She’s done it again. My Labrador retriever with her obsessive chocolate addiction did it again. It all started six years ago…
I make most of my gifts. My imagination, my affection, my creativity, and my time on earth, all align in focus to create interesting or lovely things for the people I care about. Six years ago I made chocolate covered spoons meant to be stirred into hot coffee or to add a boost to hot cocoa. I used high-quality Austrian chocolate and wrapped and labeled each one. Thirty of them. They looked like those fancy impulse gifts you might see at a store like Barnes & Nobel or at a kitchen boutique.
It was the evening of December 26th. Normally, we’d be visiting my sister’s family on Christmas day and the gifts would have been all parceled out. That gathering was postponed because the flu was traveling among the nieces and nephews and their families. For five days the spoons and other small gifts sat in a large basket on the floor. That night, our kids were off doing their own things and my husband and I were just home alone when a call came. Friends invited us to hang out with them for the evening. I unplugged the tree and off we went.
Returning home at 11:00 that night, we were met with ribbons and plastic all over the floor — plastic wrappings, curly vinyl ribbon, and spoon handles. This crazy Lab bided her time for days until the ripe moment when she’d be alone with the chocolate. Chocolate is bad for dogs because it messes with their heartbeat, or worse, cause their pancreas to shut down. I called our vet and woke the poor man. He directed us to an emergency facility. We sped there only to find it closed. The sign on the door directed us to another animal hospital so we sped there. I wrung my hands the whole time. I love this dog. She’s one of my children.
About an hour later, the vet came out and asked me what we feed her. I rattled off the blend of dog foods she eats. He said her stomach was full of odd non-dog food items. I asked him what kind of odd things, and he gave me a list…maraschino cherries, shrimp tails, cheese chunks, black and green olives, and an assortment of breads and assorted leavings. We host a large Christmas eve party and the next day take our bucket of leftovers, the kind people have picked through all night and you wouldn’t eat the next day, and dump them out in the field for the crows. Well, this chow hound found the pile when she was out seeing to her business. Most likely her bout of gluttony saved her life, and certainly saved her from surgery. Most of the plastic-wrapped chocolate came up. The plastic spoon bits were blocked in her stomach and couldn’t damage her intestines. The dog vomited plastic for three days — sharp and occasionally whole spoon bowls. We had a holiday bonus expense of $400 and a dog with a severe case of over-indulgence, not to mention the lack of gifts for my extended family.
Roughly four years ago, this dog ate six bars of Bavarian milk chocolate (less toxic to dogs) that she pulled right off the table. With wrappers! I could leave a steak on the table over night and she wouldn’t touch it. The night of the spoon debacle there was a package of beef jerky under the tree! She never did this sort of thing when she was a puppy. As an older dog, she’s clearly weighs the outcome and decides whatever trouble she gets in afterward is well worth it if chocolate is involved. Feast on delicious chocolate and get yelled at, feast, bad dog. In the end — chocolate.
This morning I finished the last of my pyramids. They’re special boxes, little replicas of the Great Pyramid at Giza. I designed them with hieroglyphic cartouches of the recipient’s name, printed them, cut them out, assembled them, filled them with Lemonheads for my kids, then glued them closed. The one I made for my husband was filled with foil-wrapped chocolate-covered caramels. In the 2 or 3 minutes it took me to put my supplies away and remember old dogs are insane, she had sniffed it out and ate it. Foil wrappers, cartouche, and all. At soon-to-be 14, she’s arthritic and lumpy, hard of hearing and mostly blind…and she’s still my puppy.
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If you’re here for the first time, my husband and I are assembling a vintage holiday postcard scrapbook one card at a time. I’ve been posting one or two post cards each day and plan to keep it up from now until January.
Here’s another party recipe from the mountain of files. I have yet to make them, but they sound simple.
Greek Yogurt Truffles
4 oz. real white chocolate
1/3 cup plain Greek yogurt
2 strawberries, hulled
Optional: powdered sugar or table sugar for coating
Chop the white chocolate into small pieces and melt in a double boiler. Stir in the yogurt. Chill the mixture in the fridge for 1 hour. Before rolling, chop the strawberries into bite-size pieces. Working quickly, scoop teaspoon-size balls of the white chocolate mixture. Roll it around a piece of strawberry in your hands until completely coated.
Optional: Roll in sugar to coat. Chill the truffles for 1 hour before serving, and store any uneaten truffles in the fridge.
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Many holiday short stories in several styles written
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Rose, this blog post did it~~I read it aloud to my whole family and we were all bursting with laughter. We had a black lab retriever who went back to the spirit world three years ago at the ripe old age of 18, and he was like your baby. It must run in their genes. When he was old he could hardly walk anymore but his gluttony was legend in our home. Things always disappeared but Orion lay there, front paws crossed, with a deadpan face staring us down, like “prove it”… he never did get any chocolate, though! Probably because I always ate it first. Thanks for sharing! So, what are you replacing the pyramids with?
lol I think all families with labs understand. Tonight we’re baking and the scent of chocolate in the air has her right in the middle of the floor. It’s a calculated spot. Every time she makes us step over her, the odds increase of something dropping to the floor.
No pyramid this year. Just no time. I’m a consummate jar saver though, I’ll find something. My daughter teases me about keeping “good jars”. 🙂
Our lab was passionate about crayons and remotes. It wasn’t hard to spot her poop in the yard but hubby got tired of scratching her belly to change the channel. Glad your fur-baby is okay.
LOL that’s hilarious!