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    The Drooling Dalmatian

    So I just finished eating dinner with my loyal Dalmatian at my feet drooling up a storm. Herman turned to her and asked, “Moxie, you haven’t touched your dinner. Why are you drooling over ours?”

    This is how it always is at meal time. And I have to say that we are also to blame for it. We are always giving her table scraps so that she has come to expect something from the table at every meal. Whatever we don’t finish or want goes directly to her (unless of course it’s chocolate or something else a dog shouldn’t have).

    Speaking of chocolate, I had the most delicious chocolate pie for dessert. This whole dinner was from a restaurant called Roger’s Place here in Caroga Lake. He has an all you can eat buffet every Sunday afternoon and Herman and I often eat there instead of cooking. When I say eat there, I mean it loosely. Herman goes for a buffet take out and we split it when he brings it home. Two for the price of one!

    I can just hear all the animal lovers and even veterinarians reading this saying that I should never give a dog table scraps. It’s both bad for their behavior as well as their digestion. And leads to obesity. Well, I just took Moxie to the vet to get an allergy shot and her rabies booster, and I’m happy to tell you she isn’t overweight. Yet. She weighed in at 60.8 pounds-the upper end of her ideal weight. When I asked the vet if we should see her ribs her response was swift, “We don’t have to see her ribs. She should just trim down a bit.”

    She wasn’t going to put Moxie on a diet yet, just keeping close tabs on her. But then that applies to our whole household. I have been successfully winning the battle of the bulge myself by pushing away from the table before I am completely full. Herman says he’s trying, but he needs a bit more “won’t” power. Sam, my adorable feline, has a pocket of fat that swings under his belly and never quite disappears, kind of like a camel’s hump. But Sam isn’t facing any desert where he will need that extra fat.

    Now Sally, our newest addition to the family, is a trim ten pounds at nearly two years old. She still has lots of the kitten in her and with her playing helps keep Sam in fighting trim as well. Movement and exercise seems the key here, but then Sally doesn’t seem to go for people food the way Moxie and Sam do. She doesn’t even care about kitty snacks like “Pounce” that Sam will come running for. You just shake the can with Pounce in it and Sam knows the sound well enough to come running, even though he won’t come running when you call his name.

    Now Moxie, being a dog, knows her name and comes running when you call. A dog always greets you with tail wagging like you’re the best thing that ever happened. And while Sally is very sociable and even Sam likes to greet newcomers as long as there aren’t too many and they aren’t too loud, they don’t approach a dog’s sociability. But then a cat has its own personality, and why should they act like a dog. And they don’t drool! There’s a plus.

    "Kathryn Spira, a native of Cleveland who pursued an acting career in NYC and Los Angeles, now pursues free lance writing from Caroga Lake here in Fulton County. Previous columns may be accessed at her web site www.kathrynskorner.com"