Tyrades! By Danny Tyree
A 2010 study by the Association For Pet Obesity Prevention says half the nation’s dogs and cats are overweight, and 20 percent are downright obese. This should come as no surprise to anyone who has danced to the Billboard hit “Who Let The Dogs’ (Waistband) Out?”
These findings are alarming because, as with humans, weight issues produce other health woes, such as diabetes, arthritis, shortened lifespan and an uncontrollable urge to wear Speedos.
Some pet owners let their own sedentary lifestyle rub off on “man’s best friend.” (“Ha! Finally found the universal remote – in one of your folds of fat! Such a couch potato! Er, you wouldn’t happen to have the other sofa in there somewhere, would you?”)
Some pet owners are simply ignorant of the fact that – as former pack animals-dogs will keep eating as long as there is food before them. (Owners are urged to take prehistoric conditioning into account by limiting portions and uttering “Yabba dabba doo!” a lot.)
Some owners harbor guilt feelings that force them to spoil their four-legged companions, loving “not wisely, but too well.” (“Who has the cutest big brown eyes? And who has the cutest widdle myocardial infarction in the whole ICU? You do! You do!”)
Veterinarians have devised a sophisticated Body Condition Score to calculate a pet’s wellness and determine the proper diet and exercise regimen, but there are other ways to determine if you have a problem with whatever species of pet you own. For example:
If you ask for a doggie bag and insist on a Hefty CinchSak.
If you clean your goldfish’s bowl to get rid of algae, feces and HARPOONS.
If your parrot squawks “Polly wants a Keebler Elf”.
If your cat has to employ Google Earth to give itself a thorough licking.
If the color your chameleon changes to most often is “buffet”.
If your male rabbit whispers sweet nothings such as “Y’know, I’ve been thinking about overpopulation, and maybe we should just use NetFlix tonight.”
If people come up to your hamster and ask, “Mr. Moore, could you please autograph my DVD of Bowling For Columbine?”.
YOU JUST MIGHT HAVE AN OVERWEIGHT PET!
Different people are going to react differently to the warnings. Some will dutifully serve pre-packaged portions and emphasize veggies (“Help McGruff take a bite out of watercress”). They’ll stage a 10-mile mini-Iditarod sled race with their pooch every evening (Joe Blow’s favorite follow-up to a double shift on the assembly line, a two-hour commute and a mountain of homework), invest in overpriced doggie treadmills (proving that a gravy train is good for entrepreneurs, if not for canines) and shop for Bowser Birkenstocks and bottled toilet bowl water.
Those in denial will circle the wagons and scream their defiance as the feds switch from busting meth labs to busting table scrap labs.(“You’ll take my Rover when you pry his cold, lifeless body from my…er, I mean…”)
And the majority of owners will simply wait until next week’s breathless study warns, “No, no – your pets NEED those extra layers of fat to protect them from radiation from tax cuts for the rich! No, wait – this just in! They need to slim down because.Hey, stop baring your teeth at me!”
Copyright 2011 Danny Tyree. Danny welcomes reader e-mail responses at firstname.lastname@example.org and visits to his Facebook fan page “Tyree’s Tyrades”. Danny’s’ weekly column is distributed exclusively by Cagle Cartoons Inc. newspaper syndicate. For info on using columns, please email Cari Dawson Bartley at email@example.com or call 800 696 7561.