Heidi, Tammy's little buddy, was a schnauzer, the follower of the pair.
It was a beautiful Sunday morning, and before I prepared to go to church, I put a small pot roast on the stove top to brown and braise it in preparation for baking it after getting back home from church.
My range was one of those that "pulled out" to expose four burners when in use, or to push back in, flush with the counter when not fully used, exposing only the two front burners.
After the braising/browning was done, after turning the burner off, I left it in the pot to absorb some of the stock.
Then I showered, shaved and got ready for church. After Mass, I generally hung around the rectory to help count the collection.
When I got back home several hours later, I was surprised that I wasn't greeted at the back door by two barking dogs, eager for attention and ready to be let outside. The house was quiet. Ominously quiet.
Slowly, cautiously I moved from the kitchen, through the dining area, through the living room and into the carpeted hallway leading to the bedrooms.
As I approached my bedroom I spotted Tammy and Heidi lying on the bed, appearing to be dead to the world. Next to them rested the remains of the pot roast. A guilty-looking Tammy looked at me, then at Heidi and back at me.
She looked guilty, but she really didn't seem to care. She was the larger of the two dogs and she apparently got the lion's share of the manna from heaven. She was satisfied. Boy, she was satisfied. Can you say "burp" in dog?
Heidi, on the other hand didn't display a trace of guilt. Instead, she displayed a look of pure joy. Her already chubby tummy served as proof that she wasn't left out of the affair.
I didn't shout. I didn't scold, and I certainly didn't spank. Of course I was annoyed and disappointed. However, inwardly, I found it amusing that Tammy had discovered a way to remove the lid from the pot (and that she obviously waited until it was cool enough to do so), retrieve the roast and take it to the most comfortable area of the house to "party."
Instead, I gave each of them a pat on the head and butt. That slight reassurance removed any guilt that might have remained as they began to romp and play on the bed while I changed out of my Sunday's best.
I then picked up the remainder of the pot roast and returned it to the kitchen. They'd had enough protein for the day. The leftovers would supplement their meals for the next few days.
I've always been a softie, a pushover, with my dogs, but in all honesty I don't think they ever took advantage of that. They were simply my dogs and I was their human. We were family and that suited all of us just fine. Personally, I liked it that way.
At this point you might be wondering what I had for that Sunday dinner. I drove to McDonalds and picked up a couple of burgers and some fries. And no, I didn't share.