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Stealth Bomber in the Kitchen
When most people first see me, ‘Look at how big he is!’ is most likely running through their minds. Well, that doesn’t faze me a bit. You can call me big-boned, overweight, or even, gasp, fat, but I don’t mind. These are handles of love, baby. My love with food. The others are envious. “Hey,” they say, “How can you be so big? Where’d you get all the food? I want some!” “Well,” I smoothly reply, “You gotta be in the know. Know when they aren’t watching, know when stuff was left on the counter, know what tastes gooood!” The rest of them are scared to jump up on the table. “What kind of dog are you?” I ask them. They always look down in shame, mumbling about how they wish they were as daring as me.
My owners? They shower me with love. I practically bathe in it. The one thing they just can’t get right – that nasty stuff they put in my bowl! ‘Would you eat this stuff?’ I want to ask them. They can’t even stand the stench. The kids hold their nose when scooping out my food. I gotta eat it, though. A man like me is always hungry.
Not to be too biased, but my favorite family member is my mother. I live for that woman! No one else can walk me. When the kids try to take me out, I lie in the street. Still, they don’t feed me, and food is the key to this man’s heart. I hear Mom tell Dad about how I drive her nuts, because I’m always following her around. I don’t complain. I would probably get annoyed if someone were always shadowing me, too! I can’t leave her side for one reason: what if she decides to feed me? I love sitting at her feet while she cooks. Especially meatballs. Oh, man.
“Tracey, will you get Auggie out of my way?” she shrieks, “I need to finish making dinner.”
Mmhmm. I love when she says that! Dinner’s coming! That’s my favorite part of the day. I get my second dry food meal (blech), and the family eats. I sit under the table and wait for leftovers, which my dad feeds me. Then, when they all leave – cake on the table, come to Papa!
So, we’re eating. I mean, they’re eating, and I'm anticipating.
Mom says, “I have bad news.” My ears perk up. What could it be?
“Auggie went to the vet today…”
Right. Forgot about that. I like to block out those painful memories of having my scent glands expressed. Don’t ask.
“…And he has hit a new low.”
Low? What did I do that was low?
“One hundred,” murmurs Dad.
“One-Oh-Two,” replies Mom.
102? Are they talking about….
“The doctor called him obese. Obese!”
…My weight? Isn’t 102 lbs. a good thing? There’s more golden fluff to go around!
“This is seriously a new low,” Tracey says. “Actually, it’s a new high, if you think about it!”
They start laughing. Mom sounds worried. “The doctor said he needed to lose 30 pounds to be healthy. Have you ever seen a Golden Retriever this big?”
I love being big. Puh-lease. I love chocolate, too. Especially of the extra-dark variety. Whoever said chocolate was bad for dogs doesn’t know a thing. Once Mom left out three bags of extra-dark baking chips. Those were the best snack of my life.
“He needs to go on a diet,” I hear.
“Hasn’t he been on a diet for about five years?” Geoffrey asks.
“Guess it didn’t work,” replies David, seven years old and so perceptive!
I shudder. Diet dry food is worse than my normal food.
“I’m going to make him his food now,” I hear mom say.
The heavens are opening. I can hear the cherubs singing! There seems to be confetti everywhere! My own food!
“The doctor said low-carb is the key. He needs chicken and vegetables.”
Have my ears deceived me? Am I done with dog food and now going to eat people food?
This is how it starts. Mom prepares my chicken and veggies at the beginning of the week and puts them in baggies to freeze and use. On Mondays, the kids come home to what they think is a chicken dinner. Sorry folks, that’s my food. I love hearing mom tell them, “No, this is for Auggie. Have some cereal.” Now the kids are on dry food – what a reversal! The downside is the whole ‘one meal a day’ thing the doctor ordered. Still, I manage. I eat everything anyone leaves on the counter.
Apparently, I now smell. I guess that nasty dry food keeps the pearly whites odor free. My delicious new food doesn’t. People stay away from me. Other dogs want to brush up against me. It’s a give or take situation. I think I can sacrifice cleanliness for food.
I go for a checkup at the vet, and the family and few neighbors place bets on how much I will weigh. I clock in at 96 pounds. Mom is crying with joy. Or maybe she just sneezed. I celebrate my weight loss with a loaf of bread sitting on the table.
Things are going well now, and it’s getting to the end of the summer. This golden coat can sure be a drag when it gets hot! Another date with the vet today. Bets are placed again. Nothing below 91 lbs., as my 96 was clocked in six weeks ago.
They lead me to the scale. Everyone is waiting to hear.
“What do you think?” The vet asks Mom. She tells everyone’s bets.
“86,” The vet says with a smile.
They go beserk. Nuts. Crazy. Mom is so happy.
“I knew he looked slimmer!” she says. “His fur just covers it up.”
Dinner that night, all my family talks about is how great and wonderful and beautiful and skinny I am. Dad wants to feed me some of their dinner as a reward. Mom says that ruins my dieting. Personally, as long as I have access to food such as that half a Funfetti Cake I polished off yesterday, I’m fine. I actually like it when the other dogs ask me for diet secrets. I just tell them:
Three bags a day of extra dark baking chocolate.
And maybe a muffin or two. Or three. Four, if you get lucky.
And also, some vegeta –
Is that a candy bar?
I’m out of here!