Sunday, October 9, 2011

Dog Pie

My Mother in law, Mama-V is an awesome cook.  She makes the most delicious things from filet mignon to Russian Easter Cheese. A while ago she made a yummy, all organic, deep dish apple pie. The crust was homemade too- Betty Crocker would be proud! Mama & Papa-V had sampled some slices the day before and it was fantastic.  On that particular day, my brother in law, Nick, was visiting from college with his poodle/ schnauzer mix, Sandy.  Sandy has a good soul for a dog-high strung and a high bouncer at times-but a sweet personality overall. 

After enjoying one of Mama-V’s very delicious meals, Mama and Papa-V and Nick went out on the porch to enjoy cappuccinos and the breeze.  When it was time for dessert, Mama-V went inside and noticed that her pie was a touch deflated.  Perhaps it was the Florida humidity-but aside from the crust being slightly lower than before, and the two slices missing from a previous tasting, all other signs of apple pie perfection were present.  So she sliced three pieces and served them. 

It was about halfway through their conversation and the slices of pie when Sandy came trotting around the pool and flopped herself at her master’s side coughing.  “What’s the matter, girl?” “Is she ok, Nicky?” To this Sandy gagged twice and barfed a healthy pile of cinnamon and saliva coated apples at their feet.  “Yuck! That’s weird I wonder where…?” They must have come to the same realization simultaneously- forks instantly dropped and the remainder of the apple pie sadly found its way to the garbage pail.

I gather Sandy put her aerial Frisbee fetching skills to good use that day in her master-mind apple pie raid.  How impressive to gnaw away at the apples alone leaving the upper crust untouched-pure genius in fact. If she hadn’t made herself sick with her gorging she might have pulled it off too.  This story has become one of those fun family tales that we all laugh about now.  I know that whenever Nick and Sandy are visiting it is not safe to leave anything on the counters no matter how high they may be.  I thought I had learned my lesson through their experiences, but unfortunately not.

Recently it was my turn. I made a plum tart for dessert at my birthday brunch but I accidentally burnt it in the process of serving orange vanilla pancakes and blueberry sausage.  Brunch ended and the tart remained on the table.  Nap time presented itself very shortly after our parents left, so Mike and I went to read stories and put our girls down for their naps.  Now I should have been wary of Mindy.  She had after all been circling Jenna’s booster seat like a shark waiting for the perfect moment to attack the bacon crumbles in her lap. Maybe it was the whimsy of the near perfect morning or the sleep that was quickly taking over me-but I forgot about our terrier and the tart and fell fast asleep beside Naomi in her bassinet.

When I woke up I noticed Mindy sitting on the carpet next to me, tail tucked between her legs, ears bent back, and some very suspicious looking crumbs hanging from her bottom lip… extremely bad signs. “Boy do you look guilty!” To this Mindy nervously thumped her tail faster and slunk even lower to the ground, pressing her ears flat against her head. I could just hear her squeaky high pitched thoughts, “Who, ME!? Why ( cough) nothing!” “Ummm …(Cough) what makes you think that?” “You’re heading to the dining room? You don’t wanna go in there!” “Remember I’m cute?”  “Here rub my belly INSTEAD!” “NO WAAAAAIIIIITTTTT!!!!”

By the time I rounded the corner Mindy had stopped trying to throw herself at my feet and made a straight beeline under the bed.  I stared at the table. The evidence was irrefutable.  Several plum slices were gone and a Mindy mouth size portion of the tart’s crust was missing on one side.  “MINDY!!!” If that wasn’t enough, the crumb trail led from the top of the table to her favorite rug by the sliding glass door.  Mindy poked her head out from the bedroom doorway, tail wagging hopefully as I continued through my exasperation, “You didn’t even have the decency to clean up after yourself, did you?” To this, she responded with a full retreat back under the bed.

My first instinct was to make a dog pie out of her.  But luckily for Mindy, the plum tart was already pretty ruined before she did her deed, so her sentencing was light.  Mindy had to wait out the rest of the kitchen clean up without scrap treats, but by the end of the afternoon I gave in and let her know I had forgiven her by scratching the offered belly.

What is it about a dog that makes them so horribly annoying yet so stinking cute at the same moment? Like that time I came home and found Mindy was accidentally stuck in the bathroom.  There she was yipping with joy as she struggled to continue balancing herself on top of our toilet paper cabinet, a half eaten cake of soap on the rug, and 3/4ths of a roll of Charmin draped across the room like streamers.  Love and Loathing all in one instant. It truly is a mystery.  No matter how much of a pain Mindy can be she is a part of our family and our household wouldn’t be the same without her…maybe a touch saner, but not the same.  But, the table reaching thing is a HUGE problem! We don’t have much space in this tiny house of ours and I can’t be guarding every particle of food every second of the day. My husband swears this is the “absolute last dog we will ever own!” Maybe next time we’ll get a tiny and very short Chihuahua.  At least the pies should be safe then. ;)

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