Yesterday was our annual visit to the vet. As usual they weighed both dogs. Maya’s weight was the same as last year, which was a great feeling because we struggled to figure out how much to feed her to keep her healthy.
Boo on the other hand gained 6 pounds!!! I literally looked at Maya to make sure she didn’t have a paw on the scale! Now 6 pounds for boo is like 30 pounds for you or me, a healthy weight for Boo is 42 pounds, so 48 pounds is not good. And considering she’s 8 it’s a recipe for problems.
This is when I realized we now have a toddler who shares his food freely and that I need to stop giving her so many treats (when we crate her we give her a million milkbones…). In my defense, Boo’s weight had never been the problem so I was shocked.
I also decided we need to start teaching Julian that he can’t give the dogs his food. People think I’m nuts but you can set boundaries early. Justin and I wear glasses and when Julian was 4 months old he started going for them, I knew we could not have him going for our glasses so I would gently move his hand away and say no in a calm but serious tone. Justin did the same. It took maybe a week of that and Julian understood that glasses are off limits. People have even commented how nice it is that he doesn’t go for glasses, or on the rare occasion that he forgets I give him a little reminder.
I figured he’s older now and I could do the same for the food sharing issue. This morning I started telling him no and I tried to explain that we can’t share our food with the dogs because they have their own food.
This worked like a charm… by which I mean I told him no about a hundred times, after about the 50th time I started getting more upset and frustrated and then started getting mad at Boo for going for his food, which basically is like getting mad at another human for breathing oxygen.
It was a complete failure. Boo and Julian both couldn’t understand why I was being such a mean momma and Maya was scared because I had started raising my voice. The little voice deep within all finally found some volume and told me to find another way. This wasn’t working, it was only ruining our beautiful sunshine filled morning.
Everyone hated me, I hated me and furthermore this was a terrible way to start our day, so I gave up. The dogs got some egg with their morning kibble, Julian ate his eggs and blueberries and I told them all that I’d decided instead to reduce the amount of kibble Boo gets until we get her weight down.
I’m not going to stop telling Julian that it’s bad to feed the dogs when I see this behavior, but I’m not going to devote my mornings to watching them all like a hawk, when instead he can happily eat and share with the doggies and I can do dishes, make my breakfast a few feet away and listen to music or whatever podcast I’m devouring.
I guess the old adage is true, you have to pick your battles, so you win this time Julian and Boo.