Bruce the Food-Addicted Dog

Bruce the Pug
Courtesy of Mikkel Becker
Bruce the Pug will do anything for a scrap of food.

The Kibble Thief

At the doggy day care Bruce frequents, he’s become an infamous food bandit. Before Bruce, the day care never had a problem keeping the dogs from eating each other’s kibble. But when I boarded him over Christmas last year, he learned to sneak off and unlatch the doors of the other dog’s pens with his nose to get at their kibble. Bruce was so stealthy that he could gobble three or four pens worth of food before anyone noticed he was missing.

When I came to pick him up at the end of the week, I went back to the small dog area and couldn’t find Bruce anywhere; there was only one Pug, but he was too chubby to be my dog. A quick look at the dog’s ID tag confirmed that yes, this was Bruce. But he had changed — he no longer had a neck or a waistline. He looked like the Pillsbury Doughboy at the end of an all-you-can-eat Caribbean cruise.

Bruce must have put on at least five pounds during the week — an enormous amount for a Pug — but I have never seen him look so happy. Of course, he was less happy about the immediate diet and exercise plan I instituted to take off the weight, but the temporary satisfaction of eating everything he wanted likely made it all worthwhile.

It’s a struggle to keep Bruce at his ideal weight, but with diligence and exercise, Bruce remains fit. While Bruce may be the canine equivalent of a garbage disposal, I would not trade him for any other dog. Bruce’s unique habits, including his snoring, his desire to fetch all day, and yes, even his appetite are all part of what makes him a special and irreplaceable part of my family.


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