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Tilly and the Pumpkin Diet

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Dog or pumpkin?


Posted by Holly Jarrett 08/07/15.


“Pumpkin?” Did Tilly’s vet just tell us to feed her pumpkin? Or maybe he was describing her rounded figure.

Clearly, something had to give. The dog was morphing into a giant Tootsie Roll. Gone was any hint of a waist. Her head appeared to have been pasted on as though an afterthought, along with four oddly spindly legs, saddled with the colossal task of supporting her portly torso.

“Cut back on the amount of food you are feeding and supplement with pumpkin,” instructed Dr. White. “And no snacks or table food”, he casually called over his shoulder as he left the examining room.

Obviously, Dr. White had never lived with Tilly or read any of my blogs.

I admit it. I had my doubts. Certainly, this large amount of adipose tissue would require liposuction or even gastric bypass. No quantity of Jack-o’-lantern, even coupled with exercise, was going to bring her weight into a healthy range.

And Tilly would not enter into this little venture willingly. It was as though she sensed the plot immediately, becoming almost maniacal in her pursuit of the next calorie.

This would require an equaled determination on our part. Heightened vigilance in regard to removal of anything remotely edible from her reach was key. Of course, our definition of edible would have to be adjusted to encompass Tilly’s characterization of edible.

Also key to trimming this amply proportioned canine would be the exercise component. As might be imagined, this was not one of Tilly’s favorite expenditures of time. Hauling the load around the house, particularly when on a quest for food, was one thing. Taking the show on the road, quite another.

Thus, the daily walks, albeit coerced, became a priority, gradually building up to longer outings, and amazingly we started to see positive results.

From an aerial view, the slightest hint of a “waistline” began to emerge. Was it just the lighting? Wishful thinking? No, there it was. A narrowing of her allantoidal physique, with a slight dip behind the ribs. We knew were on the right track.

Two months later, Tilly is still a work in progress as she strives toward her goal (well, actually our goal for her). Not only has her appearance been altered, she has a new spring to her step. Previously unreachable sofa backs and beds are now no match for her newly muscled legs, no longer burdened with supporting those extra pounds. Circus dog antics as the bowl is lowered would never have been possible previously without risk of serious injury.

So, I will probably never look at a pumpkin the same way. I guess we owe our success in large measure to this underappreciated member of the gourd family. Quite ironically, pumpkins have ribs and now, thankfully, so does Tilly.


Lil’ Buddies would love to help you with your pet sitting/dog walking needs. Our areas of service include Matthews, Cotswold, Ballantyne, Indian Trail, Weddington and Arboretum. Call Holly today to schedule your free in-home consultation at (704) 779-7256.