The stranger's insult came out of nowhere. There I was, standing on the sidewalk with my 4-year-old and our family dog, minding our own business, when a (rather portly) gentleman walked by, looked down at Bagel, and said, "Looks like someone had a long Winter."
Um, excuse me? I couldn't help but glance at the man's own ample midsection as he bent over to pet our sweet girl, who, admittedly, has put on a few pounds over the past several months. OK, she has neck rolls and you can't really see her ribs anymore, but so what? Our dog has a more ample waistline, kind of like everyone else during the Winter months!
As I glared at the pooch-shaming stranger, I wanted to say, "I'm not going to apologize for my dog being overweight." Because it's freezing as (insert the bad word of your choice here) where we live, and I'll be damned if I'm going to parade up and down the street in a snowsuit just so Bagel can sniff every twig sticking out of the snow to find a place to pee. And it's not as if she's been dying to go outside and freeze her wet nose off, either. She'll look outside at the blizzard-like conditions and look back at me as if to say, "Really?"
I look back at her and assure her that once the sun comes out again, we'll take long and leisurely walks every day like we used to. She will trim down and be ready for Summer in no time! As long as we also cut down on the table scraps, right, Bagel?
Look, our dog is loved and cared for. Maybe a little too much these days. It's hard to say no to those puppy-dog eyes begging for a noodle or a few pita chips. With the wintry weather, it's also far more desirable to stay inside and cuddle instead of head out for our usual mile-long walk.
Bottom line: we always make sure she's happy and comfortable, and if that means putting on a few extra pounds sometimes, then so be it. Just like humans, dogs come in all shapes and sizes, and I would appreciate strangers not insulting my dog right to my face. Because while Bagel might not understand, I definitely do, and it's not cool.