It’s a dreary, cold, wet day in May and I am sitting at my kitchen table waiting for my timer to go off while my oven bakes the last pan of chocolate chip cookies. This might not sound too unusual to most of you because you probably make it a habit to bake treats for your family. In our household we typically avoid having cookies and the like on hand because we try to avoid the extra calories. But his social distancing has me doing things I haven’t done in years.
To counteract the excess calories I have been taking my sweet, sweet Sadie on regular Burley walks around the neighborhood. She has become so accustomed to hearing the sound of my shoes being added to me feet that I barely have to announce my intentions. She typically makes her presence known in very short order.
Sadie and her Burley
So that’s one small glimpse of my activities while practicing social distancing; now share something about yours!
My little sweetie Sadie was entered into a Biggest Looser contest through our Veterinarian’s office early this summer. Sadie had very sadly gained an enormous amount of weight. The extra pounds were due to the medications she is on for her genetic disease. The medications accompanied by the side effects of her disease have made her life very challenging.
When we agreed to enter her in the challenge we figured her chances of winning were very slim. Not letting our doubt hold us back we set out to make her outcome the best one possible.
Guidelines for food, treats and exercise were provided by the Veterinarian clinic. To follow those guidelines we purchased and fed Sadie the prescribed food. We eliminated all table scraps and greatly curtailed her treat consumption. The exercise program was no at all attainable for Sadie. Sadie’s Chiari Malformation makes it challenging for her to move about as other dogs do. We also faithfully participated in the biweekly weigh-ins.
As the weeks went by we were encouraged by her weight loss. Pound by pound the fat began to melt away. Sadie’s beginning weight was 31 pounds. At the close of the competition she weighed 26.7 pounds. The difference between her starting point and the end of the competitions was 4.3 pounds. That’s a whopping 13.8% weight loss.
The competition drew to a close at the end of September. Early in October we received an email announcing the Biggest Looser of the competition. Much to our surprise Sadie was crowned the WINNER! We were absolutely flabbergasted when we read the email.
Aside from the awesome accomplishment of being crowned the Biggest Looser Sadie has experienced numerous improvements in her health. She has benefited through:
she is happier
her coat has changed dramatically (her fur is shiny and smooth) and
she loves her food (finding a food that Sadie likes has always been a challenge)
Participating in the competition not only brought Sadie fame for winning but it also restored her health to a level that we hadn’t seen in years. We feel like we are the Biggest Winners because we have the Sadie back that we used to know.
So what’s in store for Sadie now? Well, there are no tours, speaking engagements or photo shoots scheduled. 🙂 Sadie will continue on her on her weight reduction protocol until she reaches her optimal weight. When that happens we will establish a new eating regimen.
Before I let you go let me share a before and after photo of Sadie as well as the prize she received.
Congratulations SADIE! We love you dearly. You are a winner in our hearts, no matter what!
Sadie, my Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, is my best buddy. She was born in June of 2012 and joined our family in August of that year. Sadie travels with us as often as we will allow. Obviously the extreme temperatures of summer as well as those of winter limit her opportunities.
Sadie was born with a genetic defect. She has Chiari Malformation. The disease is very common in Cavaliers. Her condition dictates the necessity for multiple medications. The pills, which are well-hided inside spoonfuls of peanut butter, are administered to her three times a day. Without the medications Sadie’s life would be unbearable. While we would prefer that her regimen of regularly dosed meds would totally eliminate her discomfort, sadly they do not. We regularly witness the break-out episodes which manifest from her pain.
In spite of Sadie’s debilitating condition she finds opportunities to find joy in her life. Her tanacity to reach beyond her discomfort to experience the world around her amazes us everyday. One of the ways in which she finds pleasure is a ride in her Burly.
Regular exercise experienced by normal dogs, such as going for a walk, is out of the question for Sadie. The increased activity causes her a great deal of discomfort. To make it possible for Sadie to move about beyond her normal surroundings we purchased her a Burly. She absolutely loves going for rides in her Burly.
I decided to write this story today because I happened to see her photo on my computer desktop. I couldn’t help smiling at her innocent little face. Her smile makes it impossible to ignore. I also wanted to share her disease with the hope of drawing attention to it. There are far too many dogs that suffer from this affliction.
I feel blessed to have Sadie in my life. I can’t imagine being without her.
We weathered our first storm, in my Little Cabin in the Woods.
My companion, Sadie, a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, is afraid of storms.
She can hear them coming long before I can. I can usually tell when one is approaching because Sadie typically spends her time curled up underneath my kitchen chair. When storms approach she leaves her quiet little place of solitude to be by my side. If I’m within in touching distance she will get as close as she can possibly be. So close that it seems every ounce of air has been sucked away and there is absolutely nothing between us. If you touch her little body you can feel her heart racing. Her breathing quickens and her eyes open very wide. She gazes up as if to say, “Save me from the storm.”
During yesterday’s storm she curled up into a little ball beneath my makeshift sewing space. If I happened to leave the area, so did Sadie. When I returned she did as well. I feel sad for her because of her fear. If only I could reassure her that all would be fine. Unfortunately it’s difficult to relay that to her. Because of her disease (more about that some other time) it’s very difficult to find a place on her body that you can touch that won’t make her feel uncomfortable.
The storm passed as quickly as it approached. In no time Sadie was once again back beneath her favorite safe place. Together we weathered the storm safely tucked inside my Little Cabin in the Woods.