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Fostering From Fat to Fit

| 1/23/2012 11:13:33 AM

muffinmoundPatches and Jaybo were suffering from “jello jiggles” and “muffin mounds”, according to Dr. Jennifer Gardner. To illustrate, she held up enough extra dog to make a good-sized rat terrier from Patches’ backside.  

The lab-catahoula litter mates had spent the past year sitting in a barn at the rescue kennel getting fat. I had called on Dr. Gardner for advice to help them lose weight and become more adoptable.  

At the rescue kennel they had plenty of room and their physical needs were met, but there was no stimulation in the dimly lit barn. Once a day the kennel manager cleaned their pen and put out fresh food and water. Boredom made them eat more than they needed.

As soon as I met them I put them on my list for walking, but it was apparent they needed more than two walks a week to get in shape. As soon as my foster dogs Johnny and Boomer went to new homes, I brought Jaybo and Patches home, not just Gardnerbecause they needed a fitness program but because I was intrigued at their breeding and wanted to get to know them better.    

Both Labradors and Catahoulas are known for close bonds with humans that make them excel at working and hunting. I was interested in how well their personalities had survived the past year of isolation. I found both dogs to be confident, optimistic and merry. It took two people to lift them into my car simply because they didn’t know about traveling, but once installed in my back seat, they enjoyed the ride. 

I don’t know whether they had ever been inside a house before and they didn’t look like they had ever had a bath, but both of them trotted right into my house and enjoyed their baths. As always I was surprised at the difference a clean coat makes. Patches’ white gleamed like sunlight on snow, while Jaybo’s coat turned out to have beautiful gold and buff splashes.  

traveling  patchesbath 

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