Dieting With My Dog - by Peggy Frezon


When we first picked up this book we thought it would be a sort of ‘how to’ diary based on the author’s experience with her pet

Fri 02 Dec 2016

By Judy

Dieting With My Dog - by Peggy Frezon

Dieting With My Dog - by Peggy Frezon

When we first picked up this book we thought it would be a sort of ‘how to’ diary based on the author’s experience with her pet

In fact it is hardly this at all, although there are a few tips about healthy snacks and strategies for diet and exercise at the back of the book. This book is more the story about a particular woman at a point in her life and her relationship with her family and the pet dog –who is really is actually very much her dog – Kelly. It is no less endearing and interesting for this.

Peggy was at the point in her life when her children were either physically leaving home or had in all but body, their lives being elsewhere. Peggy has always turned to eating for comfort, since she was a child of a poor background where food was scarce and Peggy was often hungry. Now the loss of her role as an actively involved mother and especially the leaving home of her beloved daughter Kate, combined with middle age, a strong snacking habit and a sedentary lifestyle has led her to become quite overweight.

Peggy’s attitude to food has extended to the way she has fed her family and the dogs she has owned, including Kelly her current dog, a beautiful young Spaniel bitch. The family’s old Labrador, Hudson, was very overweight when he died and it is on a visit to the veterinary surgery with Kelly, that the vet gives Peggy the warning about Kelly’s weight. Her doctor is saying the same thing to her about her own body, and a good friend has recently had a heart attack.

We follow the reluctant mistress and her dog as they get over apathy and the lure of the easy snack and the inviting couch as they work towards the delights of healthy eating and exercise and the story is told with candour and humour. It is a tough journey from the easy comfort of the cookie jar to self discipline and finding the Peggy’s ‘void’ filled in other ways.

The book is also very revealing about what our pets – particularly dogs – can give to us. As her actual children no longer need her in the same way, Kelly – the eternal small child– fulfills this role for Peggy. As an animal, Kelly needs constant care and attention, her puppy like enthusiasm never leaves her, she gets anxious when separated from Peggy - and she loves unconditionally. All these are things that Peggy (in spite of being in a loving, supportive marriage) really craves at this point – and she is honest enough to admit this.

We think this book would appeal to anyone who has loved a dog in this intense way and felt that it filled a gap that humans in their lives just couldn’t fill at that point. It is for anyone who has challenging relationship with food – using it for comfort and to stave off boredom, for those who have battled with weight all their lives, or anyone who suddenly finds, after years of not having to think about their body, that they are suddenly piling on the fat. It is also for anyone who is facing that challenging time in their parenthood when their children are beginning to look outwards from the family; a time of accomplishment but also of loss. Perhaps doctors should prescribe a loving dog to all those going through this!

Article by: The Pet Owners Association

The Hubble & Hattie imprint was launched in 2009 and is named in memory of two very special and much-loved Westies owned by Veloce proprietors, Rod Grainger and Jude Brooks. Hubble & Hattie is the home of a range of books that cover all-things animal – be these dogs, cats, horses, rabbits or elephants – produced to a high quality of content and presentation and offering great value for money.