The Little Puppy That Could (And Did!) - Stupid Simple Cooking Blog at - 263331

Stupid Simple Cooking

The Little Puppy That Could (and did!) 
Jan. 7, 2012 12:53 pm 
Updated: Jan. 8, 2012 6:40 pm
Mother Ann's latest blog triggered a very fond, and most inspiring memory, so of course I must share. Back in the 80's, Mom fell in love with a man who showed dogs. Little ones. Ugly ones. Yup, Pekingese. Well, the cliche was triggered, she learned to love the dogs, and eventually they started their own kennel just outside Pasadena, Mingtree Kennels. Next thing you know they've got buttloads of Pekes running around winning ribbons and just being generally snooty about it. You know how bug-eyed, squish-nosed dogs can be. 

As sometimes happens in showdogdom, there came to be born an ugly one. Now Peke puppies aren't normally ugly, not like their parents. They've got their share of that puppy cute thing going on, yes they do. My opinion is that nature makes baby animals cute to keep us from killing them for all the nasty things they do to our stuff. Chewing and shredding things can get an ugly animal killed. 

Well, this little puppy was darn cute, but just not show-worthy. Don't ask me how Hubs #2 determined this squirming, wriggling, slimy thing with eyes squinted shut wasn't show-worthy. Seriously, I've no idea what a newborn show-worthy puppy looks like. Hub2 wanted to drown the puppy. This is alert-PETA-mean, but that's what's done with newborn puppies who don't make the cut. Mom, being somewhat new to showdogdom, thought it was beyond mean, going right off the scale into divorce-worthy.  Hub2 told her, and this is a direct quote, "Mingtree has no room for excess baggage." Mom claimed the puppy as her own and invoked the cliche, adding the divorce addendum for good measure. 

When it came time to name the litter, Mom chose her puppy's name. He was registered with the AKC as Mingtree's Excess Baggage. Really. We all called him Ebee. Hub2 was not thrilled to be mocked, but what could he do? Nada. Ebee stayed, despite Hub2's best efforts to sell him as a pet dog. No one wanted him but Mom. 

You know there's a joke in here, because this is my blog. The joke is that Ebee became Mingtree's youngest champion, ever, winning more ribbons and commanding higher stud fees than any dog before or since. Ugly little Ebee turned into a gorgeous hunk of prize-winning fur. Well, gorgeous by Peke standards, which everyone knows are pretty low. Hub2 ate crow, and to his credit, did so with a smile on his face, because he did love Mom, so had to love her dog. The cliche circle was complete. 

This story has several morals. Don't judge a puppy until he enters the ring is the obvious one. Or is that supposed to be about books and covers? Well, same thing, sue me. But the moral I prefer is the one that has to do with the love my dog cliche...payback's a bitch, or sometimes a dog. 
Jan. 7, 2012 1:47 pm
Lucylove - I LOVE it!! Great blog! So glad I could help to inspire it. Missy's father, Chief (my parent's first lab that became a show champion) was sort of like Ebee. My parents were currently without a dog and my brother knew of a breeder of labs who had a pup that wasn't going to be show quality. My brother talked my parents into agreeing to take this "pet quality" dog. By the time Chief was 5 or 6 months old, it was apparent he just might have some potential in the show ring so my dad entered a show. Chief became a champion in record time. Every show they would go to and see the breeder, the breeder would offer to buy Chief admitting he'd made a mistake. My mom would always politely inform him that even if he offered millions she'd say no. Missy probably could have finished in the ring, but she was raised for hunting and loving - she had no time for ribbons and such. :)
Jan. 7, 2012 2:14 pm
That's amazing, Mother Ann. And such sweet playback for Chief. :) I completely don't get how it's possible to judge potential in a puppy or child. My eldest Grand, JD, was 5 weeks early and a dead ringer for Joe Lieberman. Took him 2 years to even grow hair. Now at 11 he's way cute and chicks dig him. :)
Jan. 7, 2012 2:15 pm
Playback? er, PAYBACK, yeah, that's it. LOL
Jan. 7, 2012 2:36 pm
I don't really get it either how people can be so quick to judge something or someone's potential. You just never really know... Sounds like JD is gonna be a heartbreaker!!
Jan. 7, 2012 2:58 pm
LL, Our oldest son's first dog was a pekenese. An AKC ball of fur with an endless snotty nose. That dog was allergic to everything, but he was a loyal companion to Eric... Butchie never left his side! I dreaded the day that Butchie would leave us, but that awesome pooch must have known when his time was up and left to pass... I believe he really didn't want to break his little boys heart! He lived a longish 16 years!
Jan. 7, 2012 3:01 pm
I really like your story but I'm afraid that Pekingese and those other little yappy Pomeranians will never be my faves. Great story though!
Jan. 7, 2012 3:50 pm
great story! and yes peke s are ugly as sin but great dogs!
Jan. 7, 2012 5:18 pm
Nice story, Duffy! As one who has eaten far more than his hare of crow, I sympathise with hu2. The only thing worse than being wrong is being caught being wrong.
Jan. 7, 2012 7:17 pm
Cute, fun blog Lucy!
Jan. 7, 2012 11:09 pm
I love your story even if I don't particularly like small dogs (except French Bulldogs they are too cute)and I never got the point of show dogs or cats. Now show horses - that's different. Hubs2 turned out to be a nicer guy than I thought.
Jan. 8, 2012 6:35 am
I hate small dogs, Pekes included. All that getting under foot. At least with a big dog you know he's there. Terry, we had an Irish Setter once who was allergy-prone. And didn't she just love to do as hunting dogs do, spend half her day with nose to the dirt, sniffing for anything new in the yard.
Jan. 8, 2012 8:08 am
Lucylove-you have a way with words-loved your blog.
Jan. 8, 2012 9:25 am
Thanks so much, Lela. You're very kind. :)
Jan. 8, 2012 1:05 pm
I am known for a somewhat dark droll sense of humor. I had a hospital case manager (customer to me) that was insisting on receiving a particular service I was sure we did not provide at our specialty hospital. I was adamant about it that the answer was not. Subsequently I called my admissions office and sure enough I was wrong. I called up the case manager, who is usually cold and unfriendly -- by now downright hostile. When she came on the line I said "This is so and so, do you have any ketchup". She said ???What???? I said I need it to go with this big plate of crow I am going to have to eat. She laughed so hard and it all worked out. We are friends today. Just reminded me of that story.
Jan. 8, 2012 6:40 pm
Carol, what a lovely story, so gracious of you (and clever, too) to phrase your apology so well. I do believe I'll steal that line the next time the need arises. And you know with my big mouth and know-it-all attitude it will. A dear friend asked me one time if I ever got tired of knowing everything, and I told her that yes, it was tiresome but that SOMEONE had to do it.
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About Me
I'm a young retiree, happily settling into the Florida lifestyle with my husband, Steve, a retired Naval officer. After 10 years of living on opposite coasts, we're now 2 minutes from our son and his family, including our 4 grandsons, ages 3-11. We love going to their soccer and football games, and they get really cranky if they don't get to see Nana and Papa every week. Bliss! Since moving here in January 2011, we've really embraced the lighter side of life, from cooking to cleanup. That means grilling, of course, and Steve has taken to it with a vengeance. I've risen to the challenge by thinking of new things to grill (new for us, anyway) and new ways to do it. We're having a ball. In May 2011 I was diagnosed with Gluten Intolerance. Bummer. But I'm making the best of it, cooking so much more from scratch than ever before, and loving the tastes and textures of this fresher way of cooking. Allrecipes is my homepage!
My favorite things to cook
All-day meat sauce for pasta. No, seriously! There's just something so satisfying and visceral about it. Maybe it's the aroma filling my home. Maybe it's the tinkering. You know; taste, add a pinch of this, a dash of that. Have some wine. Repeat. I think it's the purest expression of love from a cook. I like to invite others to taste and make suggestions. Of course, there's no recipe for this at all! It's just a labor of love, and the slow, easy pace is like catnip, enticing guests to come join in and linger in the kitchen. Heaven! UPDATE: There IS a recipe for this now; Mock Bolognese Sauce, in my Recipe Box. Take a peek.
My favorite family cooking traditions
We used to have many, all centered around Thanksgiving. 2 kinds of cranberry sauce; one homemade, the other slices from a can. Yes, I know, but my mother thinks it's the bomb. Green bean casserole, always from cans. Aunt Shirley's extra-fluffy mashed potatoes. Sadly, most of my mother's sibs are gone now, but I'm making new traditions with my son, who is one fearless cook! We've finally celebrated a holiday season that doesn't include a plane trip, enjoying our Florida weather so much that we skipped the formal dinner in favor of a pool party, complete with ribs, potato salad and baked beans. We may have started a new tradition of our own.
My cooking triumphs
Chicken Tacos, making it up as I went. Turned out so good, so perfectly seasoned, I had to write it down so I could do it again. Simple? You bet! Lame, for sure, but that's the dish that taught me to just 'go for it!' and helped me shed my fears of working without a net (recipe). I've had many successes since then, but that one dish will always be my reminder that this isn't rocket science, it's cooking! The worst thing that can happen if I screw up completely is that we go out for dinner, and that's not so bad!
My cooking tragedies
Oh, they are legion. But as with my triumphs, one stands alone. Whipped cream! The very first time I made it I was a young bride, eager to impress my groom. It's cream and sugar, what could go wrong? Plenty, as I found out. First, it's a bad idea to turn your hand mixer to HIGH and plunge it into a bowl of cream. Take my word for it. After I washed down the walls and took a shower, I opened another carton of cream and did better. For a minute or two. Very soon I found myself calling my mother to ask what these little yellow things in my whipped cream were. "Butter," she replied, then explained to me the mechanics of churning butter. We didn't have freshly whipped cream that night, but the next morning we had plenty of sweet butter for our biscuits (from a can!). My mother and I both love to share this tale, as almost every bride has a similar story to tell, of tragedy and mother's love. It's humbling and comforting at the same time.
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