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This was the first entry made by Genis in his diary on July 4, 2014.

I am an 8-year old male Maltese / Fox terrier crossbreed and this is the story of how my life as a thoroughly spoiled dog slowly turned into a nightmare.

I picked my Humans very carefully on that fateful day when I was sitting in my wired cage, waiting for someone to take me to my Permanent Home. I immediately liked the Human with the long hair and the friendly voice full of laughter. I howled in the most appealing manner when she walked past. She could not resist my puppy dog eyes, of course, and soon I was on my way to my Permanent Home.

My Humans took very good care of me. I had lovely toys, loved to play on the green lawns, was taught not EVER to leave the yard, not even when chasing the pesky cat next door and I went along on long holidays to visit the Very Old Humans. There were a few hic-ups, for instance the monthly visit to the doggy parlour, which I thoroughly disliked, and the regular check-ups at the local vet’s office, which I positively hated, but mostly I loved my life.

Without any doubt, it was the Human with the gruff voice who immediately and irrevocably stole my little puppy heart. He was the one in whose lap I sat to watch television, who taught me do my “business” outside, who covered me up warm and cosy in the basket next to his bed at bedtime and who took me along for rides in the car.  He brought me the most delicious treats – droëwors and biltong, cheese, cold cuts, chocolates, sweet biscuits and I loved sharing his deliciously sweet and creamy coffee.

The former is actually the reason why my life is not as sweet as it used to be. Slowly but surely I put on extra weight and the other Human’s formerly friendly voice turn into a high pitched whining about my weight and my looks. She called me a Noisy Breather and accused my favourite Human of killing me with kindness, imagine that! The Human with the gruff voice protested that putting on weight is only to be expected in a dog who has been sterilized, whatever that means, and joked that I was really a Poodle on steroids. Despite the other Human’s objections my favourite Human and I had an agreement which resulted in sneaky treats and snacks being smuggled into our home.

Eventually I got a bit lazy, was short of breath and did not care much for playing any more. It was just so much nicer to laze around on the couch waiting for my next treat.

Then things got very ugly. The Human with the high pitched whine insisted that I was FAT and UGLY and I was taken to the Klipriver Animal Clinic where I was put on a scale and my measurements were taken. I weighed in at a sturdy 17.2kg, which, according to the specialist at the diet clinic, meant that I was 153% overweight. Apparently my “ideal” weight is 6.8kg. Not MY idea of ideal, I must say.

1st weight loss graph provided by the diet clinic on July 3, 2014

1st weight loss graph provided by the diet clinic on July 3, 2014

Without further ado, I was put on the Hill’s Pet Slimmer prescription diet. I am supposed to lose 10.4 kg over a period of 60 weeks. The grouchy, whiny Human and I came home with a bag of special diet dry food and she immediately proceeded to give away all my food and treats, leaving me with … nothing. I’ll be allowed only 49g of kibble for breakfast and another 49g for dinner. Well, we would just see about that.

To top it all, that horrible Human grabbed her camera and shot hundreds of “before” pictures of me in the most unflattering poses and she will be posting it on her website and other social media. She is threatening to post more photos as I “progress with the diet (?!)” until I reach my ideal weight.

I am a bit worried that my favourite Human does not have much say in this matter, however, I’m sure he will come around and protect me.

The war is on – watch this space!