The universe is conspiring against me lately, and I am not holding up to the scrutiny.
It’s not so much the fosters that are wearing me down, though, it is my rededication to the fitness and health of our crew. I belong to a facebook group that deals in canine fitness and a few days ago, in passing, I posted a picture of Mama Coral on the page with a caption to the effect of “so proud of Mama C, she has gained 12 lbs since we got her back a few months ago”. I accompanied the post with this picture, and, to my surprise, I was met with many comments about her being overweight!
My natural inclination in situations such as this is to argue, ferociously, against the critiques which I deem to be false. But, in this particular case, I tried to approach the situation from a neutral standpoint. I wanted to see if I could learn more about the subject of canine fitness and health in order to figure out if my girl was, in fact, overweight and, more importantly, healthy.
The exhaustion train has left the station.
If any of you has ever attempted to read scientific research on any subject, you can understand me when I say that I am experiencing some serious mental fatigue. I’ve read through a study about the Mitochondrial protein synthesis in working Labrador and Husky dogs. I’ve read about Muscle protein synthesis in humans as it relates to muscle growth after exercise. I still have to find(very difficult for scientific research) studies that address any issues that may arise due to abnormally low body fat percentages in humans, then find research on the same subject in dogs. Needless to say, this is a serious academic endeavour and, as such, I feel like I’m preparing to take the MCAT!
In addition to all the work I’m putting into my understanding of canine fitness. I have also been taking a good hard look at the crew’s feeding schedule and serving sizes. It’s a bit baffling to me that Sully, for example, when plugged into Dogfoodadvisor.com’s daily calorie intake calculator, comes out as needing 4+ cups of food per day. Considering that my boy is quite active and still gains “fat weight” on less than 2 cups per day, I am having trouble understanding those results. Regardless, I decided a few days ago to move everyone down a level in serving size, so now sully is getting 1 1/3 cups of 410kcal/cup food a day. which, at 95lbs, is way below what he should be eating.
All in all, I’m stuck in a loophole where the more I read and learn about canine fitness and feeding, the less I know. I’m trading in way more questions than answers at the moment and it is intensely frustrating. What’s worse is that many of the general, lay-person, resources on the subject aren’t reliable without context that can only be gained through knowledge of the subject(nice and tidy catch 22).
Fortunately, I remember experiencing something very similar to this when I was studying nuclear engineering in the navy. The amount of information that was thrown at me back then was overwhelming. It made me feel like I was being crushed under the weight of the curriculum. But I also remember that eventually my mind adapted and I ended up doing pretty well when it was all said and done. The only difference now is that I also have a collection of other lives for which I am solely responsible! Here’s to the hope that my mind will adapt to this information/responsibility overload sooner rather than later!
I’m also planning to share my findings on the subjects after I feel like I have a firm grasp on them. In the meantime, I have done a few posts about food quality and various exercise ideas if you are interested in reading more on the subject: