Wednesday, April 13, 2011

So What's for Sunday Dinner?

Tammy was a mutt. She was a combination of shepherd and God knows what. She was a remarkably intelligent dog, a leader, who provided me with 20 years of joy.

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.


Donna said...

Yannow, animals are so much smarter than we are. I had a doberman once that ... once time ate a bottle of Valium and bouncing off the walls in the hallway (after confirming with the vet he would be OK) wanted to go outside and he was jumping up WAY high to try and catch birds!

Another time he reached up onto the countertop and ate an entire platter of Xmas cookies. You should have seen that swollen belly!

Yet, in an tornado warning, he would pace and pace..then demand to be let outside just to sniff the air, come inside, pace and pace...and repeat. When he went outside, sniffed, and came in and layed down, I knew we were safe. Thank you Trouble for all the protection you provided us. Another story about the girls and a doll may follow :)

Donna said...

Back in the day, my girls came home from school and were alone until I got home from work (Dad worked nights.) My younger daughter called and said that Trouble (doberman) had growled at my older daughter and chased her out of the house. I was very confused...still at work. When I got home, I asked to see what happened. It seems that the older daughter had a "doll" that cried like a real baby. Trub thought she was hurting it, so growled, took the baby away from her, and chased her out of the house. My younger daughter smacked him, he gave her the "baby" and she made it quiet. When I got home from work, (The girls were in a "barbie doll" stage) I asked to see the doll. I made it cry...Trouble went nuts...but trusted me. All we know to this day is that he thought the older girl was hurting "the baby" and made her leave, yet he let the younger daugher take the baby. Animals...smarter than humans...yeah...Ithink so ... :)

RJScott said...

You're so right, Donna. Animals are MUCH smarter than humans ... and they will NEVER intentionally cause you pain,which is something humans appear to love to do so much.

Sometimes our furry friends do things that "annoy" us, but if we take the time to analyze those annoyances we most often find that we were annoyed, not at our furry friends, but with ourselves ... our impatience with them, or the fact that we were just "in a bad mood," something our pets are NEVER in, unless they're severely ill.

Think about it. I believe I'm right.

Anonymous said...

Yannow, I love my animals more than I love most people. I never will have just ONE animal. When it crosses the Bridge, as they all will, I could never come home to an empty house. After losing each...Dew, JJ, Clifton, and Flakey, the cats "knew" what had happened and they were all over me to comfort me. Animals in many ways are so much wiser than we are. AMEN!

Kn said...

Hmm... Cute story !! And funnily enough, all dog owners have stories about their naughty pets stealing dinner & yet not feeling even a bit of guilt like the "follower" in this one. After all, its their home and they had full right to the treat!
By the way, my tom cat knew how to open the fridge. Animals sure are wiser than humans!

RJScott said...

You are so right, Kn, about pets stealing dinner, and it really is not really stealing. Yes, it is their home and they should be entitled to anything (within reason) in their own home.