She is 18 months old, 40 pounds, a lab mix, an endless ball of energy, and I got to spend the entire weekend playing with her!
Carter belongs to my pal Julie. When J mentioned that she had a lot of travel on deck this month, I offered my dog-loving services. If there’s one thing I can do, it’s dog sit.
Carter is younger and smaller than Geronimo, but it’s no surprise to me that she is the boss. Geronimo is a baby in a big body and very submissive. (I think this is a trait he leached from me.) He let her take the lead on most everything. With her energy, she was happy to literally run circles around the house, around the yard, and around the park. Geronimo and I mostly sat back and watched.
Twice we went out for a run as a trio. They both did great, and we were all tired afterwards, which was the goal. The other big event was sitting in the yard. I pulled a chair up to our fire pit, propped my feet up, and read while they did whatever it is dogs do. In Carter’s case, that meant a little bit of rolling in the dirt. I guess a dirty dog is a happy dog.
Carter is very go-go-go, so I’m sure she thought all the lounging around that Geronimo and I did was boring, but we sure loved having her for a few days.
In other dog-related news, I took Geems to the vet this week to get an update on some of his meds. The number that flashed up on the screen as he stepped on the scale made my eyes bug out. He weighs how much?! I’m embarrassed to admit it, but the doctor’s words were “borderline obese.” I’ll just be over here hanging my head in shame.
I know my dog is a big boy, but his body is buried under a lot of fur so it’s hard to gauge exactly how big he is. Plus, he is large all over: tall, long, huge brisket. That’s normal for him. That requires a big body to go with. But not this big.
The doctor’s concern is that at his age (he’ll be 8 in a few months) this weight puts a lot of strain on his body. He’s running the risk of major hip problems. We cannot have that! I value Geronimo’s health more than my own. I would step into traffic for him without hesitation. I would fight off ninjas on his behalf. I would walk 500 hundred miles, and I would walk 500 more. You get the idea- I want him to live a long, happy life, and I’ll do whatever is necessary.
Blood was drawn and tests were run. We have to make sure that it isn’t a thyroid problem, which is a possibility in older dogs. My gut tells me that’s not what it is, though. Assuming the thyroid isn’t the issue, Geronimo will be on a very strict doggie diet. No treats, no people food (not that he was getting much anyway), lite dog food, smaller portions. Exercise doesn’t impact weight loss in dogs, but he will continue to walk and run with me regularly as it’s good for his overall health. If we don’t see some changes on the scale in a month, then it will be time to bust out the prescription weight management food. I’m hoping it doesn’t come to that, but see above where I said I’ll do whatever is necessary.
I’m feeling a lot of guilt over the whole situation. Stephen knows so much more about this stuff than I do (he studied to be a veterinarian during undergrad), but as Geronimo’s mother, I should be capable of taking care of him. I spent all of yesterday beating myself up over it. Now my focus is on getting Geronimo healthy and keeping him that way.