Last Sunday was spiced up by an impromptu trip to the vet when my dog, Juneau, began making these god-awful heaving sounds followed by slobbery gags. I apologize, I don’t mean to be graphic, but it is what it is. It was apparent that she was still able to breath, as the attacks came at varying intervals and not one after another. Still, after a few incidents I was inclined to toss her in the car and drive her down the road to the vet.
As it turns out, the cause of Juneau’s respiratory distress was an inflamed trachea. While the condition is more prominent in some breeds, it is not necessarily a common issue with American Eskimos. So what is the root cause of Juneau’s bizarre trachea issues? A combination of her ridiculous excess of hair, the North Carolina humidity, the pressure that her collar puts on her neck when she tugs me around by her leash like an amateur sled dog, oh… and the fact that she is like three pounds overweight. At first, hearing three pounds overweight doesn’t sound like a big deal. But then the intellectual side of my brain smacks me across the face, does some math, and reminds me that three pounds is well over ten percent of her body weight.
Oops. I had a hunch she was creeping toward chubby puppy status but it is really hard to tell what’s fat and what’s fluff when your dog is essentially a cotton ball with a dog-like face and appendages attached.
So the time has come to get serious and work my little dog-child into karate body shape. Time for weight maintenance food in slightly smaller quantities, a hiatus from milk bones, and most importantly time to work up a sweat. Yeah, I know dogs don’t sweat. It was meant to be metaphorical. Juneau better learn to love exercise just as much as her Momma. I am more determined than ever to somehow get her to enjoy running with me. Comical progress reports on that potentially futile endeavor are sure to come.