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I Always Believe the Newspaper

     Looks like I’m gonna have to spend more time with my dog or Anabel will win the competition, forks down.

     “Hey! I’ll do it with you,” I told her as we jabbed our forks into the creamy vanilla mounds of ice cream melting slowly into warm, flaky crusts humped over sweet heaps of cinnamon-laced apples. I must have been affected by the oxygen-deprived air of the high mountain town. I’m not one to make rash promises, but at the time it seemed so reasonable. Twenty pounds by the middle of August and it was only March. That’s four pounds a month, which translates to one pound a week. Anyone can do that. Even without the low-carb thing.

     Before we left Julian that day, we agreed to report our progress weekly, by e-mail, and then we closed our pact with an inspired agreement to celebrate our newly-achieved thinness with a glorious meal under the Golden Arches in mid-August.

     I knew I could lose twenty pounds in five months. I knew, because I’ve been doing this every couple of years for a long time. Usually I aim for a mere six weeks, or thirty-one and a half days, or before the next class reunion. A couple of times I even succeeded in losing those pounds. Fortunately they always came back.

     Anabel and I did pretty well the first few weeks. On the e-mail.  The first Monday morning I reported in with a two pound loss. This was going to be a piece of cake! Anabel reported back with a four pound loss. Sheesh! But the next week she reported late - and to my relief, she reported a net gain. She declined to say how much.

     We recovered the following week, both showing healthy losses, but after that we reported net gains for two weeks in a row. At this point, one of us quit reporting. It wasn’t long before the other one of us quit reporting. I mean, a half pound? After gaining four?

     So - how lucky can you get? Yesterday while reading the paper I discovered that my redemption was at hand, in the form of my dog. So said the newspaper, and I always believe the newspaper if it says what I want to believe.

     According to this article in the paper, some kind of study about what every human needs to know concluded that spending time with your dog results in weight loss.  Seems that whenever you sit down with your dog, your cortisol level goes down, and if you pet him or her, it goes down even more. They don’t know why it does this, but they don’t care because when your cortisol level goes down, you quit craving carbs and therefore you become slim ’n trim and beat your friend Anabel in the weight competition. Or whomever your friend is that you’re always trying to outdo. (I didn’t want to say beat.)

     They didn’t say how many calories a minute you shed by sitting with your dog - and how many more if you pet the dog while you’re sitting with him. Or her. (My Sadie’s a “her,” so I have to be sure to include the “her,” or Sadie might not sit down with me any more and then I’d lose to Anabel, who by the way has three dogs so I might be in trouble if she finds out about this.)

     Today went pretty well. I spent the entire morning with Sadie, and this evening after dinner I petted her until CSI Miami came on. I plan to spend most of the day tomorrow with her.

     I figure I’d better lose those twenty pounds before the newspaper comes out with a new study that says you die if you let your cortisol level get too low by spending too much time sitting around with your dog.

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