February 1, 2014
In Chow Down – The Oreo Gobble, Parts 1 and 2, I talked about how Oreo couldn’t seem to stop eating. Here seems a good time to relate what happened to this poor puppy prior to coming to his forever home.
His picture on the breeder’s website wooed me, and I fell in love with him. He was six months old and not sold yet, so we were able to get a small discount for him. Unfortunately, he was a ten-hour drive away. The breeder insisted that he be neutered before we bought him, but she agreed to have it done a few weeks before his plane trip to Regina. Yes, his plane trip…what a huge mistake that was!
So poor little Oreo’s first car ride was to the vet’s to have some very personal parts removed. His second car trip was a two-hour drive to the Edmonton airport where he was loaded in an unheated, airy cage into cargo. When he arrived in Regina, he was left in that cage on the runway on an open cart (not an enclosed heated area like the brochure had promised) in windy -10°C weather.
We finally got him after one and a half hours of negligence and lack of communication between the main terminal and the cargo delivery area. The puppy was shivering uncontrollably, whether from fear or cold or both, we couldn’t tell. I tucked him inside my coat and we turned the car heater on full blast as we headed back to Esterhazy. It was two hours before he stopped shaking.
Now on with the rest of the Gobble story.
The Shih Tzu Who Lives to Eat
After the vet cautioned that Oreo had lost weight too fast, I let up and added a tad more to his meals. For a while, he continued to lose weight, then I weakened and began adding more treats and table scraps. He ballooned, as did Tilly.
When Oreo (who should be no more than 17 lbs.) reached 27 lbs., I despaired. I was killing him slowly, this dog I would walk a mile for. I made myself stop. No more treats from the table. The vet had suggested carrots and apples, which Tilly and Oreo both love (along with tomatoes, dill pickles, moderate amounts of lettuce, and radishes). He said, within reason they can have as many carrots as they want. So now I had a good stock of carrots and apples in the fridge and dished those out instead of the fattening treats.
Time will tell if it works. Despite the fact that I sometimes cry at the desperate look on Oreo’s face at mealtime, we are both soldiering on.
I have decided that personality plays a big part in weight gain or loss unless regulated. Ling Ling is far different from Oreo and Tilly. She is an intense dog, always on the go, always wanting to play, always running in the yard (she does laps around the yard if no one is around to play); in short, a lively personality. The other two are much more laid back. It is also pretty obvious that Oreo’s trauma from being neutered and then driven once again for the traumatic plane ride play a part in his need for food-type comfort. Finally, his past as part of a breeder’s stock made him fearful that he would not get enough food.
If your dog is a gobbler, check out his past, discern his temperament. If no clues present themselves, then take him to your vet for a checkup.
How about your puppy or cat? Do you have issues with their diet?
We’d love to hear about any eating problems your pets might have,
and what you are doing to cope. Just enter a comment at the bottom
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(Next week watch for “Pee Pads and Pooches”)
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