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Diary entry by Genis on August 14, 2014: Genis discovers a few upsides to dieting.

At this stage we were still in the grip of a very dry, very cold South African winter on the Highveld. Genis was the only one who did not seem to mind running around and playing outside – the Humans just wanted to stay inside and huddle around the gas fire.

manipulatorYou know, I am starting to enjoy this whole diet business and I don’t mean the fact that I am prohibited from eating anything but my diet kibble. Oh man, when I think back to the good old times when I was permitted to share my human family’s meals, sweets, puddings, extra pieces of meat under the table … oh, stop drooling Genis!

No, I mean the unexpected and welcome compensations that go hand in hand with this health kick that my humans are on.

For instance, since I started on my diet programme, I get called in to the Evil One’s bathroom early every morning for my daily weigh-in. The scale that she uses has, of course, been developed to weigh humans, not pets. So the routine is that Herself gets on the scale first to check on her weight and then she picks me up and weighs the both of us together. Then she makes her sums: total weight minus her weight equals my weight. Easy Peasy.

Except that Herself grew a little quieter and less enthusiastic about the weigh-in routine, especially after I started shedding the kilos. A few days ago I noticed that her portions at the dinner table were shrinking and appeared to be growing greener as more and more lettuce leaves were added to every meal. Then it dawned on me – HerFatSelf has realised that she is also overweight and is now dieting like mad. High Five! At least I get to eat tasty dry food, not leaves and stalks.

That is not the only change I noticed. Since my humans started reading tips on the internet on how to keep their dieting dog healthy and motivated, I am getting a lot of attention. I mean to say, a LOT of attention.  This Old Dog has learned a few new tricks.

One piece of advice is that “exercise is a vital component of any weight loss programme”. This immediately resulted in This Dog receiving a few new toys to play tug-of-war, football and treasure hunting. The latter is my favourite, because it involves a lot of running around to find the treasures hidden in our garden: a new chewy toy, an extra few pellets and, woohoo, every now and then I find a bone – an honest to goodness BONE (with no meat on it, of course … “sighs”), but a bone nonetheless.

I also got a new body harness and leash to go for walkies! Although we have a big garden, which is lucky for a lively doggie like me, I enjoy going to the little public park which is quite safe for humans and dogs. I don’t really think this is allowed, so please don’t tell the Council Officials, but sometimes I get to sit on a friendly human’s lap for a swing or a seesaw ride. Absolute bliss!

Manipulator2Manipulator1All this running around and playing is quite an experience for Herself, I mean, her being a bit old, overweight and unfit. She usually cannot wait to get back to the couch to rest her tired old body. Unfortunately for Herself, after all this exercise and excitement, I insist on my “rewards for good behaviour”. Prior to my diet I could always count on a tasty snack as a reward, but no longer; these days I get a daily massage and belly rub administered by Guess Who? Of course, this also serves to distract my attention when the rest of the family is at the dinner table. Haha, as if I am not intelligent enough to work that one out for myself. Low Five!

So I went for my usual fortnightly weigh-in at the Klipriver Animal Clinic today and I’m sure you’ve already sneaked a peek at the pic of my official graph, but just to rub it in, I’ve now lost a total of 2.15kg and 10cm around the chest.

3rd graph