Dear Annie: I just adopted a dog who's quite overweight. Right now, he's about 24 pounds, and the vet wants him to be about 17 to 18 pounds. I have instructions from the adoption agency on what to feed him and how much, but getting him to exercise has been a struggle. When I take him for walks, he gets tired quickly and plops down on the ground, refusing to get up. Are there ways to get an overweight dog to be more willing to exercise? I can tell the excess weight makes him lethargic and uncomfortable. I was hoping to find a gym for dogs and their owners but haven't had luck. — Dad of a Dieting Doggo
Dear Doggo Dad: First off, congratulations on the adoption of your new furry family member. Thank you for adopting. You have made a huge difference in this dog's life.
Redirect your quest to find a gym for dogs into a quest to find a swimming pool for dogs. Aqua therapy for dogs helps them lose weight. Swimming can encourage better digestion and help with overall health. Swimming for both humans and dogs is a great form of low-impact exercise. Some pools even have underwater treadmills for dogs. The walking and swimming will gradually help Doggo shed those few unwanted pounds.
Lastly, try to find a friend who has an overweight dog or an older dog to take walks with. Dogs are pack animals, so if your dog were to see a buddy walking a little farther, maybe that would serve as motivation for him to take a few more steps before plopping down.
Dear Annie: How do you feel about hairdressers who, as they are coloring and cutting your hair, talk on their cellphones? Often, while mine is trying to cut, the phone is propped between his shoulder and ear.
Part of the reason I feel this way is I am old and can remember the day when there were no distractions for services of any type. Cellphones are appendages these days, but I'd like to know whether I'm just getting cranky or others are bothered by their ubiquitous use. — Put Down the Phone
Dear Put Down the Phone: Age has nothing to do with it. For old and young alike, rude is rude and unprofessional.
Unless there's a family emergency or he warns you ahead of time that he's expecting an important call, your hairdresser should not be talking on his cellphone when cutting your hair. The fact that he has scissors in his hand and is not 100 percent focused on the task at hand is a safety issue. The scissors or color brush should be the only thing in your stylist's hands. Next time you go to your salon, kindly ask your stylist to put down the phone. If you don't feel comfortable speaking with him directly, you could tell management.
"Ask Me Anything: A Year of Advice From Dear Annie" is out now! Annie Lane's debut book — featuring favorite columns on love, friendship, family and etiquette — is available as a paperback and e-book. Visit http://www.creatorspublishing.com for more information. Send your questions for Annie Lane to [email protected]