I have recently been told by someone who knows these things that Jack the dog has lost weight over the past year.
I haven't been so surprised since my wife gave me a Christmas present I had bought for my daughter, and that was pretty surprising.
But to learn that Jack, a dog who is feted and treated non-stop with biscuits and bones and all manner of chews, not to mention the huge tin of dog food and mixer, was anything but overweight was a real game-changer.
As well as putting away Desperate Dan loads of heavy duty scoff, he is no longer the fitness fanatic he was in his younger days. Where he once ran round and round covering great distances for no apparent reason other than the fun of it, his exercise regime now extends to a leisurely walk to the park, a wander around bumping into trees and then an even more sedate stroll back home.
When not physically extending himself in such a manner he is in various depths of sleep.
The vet, who was the one who noticed the slight weight loss, said Jack was fit and well for his age – so, I ask, why isn't he a fat old dog as seen just about everywhere?
Jack's answer, which he conveys with big drooping eyes, lowered ears and a general look of put-upon sadness, is an insufficiency of food stuffs coming his way.
More of that would, he suggests, solve all his problems.
The vet's answer, to which I tend to give more weight, was to move old Jack on to senior citizen dog food.
As an easy-going cove, Jack puts it away like there is no tomorrow and while it has only been two weeks he is already showing healthy signs of added poundage.
Allied to that his hair is sleek and shiny, his nose like a bright, black beacon and his ears still velvety smooth. Despite the extra weight he is also full of beans over the park, running faster into trees than before and managing to make it all the way home without taking a breather or two along the way.
For those slightly curious about the Christmas gift mentioned earlier, the confusion came about after I bought a mug for my daughter and hid it away in the bedroom prior to wrapping it up.
Subsequently my wife and daughter embarked on a mass gift-wrapping exercise in my absence and somehow came across the mug. My wife says it was in her wardrobe although I have to say I don't remember putting it there.
And so, on the big day, my wife handed me the surprise package. I was so startled by receiving my own gift that I blurted out that I had actually bought the mug. After a brief silence my wife and daughter burst into hysterical laughter.