Tag Archives: Thanksgiving

Chloë Talks Turkey

Smokey looking abnormally  mellow, with Chloë and Pumpkin.

Thanksgiving at my country getaway was mellow compared to past visits. Smokey is four, finally old enough to know when he needs to take his nose out of my butt and leave me alone. Pumpkin and I have always been simpatico. And the feline Mr. Fuzz didn’t show his furry face downstairs except at night, when he snuck down when the rest of us were in the bedroom with the door closed. Smokey and Pumpkin, apparently more insecure than on our past visits, had their beds moved from the living room to the floor next to where Heather was sleeping. At least this ploy kept Smokey quiet all night, rather than barking every time a  car passed or the wind stirred outside.

Sniffing out Beaver Lake

Although it rained parts of every day we were there, we did get in some good walking, once at Beaver Lake Preserve in Sammamish and on both the Snoqualmie Valley Trail and the Preston-Snoqualmie Trail, each about 10 minutes by car from the getaway. Pumpkin came with us once (she’d rather sleep) and Smokey a couple of times, until Heather got tired of him barking and lunging at every dog he sees. Smokey’s a big guy, and Heather’s arms were getting tired from yanking him back. The final straw came when Smokey tried to climb into the front seat while Heather was driving. It was a lot harder for Mike and Heather to push back Smokey than me, I’m sure, and Heather was screaming at him. After that incident, Smokey’s hiking days were over, at least for this visit.

Crossing a trestle on the Preston-Snoqualmie Trail.

Because we weren’t having Thanksgiving dinner at home, I had been concerned I might be shortchanged on my normally ample rations of Thanksgiving leftovers.  But I needn’t have worried. I got plenty of gravy-laden dishes and casseroles to lick on the big day, and the next day all the leftovers came back to Seattle with us. I will be feasting on chopped-up gizzard, cartilage, liver, skin and turkey meat mixed in with my kibble right through to Christmas. It’s that most wonderful time of the year.

Chloë Goes Cold Turkey

Chloë with her new best friend.

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. I was disappointed, of course, when I found out my pal Charlie wouldn’t be coming to our Thanksgiving dinner this year, as his cauliflower parmesan has been a Turkey Day tradition, and always a tasty leftover whenever I got to lick the remains of a plate or casserole dish of it. Other than Heather’s special no-sausage stuffing for vegetarian Charlie (which leaves out the best parts, as far as I’m concerned) and pie, Charlie’s own dish was his main attraction. This year Charlie had to eat his cauliflower parmesan alone in St. Louis, so there must have been leftovers. I hope he’ll send me some via UPS. since my driver biscuit deliveries could use a holiday boost.

While missing the cauliflower parmesan, I was still able to enjoy the spoils of Mike and Heather’s annual turkey feast. For me, it’s actually a month-long celebration that starts on Thanksgiving and continues through Christmas and the New Year, ending only when the last remnants of turkey broth and giblets disappear from my kibble. And  a plethora of gravy-covered plates to be licked in between.

Cauliflower Parmesan by Charlie (file photo).

So how much do I love turkey? Let me count the ways! I crave dark meat most, because it’s the moistest, and I’m partial to the fattier thigh meat than the drier leg. On the other paw, I would gladly take either. Breast meat is OK, too, but if it’s been warmed up too many times before it gets to me, it can become stringy and stick in between my teeth. Bones, of course, are off  my menu, but gristle and cartilage can be tasty. Mike tries to remove as much congealed fat as possible before I get it, dammit, but when it comes to skin, he filters out only the fattiest  specimens. There’s no doubt that the fatty and flavorful skin is my favorite part, particularly after being gently roasted with Mike’s secret turkey paste slathered all over it.

Beyond plate-licking, I didn’t get any major windfall of turkey in my diet last week, just a steady stream mixed in with my regular fare, and I expect it will continue for the next several weeks. If I’m lucky, though,right after Mike and Heather’s first holiday meal I may get a few real pieces as a treat with dinner or instead of my usual 2 o’clock jerky. I just have to be careful when all the treats and the enhanced diet together get a little too rich even for me.  Onc year I wound up having a poop the next day that was so rank that after Heather picked it and had to carry it home, she didn’t want to have anything to do with me for a day and a half.

I learned my lesson. With apologies to John Lennon, I deduced that cold turkey/ can leave me/ (pause) with the runs. 


Chloë Talks Turkey…and Ziti

On Thanksgiving morning, Mike sneaked out for the airport well before dawn. I got out of my crate to say goodbye to Mike, then hopped into bed with Heather for a few hours. Good deal! And Mike’s absence only got better from there.

Chasing the ball on a walk with Charlie

Chasing the ball on a walk with Charlie

My pal Charlie came over to take me for a late-morning walk in the park, which was very nice thing to do for his self-proclaimed “favorite Seattle dog.” We walked at least a couple of miles so we could burn off a few calories before our Turkey Day feast. Well, a turkey feast for Heather and me, anyway; Charlie, a vegetarian, was going back to his lonely apartment to cook himself a casserole of baked ziti with cheese. I hoped he made enough so he can eat leftovers for a week, amortizing his culinary effort. Charlie admits that he used to make a mean eggplant Parmigiano (verified by my Aunt Susie) but switched to ziti because it’s easier to cook. He showed us a picture, though, and Mike had to admit it looks at least 10 cuts above any ziti casserole  served in large aluminum foils trays at wakes, church suppers and political fundraisers throughout the U.S. and Canada. Charlie’s looks like something worth licking right down to the caked-on burned cheese on the perimeter of the casserole dish.

Ziti by Charlie

Ziti by Charlie

But I digress. Heather and I ate Thanksgiving dinner with my pal Penny and her family at their house. I was my usual obnoxious self, playing with all of Penny’s favorite toys and trying to ignore her completely. Although I didn’t get to lick any plates or pans like I would have at home, Penny and I did manage to con a few scraps, and Brian sent me home with a doggie bag of turkey that was doled out to me in ample proportions until Miser Mike returned.

On guard

On guard

On the day after Thanksgiving, I accompanied Heather to her office. I was delighted when we arrived there, expecting to see all my office buddies, but perplexed when none was there. I went dashing from one office door to another, but all were shut or dark and, even worse for me, treat-less. So I was forced to hang out all day in my blue chair guarding Heather’s desk until we went outside for a pee or up to the empty, second-floor conference room for ball-tossing. In between I’m in my chair, but it’s hard for me to relax, even though Heather added a comfortable pillow to my seat.  I just can’t fall asleep, as I would be doing if I were home with Mike. In Heather’s office I must be on guard and ready to pounce at all times, especially when we’re in the building all alone. I take my job seriously. My record remained intact.

We woke up to snow on Saturday morning, so Heather stayed home all day rather than brave the drive up and down and up all the hills between our house and the main drag. This was also great for me, because Heather and I took a long walk through the park in the snow, which we don’t get to do too often. It was AMAZING how great everything smelled; the snow must catch all of those great smells and compress them and hold them down. Or something. Anyway, I enjoyed doing the “Chloë Hop” around the meadow, but I drew the line when Heather took me down to the North Beach. Yikes, those white caps on the Sound were scary; I was afraid I was going to be swept out to sea, only to be rescued by harbor seals and eagles. Come on! Who’s going to buy a story like that?

On the next two days, Heather left me home and went to work, but Lynn came over in the afternoon, which was a lot more fun for me than being in Heather’s office with no buddies to hit for treats. Lynn and I did our usual things:  I jumped all over her, sat with her by the fireplace, ran errands in her car, took walks, had treats, bit her nose. I’m glad I got to spend a little time with Lynn; we had been scheduled to spend the whole weekend together, until Heather had to work and couldn’t go away with Mike. I’m sure Lynn was disappointed that our time together was so limited, but I’ll try to make it up to her.

Chasing a rabbit in the snow

Chasing a rabbit in the snow

Tuesday morning before  I went to work with Heather, I took off in the park during our morning walk , making her late for a meeting. When I finally returned to Heather’s anxious embrace and wrath, I had a couple spots of blood on my designer sweater. At least, that’s what Heather said they were. Mike thought it was just dirt, which is yet another reason why I love Heather more than Mike.

OK, even though I got more to eat and had to endure fewer tooth and hair brushings while Mike was away, I admit I was glad when he was home to greet us when Heather and I returned from our day at her office. Finally, I could relax, close my eyes and get a good night’s sleep. And morning’s sleep. And an afternoon nap. And a couple of short, post-dinner naps for good measure.