An Update on My Skinny Dog Magnus
Make that my formerly skinny dog Magnus - he's now up to 68 pounds and looking fine.
But please don't take my word for it. When Magnus first moved in, he didn't get noticed muchout on the street - that's how thin and scrawny he was. Despite his height, he appearedpractically invisible, his taupe-gray coat blending in with the drab concrete like urban camouflage.
What a difference a couple of weeks and asteady supplyof Wellness dog food make! Lately, people have been doing double-takes wherever we go.
We've been faithfully following the diet prescribed by Dr. Edward Moser, board certified veterinary nutritionist. As reported here, the doc recommended feeding Magnus a total of 1800 calories per day, mixing one cup of Wellness Large Breed Puppy Formula dry food plus one 12.5-ounce can of wet food, twice a day.
On top of that, Dr. Moser also recommended supplementing Magnus's food with Kauffman's Canine Stress Protection Formula (pictured at left), which delivers a power punch of essential fatty acids, antioxidants, and probiotics to helpdogs like Magnusthrough their healing crisis.
Being a health nut myself, I couldn't resist adding a few items of my own to the mealtime mix. To condition his skin and help the hair grow back over the numerous little bald spots all along his back and tail,Magnus also gets one Organix South Supercritical Extract of Neem Leaf capsule once daily, plus a liberal sprinkle each of cinnamon and turmeric, for reasons describedhere and here.
This dog'sfavorite between-meal snack is still organic bananas (I confess,they're my favorite between-meal snack too). He also enjoys anice Kong lavishly schmeared with organic, low-sodium, low-sugar peanut butter. And who wouldn't?
These days, whenMagnus goes out for walks, passersby in our neighborhood stop to admire him, commenting extremely favorably on his appearance. Most of them say "Beautiful dog!" More than the visits to the veterinarian's scale to check his progress in terms of pounds, that unsolicited feedback is what really tells meour weight-gain campaign was a smashing success.
You know New Yorkers - they're an audience of notoriously tough critics.Soifthey bother to stop andtell you yourdog is good-looking, you'd better believe he is.
Just the other day, a young man stopped to say that he grew up with pit bulls of every size, color, and shape - but he'd never seen a dogquite likeMagnus. Perhaps, he ventured, he could bepart Neapolitan Mastiff?
Whatever he is or isn't mixed with,Magnus was always a beauty; it's just that he carries himself differently now. Gone is the cowering, ground-hugging gait he had before. The caterpillar has morphed into a bona fide butterfly; the ugly duckling really is a swell-looking swan. Now, he walkstall, saunteringmajestically down the street or striking fetching poses, as if hefully expects paparazzi to pop up at every corner.
His hip bones no longer jut out; they're now covered with a healthy layer of flesh. His coat has a lustrous, silvery-blue hue. And his ribcage is no longer the first thing you notice about him. Instead, the full picture of his noble physique is what commands attention. He looks like he walked out of a Bronzino painting, or an Erte lithograph - he'd betheperfect K9 companion for a historic nobleman or fashion model.
And I'm starting tofeel like maybe I need to dress up a bit more just to appear in public with this traffic-stoppingly sexy beast. Polarfleece activewear hardly seems like adequate apparel for the human consort of such a princely canine.
The final proof that our extreme makeover project is almost complete? His old nickname, "Magnus Minimus," has been retired.He now answers to Magnus the Magnificent, thank you very much!
Do you have a K9 extreme-makeover story to share? Pleasetell us aboutit in the comments!