“Do you think I’m getting a bit too chunky?”
Fido was in front of the mirror after his weekend brushfest, and he was not amused with what he saw.
“On the other hand,” he said, “I’m looking at some pretty chunky football players, and they seem to be doing all right, throwing each other around the field and generally creating mayhem.”
“Is mayhem what you want, Fido?”
“Not really, but I don’t want to be too thin, not with the winter and the football season coming on like they are.”
“Let me do a little research on this, Old Man,” I said. “It would make it a little bit easier if you weren’t such a mutt. As best as anyone can tell, you are mostly Chow-Chow, but those tail feathers suggest a little golden retriever mixed in, and your head is big, on the Rottweiler side, so we’ll have to do some guesswork.”
“While you’re looking, could I trouble you for a biscuit?”
“Let’s just wait on that for a minute, OK?”
I figure that Fido is about 70 percent Chow, and so Fido should weigh in no more than 70 pounds. Well, that was easy enough. I figured a good part of him was Rottie, though, and a Rottie shouldn’t weigh more than 88 to 100 pounds, while a Golden shouldn’t weigh much more than 80.
My math suggested Fido should be in the 80-to-85 pound range. I pulled out the bathroom scale. It can measure up to 300 pounds. Using one arm around his chest and another behind his hiney, I lifted Fido and climbed on the scale.
“I’m not liking this!” Fido yowled.
“Just hang on, you old red lug,” I grunted. “This will be over in a second or two.”
“How am I doing?” Fido wanted to know.
“You’re heavy,” I said, and put him back on the floor.
“I’m not heavy, I’m your brother!” Fido said, and laughed and laughed. “Hey hey hey hey!”
Fido came in at about 85 pounds.
“Well, you’re pushing the high end,” I said.
“Meaning longer walks or maybe fewer biscuits.”
“Whaaaa?” Fido hollered. “Fewer BISCUITS?”
“I’m just trying to do right by you,” I said. “You’re definitely not obese, but you’re pushing the edges of, um, fat.”
“But … but … but…”
“Just look at the Buffalo Bills!” he said.
We’d been watching the Bills on TV at the time, and I had to admit, those guys were HUGE. Average on the team’s O-line, the heaviest in the NFL, is 278 pounds.
“But you can’t compare football players with dogs, Fido. Apples to oranges and all that. Let’s do a rib test.”
“Pass the ribs!” Fido yelped.
“This test is especially important for heavily coated dogs, like you. Heavy fur often conceals weight issues. If I can’t tell that you actually have a rib cage, then we’ll have to do a diet and get more exercise. If I can feel the ribs but they have a slight padding, like a light blanket over them, then you’re just about right.”
I gave Fido a good going over. He was borderline.
“Let’s go for another walk,” I said.