What the heck gives with the all-too-common mouthing-off when a surprisingly fit dog enters the puppy park. “Would you just look at that?! You think she’d feed him occasionally!”

No, this dog’s skin isn’t plastered to his ribs, nor is there any other evidence of illness or ill treatment. This is a dog as he’s meant to be: healthy and lean.

As this four year-old makes his way around the canine promenade, meeting-and-greeting and bounding like a canine superball, it’s clear this glossy-coated dog is full of healthy raw energy. No other dog can keep up with him, not even the young Jack.

Though I can’t help thinking him a perfect canine specimen, the whispering makes it clear that many of the other dog owners don’t quite agree.

The dog park isn’t the only place where I get treated to this “you’re dog’s too skinny” sentiment. I happen to have one very lean dog and one slightly softer one. Both are in good shape, slipping nicely into the category we vets term “ideal.” Nonetheless, I’m often surprised by casual comments made by passersby when we go out on neighborhood patrol:

“Is she sick?” (referring to my ten year-old Sophie Sue, whose ribs show slightly)

“Are they supposed to be so skinny? I always though Frenchies were supposed to be blocky?” (If Vincent’s head isn’t as blocky as the rest of him, I have no idea what qualifies as quadratic anymore).

Yesterday, I saw a perfect chocolate Lab specimen. She’s two years old and couldn’t be considered anything but the picture of health by anyone who knows even the teensiest bit about canine health. Yet her whole family swears she’s “anorexic.”

Because she won’t eat every piece of kibble in her bowl?

Puh-lease! Just write down the name and number of the genius who found a way to breed a trim, free-choice fed chocolate Lab. I want to send her a medal--and start a new breeding program while I'm at it.