BY MICHAEL QUIRK
For the past 36 hours, my two-year-old golden retriever Maddux would not stop itching and grooming his chest. The sound was unnerving, as if an elderly man with a lisp was eating a bowl of frozen yogurt open-face style. So he went to the vet and it turns out he has something called a “hot spot,” which is not an atypical WiFi spot nor the newest discotech in town as I posed, but rather a rash that is common in golden retrievers and apparently requires 48 different pills, powders, and creams.
Luckily for Maddux, the vet said it is very treatable and should go away shortly if all goes well. That was not the only troubling news coming from the vet, however, as it was spelled out to me that he needs to “shed a few pounds.”
My man is going through an itching crisis not seen since Motley Crue last toured, and now you’re going to lay this shit on him? Sir, we are just coming out of a trying pandemic and you have the chutzpah to come at my main man about his weight? For the unfamiliar, take a look at this specimen.
You’re telling me from that picture, he looks like a (and I’m paraphrasing/misquoting here) “little fat boy?” Plus-size model Ashley Graham came out on social media recently, asking people to stop calling her “pretty for a big girl.” Yaaas queen, say it louder for the dogs in the back. Maddux is not “handsome for a thiccc boi,” he’s purely handsome. Jonah Hill said he is not going to let the media or strangers put him down about his weight anymore. Clap-clap-clap Jonah and Maddux don’t need your permission on what they can and can’t wear in public.
I mean, sure he does not conform to the unrealistic standards placed on golden retrievers on dog food bags and displayed by Hollywood. Will he ever be Air Bud? No, his gravitational pull would not allow that, but he did run through my fence once after a tennis ball like Rodney McCray. Let’s see Air Bud do that. Will he ever traverse the countryside like Shadow in Homeward Bound? No, because he gets winded after long walks, and that’s OK. We all have different cardio levels.
Will he ever fit into a Size 0 collar? No, he leaves that to the weimaraners and vizslas out there. His body is beautiful just the shape it is, and he loves himself when he looks in the mirror.
Actually he thinks it’s another dog and tries to bring it his toys and bones to play with, so I had to remove the full-sized mirrors so he stopped confusing himself. Is he going to starve himself on the Cato or South Barkch diets? No. If he’s had a long day of screaming at the UPS driver and licking the side of the trash can, then he’s earned a couple of indulgent treats at the end of the day.
It’s time to stop fat shaming dogs. Dogs are beautiful in all shapes and sizes. It is the year of our Lord 2021 and I for one find Maddux’s curves to be sassy and empowering. So please, if you have anything, anything at all negative to say, point it to my vet’s inbox.