There’s a dawg in my kitchen! There may be one in your kitchen, too. Big, small, short, long, furry or not, those
loyal companions usually make great kitchen helpers. The kitchen floor can go a lot longer between
cleanings with man’s best friend around.
Dishwasher loading may result in a pre-washing cycle that disgusts the unwary visitor. Major accidental spills become a lot easier
to handle. Sometimes food gets a secret special seasoning -- dog fur that was floating around in the air. No matter how bad your meal
turns out, there’s at least one uncritical, eager diner willing to give you two
thumbs up for your efforts. That is, if
they had thumbs. Whether you hate it or
love it, there’s just nothing like having a dog in your kitchen.
I love it, or at least I did in the past. Meet Millie, our 70 lb. yellow Labrador. She’s a year and half old. We thought she was all Lab, but it turns out
she’s at least 50% chicken. She’s afraid
of the dark. If I take her for a walk
the night before trash collection, she won’t walk on the sidewalk. Those trash cans are scary! Men are scary, too. Things on wheels are scary. Even musical greeting cards are scary.
But, like most Labs, there’s one thing that is sure to motivate her.
One thing she is surely not afraid of. It’s food.
Just about all food. A few raw
vegetables don’t make the cut, but I’m right there with her. For the first several months of her life, she
made working in the kitchen quite an obstacle course. It wasn’t too long before I wished she’d just
get out of my way.
The day my feelings of kitchen sharing enjoyment started to
shift was quite memorable. I was in a hurry
to get dinner made, but I couldn’t get started until I fed her dinner. She, like many dogs, has her bowl in the
kitchen. As a part of her training, I
put her food in the bowl and she must wait until I tell her, “Go get it!” On this day I was so focused on cranking out
dinner, I forgot she was waiting. For 20
minutes that poor pooch just sat there, eyes to the bowl, eyes to me, eyes to
the bowl, eyes to me, relentlessly, pitifully and repetitively.
I didn’t even know she had that much self-restraint. “Oh, my gosh,” I exclaimed when I finally
noticed. “Go get it!” I felt so awful about it, I sped over to
give her lots of kudos and love.
Do you know what happens when a Lab is using all its
self-restraint to not attack a bowl of food?
I’ll tell you what happens. 20
minutes of drool, that’s what happens.
My right foot hit about a cup of puppy drool puddled on the floor. Up went my feet and down went my body. Slip!
Wham! Bam! My head slammed into the kitchen table and my
elbow hit I don’t know what. And Millie
went ripping out of that kitchen like the hounds of hell were about to gobble
her up whole.
That was the beginning of the end of our mutual kitchen
pleasures. The second big nail in the
coffin came one night when she was helping us out with her specialty—the
pre-wash cycle. She was head deep into
the dishwasher when her collar unexpectedly looped around something in the
loaded dishwasher and got stuck. Panic
ensued and she leapt backward, yanking the entire bottom rack out of the
dishwasher. Filthy plates, bowls, pans
and silverware went flying every which way.
She did her best to sprint away from the monster pursuing her. Across the kitchen, out to the dining room,
terror shone from her eyes as four screaming humans and one terrifying
dishwasher rack chased her.
It took all of us a while to recover from that one.
Nowadays she’s afraid of a few more items in the
kitchen. The dutch oven, big knives, the
refrigerator, definitely the dishwasher, the pull out drawer under the kitchen
sink, the Kitchen Aid mixing bowl, any silver bowl, the Cuisinart food
processor, anything that makes a loud noise, and more things than I have the space to list.
Major spills go unattended.
There’s no one to give me loving feedback
on how my creations are coming along, and I have to sweep up each night to get
rid of fallen debris. I’m talking to
myself again, and yes, I do answer back.
She doesn’t even stay in the house when I’m in the kitchen. Her terror is such that she hides in the
garage. I could set a prime rib front
and center on the kitchen floor, and still I wouldn’t have a canine visitor.
Oh! How I wish there
was a dawg in my kitchen!