Back a few months, when I was refining my list of goals for canine boot camp, the trainer wondered if I wanted to curb “counter surfing”. We both immediately acknowledged that with havanese, as long as you limit objects that can be used as ladders, there’s little need for training in that realm.
Once again, Bowie proved to be a bundle of vexation.
Normally, I don’t get excited about cooking. Last night, however, I was eager to prepare BLT’s, using lettuce from my garden and bacon sourced from a local farm. I had also been planning to make a basil vinaigrette with basil snipped from Megan’s garden. We could either jazz up the BLT with it or add it to the cucumber I picked earlier in the day.
It was an easy summer recipe, one that involved few bowls and pans and didn’t require the oven. What could possibly go wrong?
I have a little Black and Decker food chopper that I love, despite it habitually conking me in the head when I remove it from its high position in the cabinet (its top-heavy motor piece always separates as I lower the unit). It takes up hardly any storage space, does a satisfying job of mincing and pureeing, and is easy to clean. But it has been giving me a hard time lately — something is not lining up right, causing the top part to not sit properly. Of course I didn’t notice until I had added all the ingredients — basil, minced garlic and shallot, fresh lemon juice, white balsamic vinegar, olive oil, salt, and pepper. This was the first opportunity to make an oily mess in my prep area, which for most people means the entire kitchen (every surface and point of contact within that space.)
Transferring the vinaigrette to the dressing bottle was tricky and resulted in additional oily mess. While the bacon was sizzling in its pan and filling the kitchen with an intoxicating aroma, I cleaned up the second oily mess and chopped the cucumber. Mona and Bowie were only slightly satisfied with my offering of bits of cucumber — their noses were communicating more hopeful messages about available food stuffs. As the bacon pieces each arrived at that perfect degree of crispness I transferred them to a paper-towel covered plate. . . right at the edge of the counter. (See where this is going?)
Now ready to pull it all together I gave the bottle of homemade vinaigrette a good ‘n vigorous final shake, spraying green matter in every direction. Not only were there globs on the island, the floor, the ceiling, the cabinets, and everything resting on the island; but it was all over my face and arms, in my hair and ears, and sticking to my t-shirt. It smelled divine — as far as vinaigrettes go — but, well, it did mean I wasn’t going to be eating my dinner at the planned hour.
I dashed upstairs to do a quick shower and then skipped back down to clean the kitchen. . . and then I saw it. Or, rather, I didn’t. At the edge of the counter sat an empty plate. No paper towel and NO BACON. Bowie was just finishing up (because dogs don’t waste paper towels that are suffused with bacon grease).
So, here’s what I have. (A) I’m a slow learner where it concerns my doggies. This wasn’t the first time that Bowie made good use of my neglectful attitude. He has helped himself to things that I’ve (on occasion) left at the edge of the counter. He only needs it to overhang by about 1-mm. (B) I’m a slow learner in other aspects of my life, as well. Ask Megan about my bad habit of not tightening covers. And why does it always seem to be that the very items that need to be shaken up are the ones for which I leave the cap loose? (Juice bottles in my refrigerator are not to be trusted. Nor are the several cans of chalk paint in my craft area.)
And Bowie, other than exhibiting an increased need to slake his thirst in the quiet hours before even the earliest of birds is signaling a new day, is none the worse for his episode. He’ll not appreciate that it was very expensive bacon, and there’s no hint that he’s remorseful. Of course it is twelve hours later, so I’m not sure what I can realistically expect. I’m reminded by something that the trainer had said. In a different context (boot camp) I was expressing my worry that Bowie and Mona might be missing me. (In truth, I was more worried about Mona. She’s. . . . sensitive.) Jennie assured me that dogs very much live in the moment, so I shouldn’t worry. When I look at Bowie’s adorable little face with his crooked little teeth, I think, I wish I could be more like you. His ability to push “reset” gives him fresh starts over and over, all day long. Not a bad thing. . . unless it means you once again forget to tighten a cap on a bottle of vinaigrette.