Question of the Week
Palm Harbor, Florida
This goes back quite a while, but is fresh in my mind around the holidays!
Our Kabirin Zabrin could not resist the wonderful aromas coming from the oven. A special little turkey was browning beautifully and smelling even better. When Buzzy could just not resist any longer, out came the turkey, strictly at the hands of our big red Afghan Hound.
After a bit of wrestling, we finally rescued the somewhat wounded bird. After giving it a quick cleaning and adding more butter, it went back in the oven and was served for dinner. Our company commented that was the tastiest turkey they had ever had.
Just to even things out, after the main course, coffee was being prepared and pies placed on the dining-room table. Wait just a minute! What happened to the meringue on the lemon meringue pie? Big bad Buzzy had struck again. Don’t tell anybody, but I made additional meringue, browned it in the still-hot oven, and served it. It was quite a Thanksgiving, thanks to our Buzzy!
Mary Anne Luke
We had a well-trained German Shepherd; we could leave any type of food, even hamburger, on the kitchen table and he would not touch it. The night before Christmas, I made pineapple upside-down cakes and set them on the temporary dining table set up in our family room. We woke up to find two very clean plates! He didn’t even get sick that day. It was “new food” on a “new table,” so I guess it was fair game.
It was our first year in Reno, the girls were little, and we invited his parents to Thanksgiving. I had just taken the turkey out of the oven and placed it on the counter. I turned my back momentarily for some reason and heard a "thud." Ch. ABC's Gypsy Zev (a Keeshond) had managed to grab the bird off the counter! (He'd never done anything like that before!) I was horrified!
My mother-in-law, who was also a witness, said calmly, "Just rinse it off." Love that lady!
I managed a 50-run boarding kennel, and of course holidays were always the busiest. Customer drops dog off on the Friday after Thanksgiving to board for the weekend while they go visit Grandma. Oh, yeah, don't tell me that the dog got into the trash when you drop him off! Needless to say, "Harry Homeowner" threw the turkey carcass in that trash. Said dog had emergency surgery, lived, and owner had larger than expected bill! Happy holidays!
My mom loves all dogs. Just not Sophie the PBGV. Sophie wore out her welcome one Christmas Eve. Mom always has a gathering. While our backs were turned, Sophie jumped up on the table and while standing on the meat tray, was eating the cheese tray. Ch. Sonora Levrier Nain Sophia Loren will be 16 in March and still is not welcome at Mom's.
Cherry, a Pembroke Welsh Corgi, recently completed her championship. I was having a small glass of eggnog to celebrate her accomplishment.
I had to step outside for just a second. On my return, Cherry had her front feet on the table and had drunk my glass of eggnog. She was very careful not to turn the glass over, or lose any of the eggnog! Big smile on her face!
Cheers to Cherry!
Acworth, New Hampshire
When in Westport years back at my Uncle Johnny and Aunt Frances’ house for Christmas, last seen was their retriever, roast beef in hand (mouth), jumping over the next stone wall … Martinis all around!
Our family of 15 people is eating at my aunt’s in New Jersey. Aunt Barbara puts the 22-pound turkey in the garage to cool before serving. Neighbor’s Siamese cat strolls into the garage, steals the turkey and drags it down the driveway almost to the street.
Port St. Lucie, Florida
One Christmas my wife decided to make a pot roast rather than the more traditional turkey or ham. She had taken the roast out of the refrigerator and removed the wrappings when the phone in the next room rang. Since we had Great Danes, she knew the roast would not be safe on the countertop, so she placed it on top of the refrigerator. After finishing her call, she returned to the kitchen, and the roast was no longer where she left it. It didn’t take long to find two of our Danes eating/devouring the roast out on our patio. They seemed to enjoy this unexpected Christmas present.
Kansas City, Kansas
I often spent holidays in the home of a much-missed late friend who was a sterling Afghan Hound breeder. On one memorable occasion we were finishing up the preparations for an extensive buffet to be served later that afternoon. Everything was neatly covered and stacked in a large refrigerator when my friend remarked he needed an additional item from the store. We grabbed our coats and hurried off to the minimart in search of the missing condiments.
Upon return we hung our coats in the long entry hall, greeted by two handsome hounds that had been beautifully groomed the day before, except both now sported ears that looked as if they might have been dipped in goose grease.
Passing into the kitchen we encountered what looked like Custer’s Last Stand in a culinary landscape. A carnage of chicken carcasses, the remnants of a four-layer cake, cheese balls smeared across the tiles, a hash of pate and devilled eggs.
Somehow my friend’s two cohorts in crime had managed to open the fridge door and distribute and partially devour most of the contents.
When the guests arrived later they were greeted with a hastily assembled buffet of pastas, canned sauces and frozen pizzas.
Basking Ridge, New Jersey
A Christmas story:
We had just moved to our home in the country, with our horses and dogs. At that time we had both Great Danes and Doberman Pinschers, all house dogs. We were so thrilled being out in the country where we could see not only our horses grazing, but the wonderful wildlife wandering around. We decided that we would add to the serenity and beauty by buying a live tree – with a root ball so that we could plant it after Christmas.
We never realized what this would entail. The tree farm informed us that we had to dig a hole, and cover it with straw and manure to keep it from freezing – weeks before the tree was delivered. The tree had to be acclimated to indoors. It was delivered to our garage, where it lived for a week. Then it was to be moved to the unheated, but sunny, enclosed porch. Then, into the living room next to the French doors, so it wouldn't get too warm and "wake up." We did our research!
We picked a gorgeous, small, perfect white-pine tree. What we didn't understand at the time was that, while the tree weighed about 15 pounds, the root ball weighed in at about 1,000 pounds. (At least that was what it felt like as we dragged this thing all around.) Thank goodness we had dog- and horse-show equipment, like a dolly and a hand truck.
Our gorgeous tree was carefully watered – to keep it from perishing if it began to wake up! No lights, no heavy ornaments, a nice cover over the big horse-watering trough that housed it.
And there it was – Christmas Eve (we couldn't keep it inside for more than a few days), lugging and dragging this thing into the house. I sang and played the harp while my son and husband decorated (sparsely) our tribute to the environment. The decorations consisted of very lightweight fake birds, lightweight balls and paper chains. But it was our first Christmas in the country, and we were overjoyed.
Our parents arrived for Christmas Day dinner just in time to see a Great Dane "christening" the live tree, leg held high, and a Doberman running away with a paper chain wrapped around his body and a fake bird in his mouth.
However, we laughed and loved our tree.
A few days later we lugged it back to the porch, then to the garage, and then into the pre-dug hole. By summer the tree turned brown and died. I guess the natural watering by the Dane was just too much. Digging it up was sad but necessary, as we planned on doing this again ... and again ... and again.
After seven years of this torture, we finally bought a beautiful fake tree that was light and pretty and didn't call to our male dogs.
A little postscript: Of the seven trees, one survived. Many years later, the Norwegian Spruce was snapped to the ground by a hurricane. We
measured it at 53 feet. So, I guess all was not lost.
Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!