Off to the Vet

I dropped Cabana off at Guide Dogs' vet clinic this morning. One sniff when I opened the car door, and Cabana knew where we were. She was so excited I could barely get her head collar on her. You'd think we were at Disneyland! The vet did a quick examination of her and said she looked great. Then, he sent me over to kennel reception so I could "get her a room" for the next two nights.

When I went to kennel reception, the woman working there took one look at Cabana and said she was too fat!! She said Cabana didn't have enough of a waistline and asked how much we fed her. I said 2 cups morning, 2 cups evening. She said that was way too much and that we should even switch to a "light" food. She also asked dubiously if we ever exercise her, and I told her we walk her DAILY, 2-3 miles. I know she was trying to be helpful, but I felt like I had been slapped. I don't think I could have felt worse if she told ME I was too fat and ate too much!

But I know I don't need to take it so personally. I'll just cut back Cabana's food a bit--but I had always felt Cabana was on the thin side so it totally caught me off guard. It reminded me of Kate, saying the same thing about Faulkner--he was always thin and then all of a sudden, he chunked up!

Before I took Cabana in to the vet this morning, I got a nice email from Nicole, Chelsie's mom, wishing Cabana well for her surgery, and saying how much I would miss her and that the house would seem so empty. I thought, pah, no way! I'm going to do my Christmas shopping without worrying about getting back home, and it's going to be a great break for a couple days.

But darn it, Nicole was right! Now I'm worried about Cabana being fat, about the surgery, about her being lonely in the kennels. And the house does seem too quiet. I did manage to do some Christmas shopping on my way back from the vet, but it seems like a small consolation. :(

mariahleadme  – (December 15, 2009 at 3:01 PM)  

Only 4 cups a day? Gads....Wally has 6, and is still skinny as a rail.

And dont worry about Cabana being lonely in the kennels.......my wife had to leave her first working Guide there for 6 weeks one time due to health issues, and Mariah wasnt lonely one bit. Plus, she was soooo excited to see my wife again that she could hardly contain herself.

Cabana will be just as happy to see you as well.

Mimi and CC Cabana  – (December 15, 2009 at 3:35 PM)  

Thank you for your nice comment, mariahleadme. Wally is a lucky dog to get 6 cups--every Lab's dream! Wally's metabolism must be like my husband's, who can eat a big dish of ice cream every night and not gain an ounce.

Ally, Teddy and Kira  – (December 15, 2009 at 3:44 PM)  

Don't worry too much about Cabana, she's in good hands and will do fantastic. Of course the house is a bit empty and I bet it's hard to find things to do that you can't do with her there since she's not a 4 month old obnoxious puppy anymore! And no more waiting for her to go into heat. I have a dog you can borrow for a few days if you'd like, although it'd probably take me so long to get her down there to you that Cabana will be all healed from surgery by then! (We offer Kira to everyone in need of a stand-in pet, nobody's accepted so far! :-D)

Toby- The dog with a blog  – (December 15, 2009 at 3:59 PM)  

Toby gets 4 cups a day, though he still thinks he should get more...

I wouldn't be 2 worried about Cabana, she probably will make "kennel mate" friends, and have a blast!
I don't know how you got her to walk through the vets door, Toby HATES it! We get out of the car, and I end up dragging him in:)

Toby's Trainer
SEGDI Raiser

Penelope & Her Pack  – (December 15, 2009 at 4:07 PM)  

Don't feel bad about Cabana's weight, Penelope was getting 3 cups as a puppy and since then we've scaled her food back to a cup and a half (I think) a day. Sometimes it's hard to tell when they're getting overweight, especially when you only have one dog!

And Cabana will have a wonderful time in the kennels! Especially as much as she loves dogs. But she'll still be happy to see you again--I know Penelope always is, even though she LOVES going to the kennel!

Lisa, Ellie and Hosta  – (December 15, 2009 at 4:21 PM)  

Good luck Cabana (she doesn't need it - they'll take great care of her!)

I wouldn't worry about her weight either - recently, Ellie has been getting less excercise (hard to get motivated to go outside when the temps are 3 degrees). and with not going to work with me every day, I've had to drop her from 4 cups to 3.5 cups. I thought she was still gaining weight, but the scales at the vet said she had lost 3 pounds.

Can't wait to hear how the surgery went and hope her recovery is easy!

Heather and Ellie  – (December 15, 2009 at 5:37 PM)  

Good luck Cabana! You'll do fine.

That person at the kennels wasn't being very tactful to say first thing she's too fat.
She should have at least asked first how much you fed her, then recommended that you bring her down to less. And tough too that you thought she was thin....
I am always battling with Ellie's weight, she seems to stay plump no matter what.
I give her about 3 cups TOTAL a day (sometimes less) and she will not lose weight!
I've sort of given up by now, this is probably where her body wants to be. Bad metabolism I guess?

Oh well!

Al Brittain  – (December 15, 2009 at 5:41 PM)  

Best guide I've ever seen for how much to feed is the calculation here - really not tough at all and our actual experience matches it very closely:

http://www.dolittler.com/2009/04/23/Counting-calories-in-fat-dog-weight-loss-and-the-role-of-intelligence.html

That's really the way you have to do it - how many cups you feed means zip unless you know the caloric count for the food, which is easy to find. You can look up those ideal body shape charts, too.

What's funny is many people think our dogs are skinny when they're actually right where they're supposed to be. I'm convinced that's because people are so used to seeing fat Labs, since most of them are, they think that's normal and the way they're supposed to look, when it's not.

OSU 98  – (December 15, 2009 at 7:02 PM)  

Mimi...I know how you feel. This really loud, totally obnoxious lady I do agility with used to scream out loud in front of everyone that Chelsie was "too fat" to do agility - weekly. She would always get on me about Chelsie's weight...to the point I was often almost in tears about it.

If you think it is best for Cabana to be a pound or two lighter, I put 2/3 of a cup of frozen green beans in Chelsie's food. Maybe cute her food down to 1.5 cups and 2/3 of cup of green beans (=1 serving, =30 calories) Also, I have been told by my agility friends you can put a spoonful of pumpkin on their food to help them feel full - although I have never done it. Some of the people I do agility with do not feed their dogs enough, in my opinion, and I absolutely refuse to do that to Chelsie. Where I have her now is my limit, I won't go any lower - in my mind it is appropriate given her reduced activity level and the fact that she needs to be as trim as possible given her injury.

It sounds like some tact would have been in order - certainly not the best place to tell a worried mom leaving her dog that the dog is too fat. Somehow, some way, I am guessing a few romps at the dog park a few times a week will take care of it..if there is even an issue. Cabana looks great to me...but then, what do I know...

Becky  – (December 15, 2009 at 7:10 PM)  

I know that empty feeling when they are gone. She'll be back soon and will get lots of loves while she is there. We just reduced Cricket's intake to 3 cups with our ability to walk reduced for the next little while.

Martha G  – (December 15, 2009 at 10:39 PM)  

Ouch! Cabana is not fat to my eye.

When I picked up Ardella I thought she had gained weight the CFR who brought her to me said that sometimes after being spayed dogs will gain a little bit and that I should start feeding her less. I've been feeding her 2 cups a day and I give her a little more when we've had a lot of exercise. Usually not more than 1-1/4 cups at a time.

She'll be home soon and you'll have a sweet reunion.

Ro  – (December 16, 2009 at 6:04 AM)  

Ok, I know Cabana didn't go into season, but she was probably getting close, right? And I don't know about you, but I know I put on some pounds when I'm coming up on a "season" hahaha!!! Seriously, I wouldn't worry about it. I love GDB, don't get me wrong, but I think they were a tad snobbish there ;) It's winter, too. Geez. We all blubber up a bit to keep warm. You just wait till summer; she'll slim right down again.

good luck with the empty feeling; it'll be over before you know it :)

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