And as we all age, Olive has gotten a little pudgier around the middle. (Again, so have I.) And as life gets busier, I’ve gotten lazier in my cooking as well. More fast food and frozen meals for us. The usual kibble in the morning and half can of wet food at night for Olive. A walk now and then when the weather allows. But more often than not, she gets an occasional car ride and is content spending most of her time on the couch or at the foot of my bed. She gets a lot of love from us all and has a new sister…a 2-year old Chihuahua mix who gets a little frisky now and then. But usually, the pair are happy spending most of the day napping.

Olive and I are both hitting “middle-age” at the same time. Although unlike me, she doesn’t know she’s gained weight over the years and frankly, doesn’t care. But I do. I want her to enjoy a long, healthy life. I want her to stay active and happy as long as possible.

So when Darwin’s offered me the opportunity to put Olive on a healthy Darwin’s diet with monitored vet visits, I agreed.  My part is to stick only with Darwin’s food and provide regular exercise.  Her first vet appointment concerned me. Although she’s doing well overall, she’s about 10 pounds overweight. According to the vet our Olive should be around 32lbs.  Unfortunately she’s hovering around 42.  Ugh.

Over the next few months we’ll watch Olive shape up and get healthy together.

Today she had her first Darwin’s breakfast. Quarter-pound of beef that was gobbled up in seconds. Her Chihuahua sister Paisley had a little too. Although Paisley only weighs about 6 pounds and can’t afford to lose any, I’m happy to see her get healthy along with her big sister Olive.

I hope you’ll join me as I log the trials and tribulations of Olive’s diet. And hope the added exercise will do us all a little good!

Olive joined our family on Christmas Eve, 2007, a sweet, 2-month old Australian Cattle Dog. She was a surprise gift for the family. My two young children were instantly captivated. She was full of energy and kept our family on its toes.

She loved to walk the kids to school, gently nipping at their heels, keeping them moving like a good cattle dog should. Of course, the years flew by, as they often do. The kids are now teens, one in high school and the other in middle school. The walks to and from school are a thing of the past as their schools are further away and require a car ride. Although Olive sure loves a good car ride with her head out the window, of course.

Olive has gotten lazier. I admit, we all have. She’s just following our lead.

​​The walks to the park have dwindled away as well. The kids spend more time inside doing homework or enjoying the latest app on their phones. Luckily they get daily exercise in P.E. at school.

Dog lover here, whose pup, Olive, was selected by Darwin's Pet Food as a test subject to lose some weight. Here's part of an ongoing series about her weight loss journey.