lifestyle and values. They are lean, beyond fit, running alongside the four-wheeler many miles a day in training for their job bunching and chasing cattle.
Meanwhile, my mother lives on fast food and shows her love with cheeseburgers. Her dog is unsurprisingly obese, but my mom denies it. “He’s not that big,” she’ll say, giving him a pork chop. The dog is five minutes from a stroke.
Our pets are reflections of ourselves, and of our personal values. If we lack self-control, or if we reward (or punish) ourselves through food, our pets’ waistlines will reflect it. If we are healthy and value fitness, our pets will reflect it.
Show me a man’s pet, and I’ll tell you all you need to know about him. These latest statistics do not bode well for the health of our nation’s pets, or its people.