Most Labradors are food orientated and this can be one of the reasons that they are easy to train – they will do just about anything for a food reward.
But Fitz does not stop at Bonio biscuits. He takes the Greedy Labrador reputation to a whole new level.
A year ago, when I first met Fitz, he was seriously overweight. Walking and standing were an effort but when he was presented to me, he was really ill. He had been vomiting for several days and was very lethargic. Because he was so over weight, it was impossible to feel deep into his abdomen but an X-ray revealed an unusual gas shadow in his stomach. On exploratory surgery, the gas was found to be trapped around one of his owner’s socks which was wedged in his small intestine. One has to wonder what goes through a dog’s mind when he decides to swallow a sock but you would assume that they don’t taste too good.
Fitz made a full recovery after the sock was surgically removed and his owners assured me that they would work on getting his weight down. 12 months have passed and, as inevitably happens, the memory of the fat-filled abdomen resulting in tricky surgery started to fade.
When I saw Fitz this morning I could not believe my eyes. His owners had done a fantastic job of reducing his weight. He had lost nearly 20 kg and looked like a completely different dog. Unfortunately, although his appearance had changed, the owner’s report of the last few days had not, with Fits feeling very sorry for himself and vomiting. X-rays revealed another gas pocket in his intestine and, sure enough, another sock was duly surgically removed from his small intestine!! This time, the sock had become very tightly wedged and had damaged the surrounding intestine beyond repair so I had to remove a 25 cm length of intestine to ensure a recovery.
Fitz’s owners have done a fantastic job to get him to lose weight over the last year but history demonstrates that you can’t teach an old dog new tricks!