He’s mine.

Doug gained two pounds!  The dog who runs zoomies for a living burns double the calories that he eats is finally gaining weight! How did it happen? I have no flippen clue.

When last we checked in on skinny-Doug, he was down to 43 lbs (had lost weight) but was eating a diet for a 60lb dog. He was also pooping fourteen six times a day. Losing weight and pooping a ton, not the usual happy ending to a digestive love story. I am still feeding him a part cooked diet (Grandma Lucy’s) but have added in a part raw diet (Primal Raw). Before anyone gasps or says ‘you are not supposed to feed raw and cooked together’, this is our middle ground right now. He is gaining weight back and he is only pooping 2-3 times a day.  We like it here in the land of thriving and NOT SPENDING ALL DAY EVERY DAY PICKING UP POOP! The long-term plan will be for him to move to all raw. But what I have learned from my super active monkey is that he does not transition well.  Not physically, not behaviorally, not digestively, not even emotionally. Doug needs time and space to be, Doug.

There are areas that he is proving to be my dog. Like the need for regular vet visits. This week we went in because his peeing has picked up and he had a few ‘accidents’ in the house.  He was fine in that area so that is why ‘accidents’ have air quotes. (Funny story here, we did blood work and the only metric out of range was the one that would suggest the dog is VERY ACTIVE).

The other thing that is going on with him, that does seem to be something, is that 3-4 times a week, he does this thing were his cheeks puff in and out.  It took forever for me to get it on video and once I was able to get close to him when it’s happening, I could see that during these episodes, his tongue flutters super fast and he is unable to stop it.  He is otherwise normal during it, he can walk, is alert, but for 45 seconds to a minute, he does this:

There is no trend on when it happens. In the morning, afternoon, evening. At home, on a walk, in the car. The vet suggested it could be seizure related. Then she said the words that I have heard before.  You should see a neurologist and get an MRI and Spinal Tap.  If/when Doug goes and has these test done, IT WILL BE THE FOURTH TIME IN FIVE YEARS THAT MY DOGS HAVE HAD AN MRI AND SPINAL TAP. Melvin had one where the findings were inconclusive but they suspected a primary cancer (two years later that turned out to be true). Jake had one when his legs stopped working the first time (and we found out he’d be paralyzed) and one last February when his legs stopped working again (as much as wonky legs could stop working) and we found out he had cancer. The words ‘MRI and Spinal Tap’ ignite my grief.

For now, we are going to start him on anti-seizure meds and see if that helps. Not because I’m not willing to have the MRI/ST done, of course he will have whatever tests he needs.  And not because it hasn’t even been a year since our last MRI/ST where I heard that Jake had cancer. It’s more that I don’t think we need to go from point A to point MRI without hitting point B and C. Doug is young, I have to remind myself not to live a life of ‘cancer finds us’ and instead live a life of ‘it will be ok’.

Oh Doug!


Doug and diet.

I gain two pounds if I drive by a restaurant.  I am honestly convinced that my body can consumer calories visually.  Weight has always been an issue for me.

Melvin and Jake shared this trait.  They were never once considered underweight and I had to work really hard (and often be the bad guy) to keep their weight in check.  In fact, Melvin came to me at 110 pounds and I had to get him to 83.  Never did a dog look at their new person with such disdain as when I would give him green beans for snack.

Enter Doug. Doug is constantly in motion.  Even when he’s asleep, I can see his body furiously burning calories.  When he’s awake, well when he’s awake I could feed him constantly and he would never gain a pound. Trust me, I’ve tried.

Doug came to me at 45 pounds.  He was a tad underweight and I could tell he was ‘active’ so he eats a 60 pound dog diet. At his last vet appointment, he’d lost two pounds.

WHAT THE??????

The thing is, the amount of times he poops a day (6) would suggest more meals is not the option.  I have looked into higher calorie food but the other issue with Doug is that his stomach is super sensitive. I have found one food that he can eat and not have the poops. Add this to the million and one ways he is exactly like Melvin.

I supplement him throughout the day with peanut butter Kongs and treats but even then I try to keep sugar to a minimum.  I get fresh ground peanut butter to help reduce sugar (he eats better than I do). I am also trying coconut oil added to his food for some added calories (but that is currently making him have the poops too).

Jake 100% sent Doug to me. (Jake: send her that one!  He’s crazy like Melvin used to be and I can tell he’s a pooper like me).

Have any of you faced this?  A dog that needs to gain but is so active you can’t keep weight on?  Any tricks?

Are you going to feed me woman? I’m burning calories just staring at you. 



Photo credit: Bev Hollis Photography

Here he is burning even more calories.  Yes, it makes me bitter.