Fat Shaming my Dog.

I’m tired of strangers calling my dog fat.

I’m not kidding, it’s the first thing people say when they meet Vincent.

“Who is this chubby little boy?” asks the chubby little lady at my kid’s playground.

Rude.

If I had asked the same question about her chubby little son, she’d have smacked me upside the head.  But she’s perfectly fine fat shaming my little guy.  Why, because he’s an animal?  He’s only about a pound over his target weight of 17 lbs, FYI.  I swear if his head wasn’t so proportionately small and his legs so stubby, he’d carry his present body weight just fine.

Same as you, ma’am.

“Looks like somebody’s getting extra treats,” says another lady at the park who’s busy eating a giant bag of hot fries.

Vincent gets 1 ¼ cup of dry food a day, as recommended by his vet, and one beef stick treat after his very active daily walk.  He never begs for table scraps or eats cat nuggets out of the litter box.  We suspect his parents were a Pug and a German Shepherd or a Retriever, so his body isn’t sure which size direction to take, that’s all.  Hmf.

Stop calling my dog fat.

I thought of Vincent yesterday while we were at the Texas State Fair staring at Boris the 1,000+ pound hog.  People were being brutal to poor Boris.

“That big ol’ boy too lazy to walk,” said the big ol’ boy from his Rascal scooter.

Folks were laughing, pointing, surrounding Boris in his pen and fat shaming him, right to his plump face and portly nutz.

“Look at that huge, hairy belly,” said the guy whose stained t-shirt can’t quite cover his own huge, hairy belly.

Boris had no choice but to lay there in his own waste and take it like a hog.  Sure, I get it – this is the fair, and he is essentially the ‘fat lady’ attraction, so the carnival treatment he received was to be expected.  But the comments I heard said a lot more about the people saying them then they did about Boris.

Same thing at the fair’s petting zoo.

My five-year-old son isn’t too keen on being around livestock, but he gave it a go yesterday.  He bravely took his red cup of feed towards the goats and lambs and fed them with a hesitant hand.  Then the baby camel snagged the cup with his teeth and lifted his head in the air to get every morsel.

“Chug, chug, chug,” said the couple with the cups of beer in their hands.

We sure do love to reflect ourselves onto these creatures.

Wiki says Anthropomorphism is the attribution of human traits, emotions, or intentions to non-human entities.  It is considered to be an innate tendency of human psychology.  Professionals use anthropomorphism in movies (Mickey Mouse, Cars, Chicken Little) and in television (Ninja Turtles, Brian from Family Guy) but it turns out we amateurs do it constantly in our everyday life.

I do it whenever I feed a cricket to our lizard.

“Sorry, Jiminy, you won’t see your cricket babies at dinner tonight, for you yourself are now the meal.”

It says nothing about the cricket himself, but more about the guilt I harbor regarding the use of live bait.  Texas houseflies get anthropomorphisized (sic) by me all of the time.

“Is that a sandwich you’re making, Mike?” asks the fly.  “Allow me to land on your mayo with my doody feet and lay some garbage eggs in your creamy condiment.”

Again, the fly is just being a fly, but my commentary says more about my own frustration with having to share my space with something so filthy.

“Look at this chubba-wubba.”

Fine, lady, go ahead and call Vincent fat.  It says a lot more about how you feel towards yourself than it does about my little guy.  And getting upset with you says a lot more about me than it does about you.  Besides, Vincent doesn’t care what YOU look like, nor would he ever say anything to make you feel bad about it.  He’s just looking for some extra attention and a couple of belly rubs.

Same as you, ma’am.

  • Mike Lukas

 

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