The Right Coast

April 19, 2004
Dog update
By Tom Smith

Since I have occasionally referred to my dog Denali, I thought the world would like to know the results of his visit to the vet. Yes, as some have suspected, he is significantly overweight. At 98 pounds, he needs to lose about 20. But his dry, flaky skin and sluggish attitude may be the result of hypothyroidism, which is ironic, given that I am married to an endocrinologist. So we're getting his blood tested and will know tomorrow morning. If he is, well, at least I'll be able to score the meds from my spouse, probably. Apparently, hormones are hormones, if you are a vertebrate, which tells you something about our drives. You don't even have to be a mammal to get the urge, but I guess you knew that.

Now, as to the smell. I specifically asked the doctor about Denali's remarkable odor issue. I leaned over, put my nose in his furry back, sniffed and said, "He is kinda smelly, doctor." The doctor, I noticed, did not accept my implicit invitation to give him a good sniff.

"Well, he has heavy fur, a dark pigment, is on the heavy side, all these things contribute to his smell." Then he paused. "I smell a lot of dogs in this job, and I would say he is within the normal range."

"He smells normal?" I prompted, hopefully.

"Within the normal range," said the doctor.

"Within the normal range," I said.

"For a Labrador," the doctor added.

I am vindicated. By science.