He rolled out of bed and looked at the dog curled up in its basket in the corner. The dog eyed him warily. Jessop had always wondered why the dog never moved first thing. In fact the dog rarely moved until Jessop was showered and dressed. It was only when he started to fry his breakfast that the animal showed any sign of life. Even then it was obvious that his pooch was only present because of the bacon he shared.
Today was going to be different. He was determined that not only was his life style going to change his diet was going to contribute to that change, and so was the dog's.
It soon became apparent that Jessop, although full of good intentions, hadn’t thought through the consequences of his actions.
He poured himself a bowl of muesli, and one for the dog. He covered the cereal with milk and put one bowl on the floor then started to eat from the other. The dog walked up to the bowl sniffed, sucked up some of the milk showed his obvious disgust and sat staring at the frying pan which was strategically placed on the edge of the hob.
‘It’s no use you staring at that, ’said Jessop indicating the frying pan, ‘we both have to lose weight and get fit. That starts today.’
The dog sniffed and walked to the back door expecting to be let out in the garden.
‘No’ said Jessop, ‘we’re going for a run.’ The dog ignored him and continued to sit by the back door. It was only when Jessop returned wearing a tracksuit and running shoes and carrying a dog lead that the animal realised that this was to be no ordinary day. Time to dig his paws in. He collapsed onto the floor becoming a dead weight.
‘Come on Cassius we’re going for a run,’ encouraged Jessop. Cassius was having none of it. He lay exactly where he had flopped. As far as he was concerned life didn’t start until he’d had a proper breakfast i.e. a full bacon sandwich, been let out for his constitutional then a slow leisurely walk to the paper shop. He stayed in the prone position.
Jessop attached the lead to the collar and gave a gentle tug. Although Cassius didn’t move he stiffened into resistance. Jessop felt the resistance down the lead.
‘So it’s going to be like that is it? I tell you now we are both getting fat and we are going to lose some weight. This new regime starts now and that includes you.’
The dog had listened intently but not hearing anything that suggested food remained lying, inert, on the floor.
Jessop tried coaxing Cassius to get to his feet but the dog lay stubbornly on the floor without moving. He tried treats to no avail; the dog was not going to move without his sandwich.
Jessop looked at Cassius and thought that his wife should have chosen a Jack Russel instead of St Bernard. Then he could have least carried the animal and made it run back. Not to give up he started pulling the dog across the floor by its lead hoping that eventually Cassius would give in and get to his feet. It was a non-starter. Cassius was beginning to enjoy the game and stubbornly remained on his side, polishing the floor with his thick coat.
Jessop towed Cassius into the hall and was approaching the front door when it opened. His wife stepped through into the hallway. Jessop was leaning backwards straining at the leash to move the dog.
Jessop looked over his shoulder and said to his wife, ‘You’re early dear. I wasn’t expecting you home for another week.’
‘Mother’s made a full recovery. What are you doing to poor Cassius?’
‘Trying to get him to go for a run.’
‘We’re both over weight and I’m trying to get us to change to a healthier regime,’ said Jessop lamely.
His wife looked at him pityingly. ‘You are overweight that is obvious but there is nothing wrong with the dog. Change your life style if you wish but leave poor Cassius out of it.’ She turned and looked at the dog who had been listening intently to the exchange. ‘Come on Cassius let’s get you a bacon sandwich.’
Cassius bounded to his feet and ran back to the kitchen, sat in front of the cooker staring at the frying pan. Life was back to normal.