A Nation So Blessed, Our Dogs Have Love Handles

If you read this blog very often, or if you’ve read the “About This Blog” page, then you know, I don’t do politics in this space. I only rarely even skirt the edge of controversy, because there should be some places on the Internet where you can just have fun and not be offensive or offended, and we all have different opinions, different experiences, and different perspectives.

That being said, in life, I do politics. This has been a weird political season in the US, and a stressful week. No matter what end of the political spectrum you find yourself on most of the time, I think we can all agree that the future looks a little frightening.

Nothing but nincompoops and megalomaniacs from where I’m sitting. photo credit: hillary clinton ice-picking donald trump : ishootwindows, cliff’s variety, castro, san francisco (2015) via photopin (license)

Because we are very close to declaring that our two frontrunner candidates for President of the United States are:

1.       A woman who is at best an blithering nincompoop who can’t figure out how to use her cell phone and thinks one wipes a server with the swipe of a cloth, or who is at worst a traitor guilty of granting political influence by foreign heads of state in exchange for lucrative speaking engagements.

2.       A man who is at best an incompetent businessman whose ventures have only been highly  successful in the area of declaring bankruptcy and screwing over investors and who has now managed to insult (probably literally) every person on earth, or who is at worst a narcissistic fascist megalomaniac.

I have a lot to say on this topic, but I will spare you. I could use a break, and I’d rather write about my dog. First, I should explain how I feel about dogs in general. I think they smell funny. And they slobber a lot. They bark when they shouldn’t. And they are incredibly needy.

Chubby dog basking in the sunlight, just hoping I’ll shut down the computer and take him for a much needed walk.


Despite the fact that I would not have considered myself a “dog person,” a couple years ago my family adopted a little black puppy we named Ozzie. That alone is a great story, for another time. What’s important to know now is that I love my dog.

I’m pretty sure that the Ancient Egyptian owner of Abuwtiyuw felt the same about his furry companion, who lived sometime during the Sixth Dynasty (2345-2181 BC) and was buried near the Great Pyramid of Giza.

Discovered in 1935 by Egyptologist George Reisner, a tablet that was part of the repurposed material used to build a different tomb, gives detailed instructions about the elaborate burial of a dog. There’s no picture of the dog, but he is described as a tesem, a breed similar to a greyhound or saluki, but with pointier ears. And what’s really cool about it, is that even though the tomb and mummy of the dog remain undiscovered, Abuwtiyuw is the earliest domesticated dog whose name we know.

Because his owner (a pharaoh whose name remains unknown) loved him enough to want to make sure he was taken care of. That’s what good pet owners do. Even if we don’t expect to love them, the little monsters worm their ways into our hearts and we take good care of them, because they take good care of us.

Ozzie, striking his most presidential pose.


So earlier this week, I took good care of Ozzie by taking him for his annual checkup and vaccinations. The good news is he’s a very healthy two-year-old dog. The bad news is he’s gotten a little chunky over the winter.

The vet’s exact words were, “He’s got some love handles.” So as the weather warms up this spring, we will be extra diligent in making sure Ozzie gets plenty of exercise so he can remain a happy, healthy dog.

That’s what I was thinking as my chubby pet and I waddled away from the vet’s office. And then I found myself reflecting on how amazing it is that I live in a nation where I am so absolutely blessed that not only can I provide my dog with regular medical care (a luxury many people throughout the world can’t even provide for their children), but he also eats so well that he’s overweight. Someday when he dies, I bet I could even provide a funeral for him in a swanky pet cemetery (though I probably won’t).

He even kisses babies. Or at least he takes food from them. And now I think I’m beginning to see the problem.


So come this November, I may have to decide whether I can vote for a person I might not trust to walk my overweight dog. But for now, I’m going to focus on the fact that I live in a nation so blessed, our dogs have love handles.

I’m still not a dog person. In fact, one thing I can say with a fair amount of certainty is that your dog smells funny, slobbers a lot, barks when he shouldn’t, and is incredibly needy. Ozzie, on the other hand, is all of that, but also happens to be a fuzzy, warm, loving (and maybe just a little chubby) bundle of awesome.

Maybe I’ll vote for him for president.

10 thoughts on “A Nation So Blessed, Our Dogs Have Love Handles

  1. donnamariev

    I love this post. Ozzie is such a sweet dog. We live our black Lab, Harley, who also had live handles, along with his gray beard.

  2. Not being from the States I couldn’t possibly comment on your presidential candidates, but nonetheless I sent your posting’s link to some friends who also don’t have an opinion on the two candidates! The White House usually has a residential dog, and Ozzie (the same name my younger brother has given to his dog!) would make a delightful White House resident; so long as Ozzie’s caregiver was the President!

    1. I don’t think the situation is quite that desperate yet! I really don’t like to engage in political discussions online, and I won’t with any detail, but there’s no question this is a strange election. And getting more so all the time. Maybe I should just move to New Zealand.

  3. It’s so nice to know that Ozzie made it through that first exasperating year and you have grown to love each other, slobber and stink and all. I wouldn’t want to have a dog again, but if I did I think it would be the same type of experience.

    BTW, I’m thinking of writing in your name for President. You learn from history’s insights, you know when to speak up and when to be diplomatic, and you have a good heart for living creatures. But you are safe from that burden as I could not be so selfishly cruel — to Ozzie. It’s tough being fdotus. So many rules about not biting or growling, and being obedient.

    1. If only those rules also applied to presidential candidates! Thank you, by the way, for resisting the urge to write me in. I do think this might to be the first election in our history in which that consummate write-in candidate Mickey Mouse may have a shot.

  4. Ozzie is adorable and would no doubt make a spectacular president. It would be perfect. Dogs are loyal and sensitive to the needs of others. They quickly work out any difference of opinion with a minimum of drama, then eat and take a nice long nap. Sounds good to me.

    1. Thank you. He is pretty adorable, love handles and all. And you’re right. Sensitivity to the needs of others and loyalty are definitely qualities I wish more politicians possessed.

  5. Erika

    Ah, in a time of such incredibly divided political ideology, dogs are a great unifier. Especially when they’re licking babies. (Even if it is just under the pretense of stealing their food.) People are absurdly devoted to their pets. This is coming from a woman who in the past two weeks spent $350 on veterinarian visits for a sick bunny. Sheesh. We need to figure out how to transfer that sort of devotion for doing good to our governing bodies. Maybe Google has the right idea–bring your pets to work? I for one would love to see Mitch McConnell try to make an impassioned negativistic speech while holding a fluffy chinchilla!

I love comments! Please keep them PG, though. I blush easily.

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