I don’t know what she was thinking.
As Lindsay let me out of my "house," she looked at me with such pride, so much excitement in her eyes! She knelt down to grab my face and scratch behind my ears as she boasted, "Sookie, you are going to love what I got you!"
I opened my mouth and let my tongue hang slack as I panted quickly to form what she calls my "smile." I know it makes her happy when she thinks I am.
I caught the scent of something strange on her as she gazed into my eyes, hands moving about my head, caressing my neck and body. I felt my pupils dilate as I realized what I smelled was blood.
I broke away from her to investigate the gift she had declared she was so eager to present to me.
A plain plastic bag sat on the kitchen floor. The kind of bag she used to pick up my poo. There was no writing or logo on it to indicate where it was from, but one thing was clear. The bag contained death. Frozen death to be exact. I could detect the ice crystals melting in the room temperature air, releasing the aroma of blood and flesh into the house which normally hung heavy with the sweetness of nag champa, sage and Palo Santo smoke.
I shoved my snout into the bag, urged by a primal reflex that drew me to the aroma wafting quickly into the air. I felt the cold beads of condensation from the thawing mystery moisten my nose, already wet from the novel stimulation.
"Oh, you found it!" she giggled to me as she picked up the bag and set it on the counter.
"I cannot wait to see how much you love this my Sook!" Her energy started to affect mine. I felt my own liveliness heightened by her enthusiasm and wagged (what was left of) my tail rapidly. My jaw dropped open, my tongue dislodged completely from my mouth and I salivated uncontrollably. I was a bit embarrassed at this totally primitive reaction, but went with it as it seemed to only encourage Lindsay.
The white plastic bag made noise as she extracted a large clear ziplock bag and also what appeared to be an extremely large roll of plastic shrink-wrapped sausage. I am familiar with "sausage" as we went through a phase where I got "doggy sausage" on top of my dry kibble every meal. My instinct told me the mystery contents encased in that tell-tale shape might have been of the same culinary vain.
The roll made a thud as she plunked it on the granite counter top. Beads of condensation released more fragrance into the air as its contents continued to thaw out, teasing me with its sweaty bouquet.
Lindsay opened the large clear bag now, extracting what appeared to be a portion of a leg bone from a very large animal. The bone was raw, unprocessed, covered in gristle, fat and tendon and visibly filled with marrow.
Lindsay was clearly repulsed as she insisted on using tongs to handle the bone. She declared, "Oh my goodness, Sook! Doesn’t this look amazing? You are going to go crazy for this! It’s a raw buffalo marrow bone. "
I know what you are thinking. "What a lucky dog. Sookie must be so thrilled to go town on her raw bone."
Well, you are wrong.
I wanted nothing to do with that raw bone. Or with what I discovered was "raw chicken and bone kibble topper" in the sausage casing. I may be a dog, but I prefer my cuisine cooked, marinated and well-seasoned.
Lindsay let the bone thaw on the counter and took me for a walk. The whole time, I was preoccupied with the bone. I imagined how I was possibly going to enjoy what I knew I had to do. I thought of my doggy-dad, Chuck and how he prefers his steaks very well done. When Lindsay brings it to the table with any pink, he slyly slips those pieces down to me, which I dutifully devour because he is my master. But, this bone was a different story.
I know Lindsay has a thing with "raw." In fact, I know her last blog centered on the human raw food diet. And I am sure that there are dogs out there unable to deny their bloodline and breed, that when raw meat or bone is placed in front of them, they slobber and slop up every last bite.
But, not me. We got home from the walk and the dreaded bone was placed on the kitchen floor for me to plunder. I sat down. I gazed up at Lindsay, hoping she would understand the pleading in my eyes meant I wanted nothing to do with this raw dog food trend. But, no – she so wanted me to eat that silly bone. She even picked it up with her bare hands and brought it to my face urging, "Go on Sook, eat it!"
I sniffed it tentatively and then sulked away, knowing I hurt my doggy mommy’s feelings. I heard her mumble to herself that I must not be feeling well and was relieved to hear her put the bone back in the refrigerator.
Two days passed like this. She would take the bone out and sit with me on the kitchen floor, begging me to take it, to eat it, to chew it, to do SOMETHING with it. She tried the raw chicken kibble topper too and my meals sat untouched. Even with loyalty coursing through my veins, I could not bring myself to do it.
And then, Lindsay’s dear friend Sharon came to my rescue. Sharon knows me and she is also a wonderful cook. Lindsay was on the phone with her, discussing what a "picky eater" I had become when my sharp sense of hearing picked up Sharon telling Lindsay to put the bone in the oven for a bit – to bake it. My ears perked up at the thought of a warm, roasted bone. The heat would bring out the flavor, melt the fat and turn that bone into a delicious treat.
I sighed with relief as I heard Lindsay turn the oven on. Thank goodness she was coming to her senses. My heartbeat quickened as I heard the clink of the bone hit a glass baking dish and the whoosh of it being placed into the hearth. Almost immediately the scent hit me. Waves of sweet perfume enveloped my whole body as the minutes crawled by while the bone cooked.
Finally, she took the bone out, let it cool and then placed the now golden brown treasure, glistening with fat and oozing with melting marrow on my proverbial silver platter – the kitchen floor. I giddily trotted up to sniff and take in the intoxicating morsel placed before me. I grabbed it greedily between my paws and proceeded to devour the delicacy over the next hour.
Lindsay was quite pleased. She sautéed the raw chicken and bone kibble topper for my evening meal, of which I heartily partook in every bite, even licking my bowl perfectly clean.
I heard her laughing as she told the story of how I clearly preferred cooked food to anyone who would listen. I was a bit embarrassed at how my personal preference was being made fun of, but I was also proud that I stuck to my guns and communicated what I wanted, in my own way to Lindsay.
As my favorite rock band, AC/DC says, "She’s using her head. She’s using her head again. I’m justa giving the dog a bone. Giving the dog a bone, giving the dog a bone." Just please be sure mine is cooked.
(And please note: As evidenced here, Enzo from "The Art of Racing in the Rain" is not the only dog that can write. I do highly suggest reading his book, as it was the source of inspiration for this blog.)