Aurora Goes On A Diet

One day, we realized Aurora was fat. It had happened gradually, like middle age, rising taxes and global warming. Being responsible dog lovers, my wife and I decided to reduce the size of her meals.

But Aurora was a vocal Keeshond, gifted in the art of verbal, if non-English, communication. The first morning my wife reduced her breakfast to what Aurora appeared to believe was a shadow of its former self, the canine started wailing as if we had been starving her for a week.

My wife did not last a day, let alone a week. By next morning, I was appointed the culinary villain. I took over the role of weight loss waiter, and my wife securely ensconced herself behind our closed bedroom door during mealtimes. But she could still hear Aurora’s plaintive wails of loss. After a couple of meals, my wife was ready to unconditionally surrender.

But we are dutiful dog patrons, and decided there had to be another, middle-ground way whereby Aurora would lose weight without my wife’s ears and soul being assailed by her cries of sadness at the sight of her miniscule meals.

We found a solution in the form of a “dieter’s dog food” in a book called The Natural Dog by veterinarian Dr. Mary Brennan and Norma Eckroate. The trick, we discovered, was to make up in low-calorie bulk what we were giving up in high-calorie eats.

With some trepidation, my wife mixed up a batch of the new food – and viola! Aurora was happy again, and my wife no longer tormented as if she was the Marquis de Sade of dog owners.

Here’s the reducing recipe Aurora fell in love with:

* Quarter pound skinless chicken, boiled or broiled * Half cup cottage cheese or natural cultured yogurt * 4 cups mixed vegetables * Vitamin and mineral supplement * 1 tablespoon oil

After our pudgy pooch returned to a healthy weight, we switched her to another recipe to make sure she kept those pounds off. It contained ground beef, brown rice, mixed veggies and fi sh, olive or safflower oil.

Aurora lived happily ever after at a healthy weight. Best of all, she no longer wailed at every meal. But be warned – if you have more than one dog, they’ll probably want to go on the diet too. When Aurora started eating her homemade food, our Scottie, Macduff, soon wouldn’t even deign to sniff his store-bought food. We were soon cooking for him as well as Aurora. Who knew being on a diet could taste so good?

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