Dan and I spent Valentine’s Day in suburban Detroit (because, really, what’s more romantic than Detroit?) and, as always happens when we pull up to our family's home, we were greeted by two of the fattest pugs you have ever seen in your life. I don’t have an actual photo – though I’m now wishing I had whipped out my Blackberry and snapped a pic – but suffice it to say, Duke and Moses look something like this.

I think the excess chub is a result of a combination of being fed table scraps, getting no exercise beyond walking from the screen door to the back yard and back, and being enabled by the family (“Oh, they’re so beautiful! Who cares about a few extra pounds?!”)

But when your pug’s body is bigger in circumference than its head, something is wrong.

Not to be a bitch, but it angers me in a major way. I feel almost like it’s borderline animal abuse. I love my in-laws so much and know they are obsessed with their dogs - they're like snorting, grunting mini family members themselves. But those little pugs are gonna get doggie diabetes or have joint problems soon from carrying around so much excess weight. It’s at the point where I recently turned down a free pug (we’re getting a dog – feel free to suggest your fave breed!) because in my mind, I didn’t want to inherit an obese animal destined for medical drama…and only later did I realize that normal pugs are tiny. I’ve simply come to associate the breed with excessive chub. (Please please please note, I am NOT making an association between being overweight and being sad or unhappy. But these dogs are not human and are not choosing to be overweight – they are not getting walked or burning off energy. Humans can make their own decisions about what/how to eat, and can be happy big or small.)

Am I over-reacting? Should I sneak those pups on the treadmill with me next time I’m in Michigan? Secretly replace their dog food with diet kibble? Or just chill out and let them live large?

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