My Big, Fat, Spoiled Family Member: Pam, Pie Boy

Doggie Doting

"My big, fat, spoiled family member is my dog, Pie Boy," Pam says. "This boy's feet never touch the ground. My ex-roommate, David, moved out of the apartment because of Pie Boy."

"I've tried many times to warm up to Pie Boy," David says. "Pie Boy hates me. Every time I come near Pie Boy, he growls."

"I buy Pie Boy clothing, toys, anything that he wants," Pam admits. "Over the past five years, I've spent about $10,000. I buy him designer doggie clothes. Pink is his color, don't you think?" she asks, as Pie Boy models a baby-pink sweater.

Pie Boy is so spoiled, he even has his own pet! "Lizzy is my other dog, and she's Pie Boy's pet dog," Pam says. "I don't spoil Lizzy, but she is a dog, and I treat her like a dog. This is my baby." Pam says sometimes she'll even sleep on the floor and give Pie Boy her bed.

 

"Pie Boy gets his teeth brushed every day, and he gets a massage every night. We watch TV together, but I don't let him watch anything violent, anything that might give him nightmares from all the bad, mean things in the world. He loves going to the drive-thru, and he always gets the same thing. Usually he gets a plain hamburger. I have to chew his food for him."

"What Pam does with the dog biscuits is absolutely disgusting," David says. "She chews the dog biscuit because she's afraid that Pie Boy might choke on it."

"It's my right to love, to shower my affection, my attention and my money on anything or anyone I want, and I'm damned sick of people complaining about me spoiling him," Pam says. "Dr. Phil, I can't wait for you to meet Pie Boy. When you look into his beautiful brown eyes, you're going to fall in love with him just the way I did."

Dr. Phil smiles at Pie Boy, then asks Pam, "So, you're serious?"

"Oh, absolutely," Pam says.

"You bought him an outfit for the show?"

"I bought him a few outfits for the show, and this is the one he chose," Pam says.

Dr. Phil asks about Pie Boy's teeth. "Have you not taken him to the dentist?"

"I took him to the dentist," Pam explains. "Here's the thing: I will not take him to a dentist who will put him out to clean his teeth, so I took him to a special dentist who wouldn't put him out. I brought him in there, and he wanted to put braces on him, and I couldn't see putting braces on my sweet, little baby."

"No, that would be ridiculous, and you don't want to be ridiculous," Dr. Phil says with a smile. He asks about Pam covering Pie Boy's eyes and ears to shield him from violent images on television. "Because you think he's smart enough to know?" he guesses. 

"Of course. I don't want him to think this is a bad world he's growing up in," Pam says.

"He's a dog!" Dr. Phil points out.

"He's my son," she argues.

"He's a dog," Dr. Phil says. "You think he's smart enough to know what's going on on television? If this dog laid on his back and peed in his own face, he wouldn't know where it was coming from!"

"And your point is?" Pam asks.

Dr. Phil turns to David. "You lived with this for six years. What finally pushed you over the edge? Was it her chewing up the dog biscuit and spitting it in the dog's mouth?"

"No. I think [it was] the fact that I wasn't allowed to bring any medicine, aspirin, Tylenol into the house because she was afraid that I would drop it and Pie Boy might eat it. I couldn't bring chicken into the house because she said the bones might be eaten by Pie Boy," David explains.

"You never put him down. How's he going to get a chicken bone?" Dr. Phil asks Pam.

"No, no, no. He walks around the apartment. His feet have never touched the ground outside. Feel these hands," she says.

Dr. Phil does so, pointing out, "These are paws." He asks why her other dog is not spoiled.


"My other dog is my dog," she says simply.

"And this is your …?"


"Son."

"Here's the thing. I've got a dog. I love our dog. She travels everywhere with me. But she's a dog," Dr. Phil says, showing a picture of the family pet, Maggie.

"Yeah, that is a dog," Pam says. "Pie Boy's my son. This is my child."

"Do you think this gets in the way of other relationships?" Dr. Phil asks.

"Yes, it absolutely does," Pam admits.

"Here's the thing, and it may not matter to you at this point," Dr. Phil tells her. "This is a really safe relationship. When people get over invested in animals " and I love animals. I'm a huge animal advocate " but when people get over invested in them, it's usually because it's easy. There's no demand. You don't have to be smart. You don't have to be interactive. You just have to be. As long as you feed them, they'll follow you anywhere, right?"

"No. We're interactive," she argues.

"But don't you think it's keeping you from having a human adult relationship that might bring you rewards?" Dr. Phil asks.

"No, absolutely not," Pam says. "This relationship is unconditional love. It brings me more rewards than any human could ever bring me. This is someone and something that loves me no matter what I do, no matter what I am, no matter what."

"That's right, and you could have that and a human relationship," Dr. Phil points out.

"But the human relationship would interfere with my relationship with him," she says.

Dr. Phil pauses for a moment, then says, "I think you should stick with it."

"I think you're right, Dr. Phil," she says.