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October 8, 2012 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Of course, it’s revenge.

No one would suspect.

Who could think badly of you?

Revenge. Good, good revenge.

That kill them with kindness for real.

Finally. Deserved.

Vintage Halloween costume (1928.Public Domain.York U. Archives.

For all those times spent driving and searching for just the right Halloween costume.

Do I look like Martha Stewart?

Yes, it is the right size.

No! You are not going out in that!

For all those birthday parties.

What? A simple verbal invite at the park won’t do?

No, there’s no reason to purchase boutique treats, homemade is fine.

A few decorative balloons: If one is good, more is better!
(Image: Paul M. Walsh/

For all the efforts ease their boredom and encourage socialization with play dates.

For all those hours spent practicing training, and honing those sports’ agility skills.

What’s a little (cough) cold or rain?

Yes, there is a God. He had someone invent laptops and tablets. So easy to balance on your knees.

Satellite office: open floor plan / light and airy (Image: Coolerhead/

For all those toys bought to replace the ones destroyed or simply left behind…somewhere. WHERE?

No, we are not driving back two states to get it.

It’s just like the other one! Look at it. Please. It’s just the same!

How much? It’s a toy, not jewelry.

For all those extra hours each trip takes and all the tedious preparations.

Again? We just stopped a little while ago.

It’s got to be here. Maybe it rolled under the seat? Look again.

You ate it all already?

Stay in the car. Stay in the car. No, you do not have to go in.

For always managing to get sick when it’s the most inconvenient

It’s after hours. They said to drive across town to this emergency clinic.

The medicine costs how much? What is it? liquid gold?

No! No! don’t jiggle my arm – if I spill this I’ll make you lick it off the floor!

For crushing all those fantasies of a home featured in a magazine.

Guess who really isn’t potty trained.

The throw pillows? Thrown. Sometimes even Febreeze can’t get out the smell.

Oh, don’t all those scratches and bangs just make it look vintage? Convince me. Please.


For how they restrict our lives.

For forced behavior changes.

For slimmer bank accounts

So treat them with kindness.

No one will suspect it’s a plot to quietly shorten their lives.

No one could ever complain or think you’re a bad person.

Scary. Think about it. (Image: Mika Yrjola/

Dog training seems to have gone over to the dark side.

Instead of training owners to use “calm and assertive” – or even that “teacher voice”, bribe the dog with treats. (Besides it makes them adore you, the food source.)

Apparently, some clever dogs figure it out pretty quickly: “this one’s got food – and I can get it.”

And this method (it’s a ‘salary” not a bribe) works well for the willing dog and consistent owner with lot of time….and treats.

(But should you have to run when the treat pouch is empty and Cujo isn’t done?)

There’s a risk involved – and it’s not always being tackled by a determined dog.

Quietly observing the classes, it looks like the overindulgence excessive “training” is turning pooches into chubs. They are waddling in – performing so well. All for those treats!

Please tell me it’s Photoshop.(Image: Photo gallery: “Fat Dogs of Denver”

So what’s the deal, dog owners?

So eager to have the “best” dog in class?

He’s just so cute – and who can resist that doggy face?

(Don’t you have eyes? That tum’s almost on the floor. Almost like Obie, the 77 pound dachshund.)

Or something more sinister?

Having second thoughts on pet ownership and quietly hoping for your life back?

(Sorry, kids, this breed doesn’t seem to live that long.)

Of course there’s that old saying about dogs looking like their owners….there’s that obesity epidemic.  

Need to research this a bit more, but not now.

Time for a jog – the both of us!

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge

Fattest Dogs in Denver. Some real chubbies need to get their hiking booties on? Look at these tubby dogs!

Morbidly Obese Dachshund was being ‘Loved to Death’. Article and more video of Obie (For Today Show video, click Obie’s name in post above.)

Obese German Shepherd…don’t think it’s a Halloween costume.
(Image: Gallery of photos:”Fat Dogs of Denver”)

Champions Berkshire boar (Image. Scott Davis:commons.wikimedia.ort)

Eerie similarity. Champion Berkshire boar (Image: Scott Davis/commons.wikimedia.ort)

More wandering thoughts on this topic (which you can totally ignore):

It started with adults: foods to make people feel good. Even one named “hugs“: “milk chocolate hugged by white chocolate” so you can get that warm “I am loved feeling” anywhere anytime! Emotional highs. Followed by emotional meltdown from all the weight gained. Oh, well, everyone is larger now, right? It’s OK. Here have a special cupcake – it’s small! Just cut down on the next meal….

Of course all that spilled over to the kids. Cranky toddler? How about a sugary drink or coke in a bottle? “Be good and you can have a treat!” Sad? Sit down and have a cookie. Teachers want to keep kids attentive and toss candy for right answers. Now the kids are fighting obesity,too

So, in the natural order of things, stands to reason fat pets are to be expected?

I’m all for positive reinforcement, and catching kids and dogs doing good.

But constant rewards leads to unreal expectations? (And create an unreal elevated sense of self-worth in least they don’t bite like dogs…until they are teenagers, anyway.)

Only behaving for goodies – which even trainers say dogs do get over requiring a change to “high value” treats?

Hmmm, verdict’s still out on this one. 

Note from the German: Do what works for you, but perhaps a little caution and restraint, too? And a little more exercise!

Giant Pumpkin Festival: Bigger is OK here. (Image. Yourcsd/



  1. changeforbetterme / Oct 8 2012 7:00 pm

    I just hate hate hate it! When I see animals so overweight they can’t hardly walk! It’s abuse too! Just like not feeding them. so sad for the animal.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Oct 8 2012 7:03 pm

      Obie is being cared for and was surrendered by elderly owners. He has his own Facebook page. You have to worry about the photo gallery of the Denver dogs…anybody checking on them? Food is a drug – apparently trainers and owners are enabling pets now? Thanks for stopping in to chat.


      • changeforbetterme / Oct 8 2012 7:05 pm

        I read about Obie. I’m glad he’s being taken care of. Yes the Denver dogs are so sad looking. and food is a drug. It’s as bad as over feeding your kids just to train them. Its the same in fact!


  2. roughseasinthemed / Oct 8 2012 7:18 pm

    We took two of our previous dogs to a kennel once when we were going on holiday. Our normal kennel was closed. One of our dogs was a lab. The kennel owner had to kick his dog through the door because it was so fat and told us that was what a lab should like :(We didn’t have a good holiday and our dogs were ill for a couple of weeks afterwards (they refused to use our food). He was also a breeder. 😦

    Just been reading about the pitbulls that have been put down because they attacked and killed their owner. Is there no end to sad dog stories?


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Oct 9 2012 1:41 pm

      It’s no fun being on a trip when you are worried about your animals. Sometimes the wrong people are in the animal business for the wrong reasons.
      The past 2 days we have seen 2 pits on our walks. One was very calm and friendly and the other wild and snapping and barking angrily at the end of the leash with an owner desperately struggling to hold it back. Molly, being very social, enjoyed the first, but was perfectly willing to rapidly get away from the wild one. We warned the owner there were a couple of small kids up ahead that would fearlessly run screaming towards dogs – don’t need any more sad stories!


  3. jmlindy422 / Oct 8 2012 9:03 pm

    We were actually told to give our dog MORE food. He’s in better shape than just about anyone in our family, certainly better than my couch-potato husband and kids. The dog plays fetch every chance he gets,so he’s exercising sometimes twice a day. Vet said he could use a few pounds, so he’s getting more food. We never were big on treats. Hoping others get their dog acts together. Now, about our cat…


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Oct 9 2012 1:51 pm

      Dogs are better lean than fat. The German was thin from stress and needed more food…although then she relaxed too much and we had to get her up and moving more. It’s watching and adjusting as needed, I think. We are trying to teach Molly to play ball or frisbee – rather than just manically running around twice a day. (Note to self: buy more bandaids)
      The thing about treats is that some dogs then start demanding them and get more aggressive – not sure most people can switch from treats to clickers or voice rewards…easier to treat and let dogs get fat?
      Cats are a whole different training issue…they learn, but RC cooperates when it pleases her…rarely…she is the RC Cat, after all…she does feel training is important for staff ( but doesn’t encourage treat training there).
      Oh, RC sends a paw wave in thanks


  4. Ally Bean / Oct 8 2012 9:17 pm

    Wowsa! I’ve never seen such heavy dogs. I can’t imagine why anyone would allow that to happen to his or her dog. The words “serving size” immediately come to mind….


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Oct 9 2012 1:56 pm

      Now we have an epidemic of obese dogs? Have they learned to drive to fast food restaurants or grocery stores? There’s another picture of the fat shepherd surrounded by beer bottles. Dog can’t be comfortable or happy being that big….more like a couch than a couch potato? Thanks for joining the pack.


  5. Emma / Oct 8 2012 9:33 pm

    Was that pic photoshopped? Grotesque.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Oct 9 2012 1:59 pm

      Unfortunately it’s real. Their other dog is normal size. Just too much. Thanks for dogtrotting over to chat


  6. RAB / Oct 8 2012 10:42 pm

    Killing with “kindness.” Terrible.


  7. jmmcdowell / Oct 8 2012 11:36 pm

    It’s all just so wrong. It’s not natural and not good for the dogs—or humans for that matter. Our culture has gotten so out of hand with confusing want and need. We don’t need that jumbo order of popcorn and liter of soda at the movies. We don’t need desserts loaded with sugars and fats. I would bet American life expectancy will soon be dropping at an alarming rate, despite the advances in medicine. These dogs’ owners need to get off the couch and get exercising with their pets.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Oct 9 2012 2:39 pm

      Food for survival, not as rewards or self medication. The current trend in dog training seems to reflect society – not good.
      American life expectancy is already falling according to recent research. Obesity in adults, kids, and now pets. Dangerous trend. Not complicated: amount of food/calories in must be equal or less than calories burned. It’s not easy, but determinations and being aware goes a long way.
      Thanks for running over to chat


  8. writingfeemail / Oct 9 2012 10:13 am

    How on earth do they get so big? I can’t imagine it. And it is horrible for their joints to even be slightly overweight. Yikes! Though I confess, I am a treater. But they are doggie treats meant for them, not high sugar, heavily salted items that they don’t need.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Oct 9 2012 2:50 pm

      An animal getting that large didn’t happen overnight. Obesity is unhealthy in animals and humans.
      There’s nothing wrong with a few doggie treats, but recently I’ve observed several high profile dog training places shoving foods constantly in a dog’s mouth – not just reward for an action, but for sitting around as they talk ( “reward” for sitting and letting them talk to owners…really?)…and when they ran out the dogs start leaping and demanding more and trying to reach the treat pouch themselves..and on and on it went…more food..higher “value” food to keep them interested…yet more food. All I could see is dogs getting fatter and fatter and more and more demanding.
      Guess it’s faster to use Pavlovian methods on dogs than train the owners. Not sure these owners can control the urge to take the easy way out and give treats instead of slowly withdrawing the treat reward and substitute the clicker or verbal praise. May end up with bariatric surgery for dogs before long?
      But yea for a balance of treats and exercise! Thanks for joining the pack


  9. EllaDee / Oct 10 2012 12:28 am

    My family and me have had numerous dogs over the years and all have managed to be trained and well behaved without treat rewards, and like we do for ourselves we need to balance their food vs activity. My M.I.L. killed her last dog, a tiny foxie, with kindness – she could just not resist feeding it biccies, cake and a generous portion of her own meals. She’d love another dog, but knows better than to suggest it. She knows it was wrong but she just couldn’t help herself.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Oct 10 2012 12:40 am

      The treat thing is amusing. Seems like the wrong direction to me. And those little doggy faces – they are such hams when they want to be – hard to resist. Glad you had time to dogtrot over!


  10. jannatwrites / Oct 10 2012 4:53 am

    I’m not sure when ‘bigger is better’ came to be the norm for our country, whether it be portion sizes, our waistlines, or our pets’ waistlines. It makes me sad when I see rolly-polly animals that can barely walk.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Oct 10 2012 5:45 pm

      Soon there’ll need to be a Weight Watchers program for dogs? Less treats for all! Thanks for wandering over


  11. Beth / Oct 10 2012 3:33 pm

    When we first got Sam, she was a healthy 25 lbs, which grew into a hefty 41 lbs. as she batted her eyes, pointed at her mouth and said, “I’m STARVING! More please! Look at these EYES!! This FACE!!!” and proved she’d eat everything. (You have to love a hound.) She’s now down to 28, and showing off how great she feels by sneaking onto the dining table. A feat I’m torn between being impressed by (she had two knee surgeries) and “wait, no that’s bad err… I mean yay, I mean bad – oh, just hop down please.) Her ultimate goal is to make the leap to the cat food stand – it’s soooo close and without those extra pounds, she’s convincing herself she can surely fly.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Oct 10 2012 5:50 pm

      Oh, how funny and how true. Molly was too thin, but has quickly put on 6 pounds…we’ll have to keep an eye on that….but that little face! Thanks for serving up Sam’s story. (and Molly is watching Sam’s cat food project with great interest…RC’s bowl is around here somewhere…)


  12. shoreacres / Oct 11 2012 12:54 pm

    Oh, dear, oh, my. Those photos are awful. Miss Dixie her very self is on a diet of sorts. The vet would like her to lose a couple of pounds, but it’s hard because she refuses to eat anything but dry food,which has more carbs. Salmon? Chicken? Beef tenderloin? Tuna? No way. Sigh.

    She has learned a new trick that just cracks me up. Somehow, she’s learned to sit up on her haunches and beg. She gets her treats at night, before bedtime, and if I’m not producing on schedule, she comes in next to the computer and sits there, begging. She’ll sit like that for full minutes, until I dissolve in laughter and take pity on her. I suppose the good news is that if she weren’t still in pretty good shape, she couldn’t do that. Apparently her seven pieces of Kitty Treat are pretty important to her. 😉


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Oct 11 2012 3:31 pm

      Miss Dixie is just so clever…they do know the schedule must be kept. RC Cat feels 7 pieces is just about perfect ( and is now lobbying for as many as Dixie gets) Really hard to control feline weight…I didn’t include a couple of fat cat pictures …these cat would probably knock you over is treats denied.
      Paw waves to all!


  13. Robin / Oct 15 2012 7:24 pm

    Oh gosh, I always feel so bad for the poor pudgie pets. And yes, children. It’s a strange world where there are people (and pets) starving, yet others are overindulged. Izzy and Bella, the cats of my realm (okay, it’s THEIR realm), turn their noses up at treats for tricks or good behavior. They want play time with Da Bird or feathered mice (they are as puzzled by that combination as I am, bringing mystery to their fun), lap time when they deem we are worthy of it, and every now and then, a little treat will be accepted by Bella if given in the right spirit. Izzy must be weight conscious as she never accepts cat treats, but has been known to sneak a bit of cheese if she can get it.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Oct 16 2012 4:38 pm

      Sounds like those of your Realm understand what is important. Now that’s a real treat! Thanks for stopping by for the purrs


  14. PiedType / Oct 15 2012 9:20 pm

    We control the food they get. There’s really no excuse for their being fat, is there?


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Oct 16 2012 4:40 pm

      While some pets may have mastered opening doors and hiking to stores, I haven’t seen any able to swipe the card and sign their name before clicking “OK”. Thanks for monitoring the situation


  15. pnwauthor / Oct 23 2012 4:37 pm

    You bring up some good points and observations. I hope these humans wake up soon their zombie state. Otherwise these dogs suffer from excessive kindness or just excessiveness.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Oct 23 2012 5:11 pm

      Eccessive oddness. The dogs can’t drive and operate the credit card themselves, so the enablers are thinking…? Thanks for joining the howl.


      • pnwauthor / Oct 26 2012 1:49 am

        I don’t know, dogs are getting smarter everyday as they hang out with us humans. Crows are even smarter than the dogs.


        • philosophermouseofthehedge / Oct 26 2012 2:40 pm

          Dogs and crows are probably waiting around to see how humans do before moving in with course corrections? Thanks for barking along



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