The Mystery of the Expanding Bubba

Over the past few months, I’ve noticed my buddy “Bubba the chocolate lab” has experienced significant weight gain. A little back story; Bubba was a beautiful, collared, chocolate Labrador retriever puppy we think someone abandoned near our home. He wandered upon our friends’ ranch one day, and after weeks searching for an owner, he became our new farm dog.

The unique thing about my friend Bubba is as much as he enjoys getting a treat, he much prefers to lie on his back while I scratch his tummy. He’s the only dog I’ve ever known who smiles at me when I give him a tummy rub. You haven’t lived until your friend rolls over, throws their legs in the air, and gives you a huge smile. It’s a beautiful sight.

These days, Bubba is my constant companion when working outside around the ranch. He climbs on my ATV and rides as we feed; making sure he always gets underneath my right arm (he likes hugs too). Bubba follows my tractor around when putting out hay, planting, or other tasks. He’s an explorer, but mostly stays within the confines of the ranch and its pastures and out buildings. When new neighbors moved in and brought their two dogs, Bubba discovered new friends to visit.

After morning chores, Bubba often slips under my northern pasture fence and makes his way across the field to our neighbors. They’re a wonderful and kind couple, and always welcome Bubba. Their dogs, Clue and Sparky, visit and play with him for a few minutes and then he comes home. If he’s ever not at my feet when I come out, I know to call him from the neighbor’s house. He perks his ears and runs home when I call, sometimes.

Not too long after our new friends settled in, I noticed Bubba was gaining weight. Thinking I was over-feeding him, I cut back on the amount of feed provided each day. Even though he’s active, I also reduced his treats. Still, he was increasing in size. It was a mystery why he was eating less yet gaining weight—until about a month ago.

When visiting with my neighbors one Saturday morning, they mentioned how they love when Bubba comes to visit. However, and they chuckled as they shared this, they’ve noticed he comes and visits on their front porch for a few minutes. He then nonchalantly finds his way around to their back porch. That’s when I solved the mystery.

I remembered that when my neighbors were away for a week, I had taken Bubba with me to check on their dogs. In doing so, my astute friend took note that his dog friends have a self-feeder system on their back porch. Whenever Clue or Sparky would nose open the flap at the bottom-front of the metal feeder, dog food magically appeared. Dogs are apparently more intelligent than I am as Bubba figured this out long before I did.

My neighbor confirmed whenever Bubba comes to visit he finds his way to the back of their home and helps himself to his friends’ dog food. I wasn’t feeding Bubba too much; he was helping himself to a few extra meals a day! I haven’t stopped him, but have cut back on the feed he gets here on the ranch. This reminds me, I owe my neighbors a large bag of dog food.

I’ve solved the mystery, but not the problem yet. I thought about our own worldly habits and how we too can do a better job of self-control. Two examples of my self-control issues are Ms. Annie’s coconut cream pie and almost anything Diane makes in the kitchen. She’s a culinary genius; I’m living proof, as I was a size 34 waist when we married.

Like my friend “Bubba the chocolate lab”, I too have weak spots. I obsess and sometimes overindulge. In my case, I’m grateful God knows I will never be perfect while in this world; yet He is faithful to help me improve and become more like His Son. My question today…

What things in our lives do we obsess over or overindulge in? Share on X

God’s blessings


12 thoughts on “The Mystery of the Expanding Bubba”

  1. JD — very strong post and I think we can all relate. It’s easy to overindulge in life and I’m glad we have a way to come back to reality at times — thanks for the share.

    1. Thank you so much Mr. Del. I think there are things we all can go to excess with. My pal Bubba gave me a great reminder of that. Although, if you ever have one of Ms. Annie’s pies, you’ll understand.

  2. Labs are the best! Our first dog when we were married in 1987 was a black lab, Willie. We had him for 15 years. Our next lab was a chocolate lab, Bodie. Labs think they are people! I love how they desire emotional connection with us! Give Bubba a belly rub for me!

    1. They sure are Ms. Karen. And you’re right. Bubba is certain he’s my son and not my dog. In fact, he sleeps curled up next to our back door leading to garage every night. He wants to be with us all the time. What a blessing. I’ve often wondered if dogs are meant to show us the kind of loyalty and love we should all have towards God. A semordnilap, half-palindrome, or hidden message? Some day we’ll know.

  3. It seems there has always been a strong bond between a person and a dog. Greetings you receive from your dog when you’ve been away for a while always makes you smile and feel good. Annie, The coconut cream pie lady has a dog called Jackson . He is just a little poodle but he has a great personality and extremely faithful . I hope Bubba gets back on a healthy diet just like so many of us need to do.

    1. Thanks sir. Yes, Jackson is a hoot. I just have to remember not to reach to touch Ms. Annie when he’s on duty. Thank you so much for your kind words. Glad you enjoyed. God’s blessings sir.

  4. First, I have to admit, I adore and lust after coconut cream pie!! Ooh, my!
    I’m trying to cut the sugar intake, and have had some success and “reduction” But how to instill that determination into animals. I fear it is hopeless.
    I have two large boy cats – the Maine Coon at 23 pounds. I also have an almost 18-year-old female who has lost weight to a point of being way too skinny.
    My boy cats, that I feed generously – though not free feed – fill up on their own then rush to her feed bowl. Sigh. I fear you will not be able to help Bubba with self-control except maybe by fixing the hole in the fence to the neighbors yard.

    1. Our dear friend Ms. Annie made me two. One sugar-free (good, but not great) and one luscious full-up. It was worth the extra insulin. 🙂 As for my pal Bubba; it’s a mile-line barbed wire fence. Too many holes. Besides, he would just walk around. LOL Thanks for comments, as always, and God’s blessings Ms. Jackie.

  5. I love that the neighbor dogs are friends and enjoy visiting together! Thanks for the mystery-solved story that reminds us to be careful with temptations and things that are readily available for us, but not necessarily good for us!!

  6. J.D. Once again, your post brought a smile to my face. Always worth the read.
    What a smart dog! I just loved reading about Bubba. I think we have lots in common, especially the overindulging! I need to scale it back now that the holidays are over.
    Blessings to you, Bubba, and the rest of your family!

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