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FOOD FOR THOUGHT: Pet obesity? Really?

Carole Townsend

Carole Townsend

Editor’s Note: Carole Townsend, a correspondent for the Daily Post, is writing a blog called “Food for Thought.” It is available online at www.gwinnettdailypost.com.

I read an article a couple of days ago about the epidemic of pet obesity in our country. Now I love pets (well, dogs anyway). I think we owe animals decency and kindness and responsibility. I do not think we owe them specialty dog food at $20.99 per pound, spa memberships or health insurance. I know, I know. I’m going to make a certain element mad here, but it’s just the way I feel.

Someone really wise (I think it was Benjamin Franklin or Andy Rooney) said that the best measure of a society’s compassion is how it treats its animals. I agree, 100 percent. If we can’t find it in our hearts to take care of the least, then what does that say about us?

I don’t want to get off track, so back to fat pets. All we can do is love our pets and do our best to keep them safe. I have to tell you though, we have become a nation of people in which even our pets are fat and lazy. Doggy strollers are a big seller at pet specialty stores. That’s just not natural.

I have seen movies made especially for dogs. In these movies, dogs can relax on their beds and watch birds and squirrels in air-conditioned comfort.

If some company made doggy video games, I’m sure they’d be big sellers, too.

I had a guy try to sell me pet health insurance a couple of weeks ago. Are you kidding me? You want me to buy health insurance for a dog who spends half his day licking and the other half sniffing? That’s germ nirvana.

In between all that dog activity, he eats. And eats. I think he has a disorder. He’s gotten so fat that his head looks too small for his body. His tail has fat rolls. I only feed him once a day, but we have two dogs. He eats his food, and then he sneaks and eats hers.

This same dog is the only thing we’ve caught with the dozen or so mousetraps we have cleverly hidden around the house (don’t call the ASPCA — they’re the kind that either stick to him or pinch his nose). He’s trying to get the peanut butter out of them.

He has absolutely no sense whatsoever. I’d love the read the fine print on his health insurance policy. “Excludes overeating, darting in front of cars, diseases contracted from sniffing other dogs, injuries caused by mousetraps and anything resulting from stupidity.” This dog is the sweetest, most lovable creature on the planet. But I am not insuring his health. He is a dog.

I get my dogs immunized. I get them groomed, and I even take care of their teeth. I buy them high quality dog food. Many children in this country can’t say they get the same treatment, can they?