All things considered, Daniel has done amazingly well with all the change. He has taken on the role of watchful, annoyed older brother, and I have taken on the role of Mom who's constantly keeping her kids from bothering each other. It's a delicate balance trying to keep your baby and your dog baby happy, and often that involves food. What I'm trying to say that Daniel has gotten a lot of treats in the last year. A lot. Of. Treats.
We went for our yearly visit to the vet last Friday, and the doctor was not pleased. '41 pounds', he said. 'He's gained too much weight.'
'Yes,' I said, immediately embarrassed. 'We don't get out like we used to...' I referred to my forever scapegoat playing with blocks on the floor.
The doctor cleared his throat. 'Well, if you want to have Daniel in the family for a long time, you will want to make his diet your priority.'
A woman in her thirties knows when she is being reprimanded, and I was most DEFINITELY being reprimanded. He even put it in writing, in case I didn't feel bad enough:
Daniel is not excited about his new diet. Every time I 'fill' his bowl with food I imagine him saying, 'Seriously, Mom? What the hell?' And then he looks at me with those big brown eyes and I want to reach for the treat jar, just so he'll stop looking at me like that.
Then I have to remember that a woman in her thirties has to be strong when it comes to the health of her family. Two years ago this week, Daniel came into our lives. He gave us our first taste of what it meant to be responsible for someone other than ourselves. He brought our family together. A few sad looks are worth it, if it means he stays healthy and happy.