We take care of our little 10 month old. We brush his hair and teeth daily, we give him monthly baths, we are careful to feed him the right type of food, we limit his snacks, give him monthly pedicures and of course we give him lots and lots of exercise.
In the 8 months that we've had the little pup, hubby has lost 30 lbs and his blood pressure is at the healthiest level in years. Our 14 year old son has grown about a foot in this time and his build is starting to get quite athletic. Me? Although pup and I do not see eye to eye on anything, although he and I have yet to bond, although he makes my life a living hell, still, I can't deny that I'm really happy with the way my body has changed.
Pup has changed too!! He's a PWD of the curly variety. Awfully cute, but when we had let his hair grow longer for the winter, he just looked like a puff ball. Actually, although we knew his weight was perfect for his age and size, the occasional (well-meaning?) neighbour would make a comment about how BIG, pup was getting. Hubby and I, always ready to come to our puppy's honour, would immediately tell the neighbour just how wrong he was. We would tell our neighbour that pup was just PERFECT!!
Well, after his wonderful little curls started getting all knotted up because of the snow, rain, mud, etc....we had to get him shaved. Well let me tell you, pup looked like a different dog!! Apart from looking suspiciously like a schnauzer, pup now looked really skinny!!! Too skinny if you ask me. People, especially our neighbours, started remarking on how fit and trim pup was underneath all that curly fur!! People couldn't believe that it was the same dog!!
Now, because we walk him so much, from June till January, we only had to cut his nails once per month. The pavement would wear them down and they never got too long. But, never ever having had a dog before, hubby and I didn't think that his nails might need cutting more often now that there was snow and ice on the ground!! The day that we took him to get shaven, he came home and we could still hear his nails clicking on our floor. A couple of days later, I took him back to the groomer, thinking that they had forgotten to trim his nails. Actually, the groomer told me the opposite. Because pup's nails had gotten so long, the quick had gotten long as well. She could only cut a bit...any more and the poor thing would bleed. So, now we were in a predicament where we had to get his nails trimmed every 10 days...just so that the quick would shorten. We did this for a few weeks.
Yesterday, I took pup to the groomer again. This time, the quick had gotten back to normal and she told me that I could start coming back again every 3-4 weeks. Relieved, I mentioned that I had no idea that due to the fact that there was ice and snow on the ground, this would keep pup's nails from wearing out. I told the groomer that I'd make a point of going more often when the next winter season would begin. She looked at me and told me that was only one side of the equation. She then said something that completely blew me away!!! She said that most PWD's she sees are overweight. This is due to the fact that they are such a high energy dog and the masters can't keep up with them. But, she said that our dog was in phenomenal shape!! She said that in all her years of grooming PWD's, she had never seen one as trim and healthy looking as ours. She said that the other reason his nails were growing so long, was that he didn't have all that extra weight that heavier dogs have, bearing down on his paws!! There was no pressure on his nails at all!! That got me thinking as to how lucky our pup was that he had committed owners that gave him the exercise his breed requires...but, most importantly, how lucky we were to have this pup that was helping us lose weight and not put so much pressure on our feet (organs, etc.)
Despite the fact that this pup makes me nuts with anger at times, I have to thank him for helping my family get healthier and happier. Maybe one day, when I'm old and grey, I'll look back with fond memories about how much this dog meant to me...but for now...ugh, I'm off to walk him again, this time in the pouring rain!!!
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