Turkey day is always exciting at our house. Ivan and Dasa are driven to extremes by the smell of roasting turkey, and station themselves in the kitchen to repeatedly petition the cook for tasting duty. On days leading up to the turkey feast, they were tortured by the smell of roasting turkey wings as Eric made stock for gravy. They faithfully stayed underfoot while I baked desserts, unstinting in their devoted interest in all things food related.
On feast day, the Munchkins are fed and walked before guests arrive so they have full tummies and empty bladders. All of our guests are dog friendly, and appropriately attentive to Ivan and Dasa. Guests are always admonished not to feed the starving animals because gravy and other rich fare are not good for basenji digestive systems. Ivan and Dasa sit on rugs next to the table—they’re not going to sit on the cold floor—and look sorrowful and sadly malnourished.
After dinner we wander into the living room and hastily throw dog beds on the floor so humans can also sit on the furniture. Dasa lands in the remaining dog bed on the loveseat beside Eric. There’s a minor kerfluffle when Ivan tries to leap up into the same bed. Although it sounds as though they’re rabid Tasmanian devils, it’s of no consequence and peace is quickly restored as Ivan is diverted to the sofa to sit among his fans. Ivan insinuates himself between a couple of guests, and regards their attention as his due. (He started out sitting on one guest’s lap and then sort of oozed onto the sofa between two humans.)
Except for the need to be ever vigilant about keeping dessert away from basenjis who were waiting for guests to lean a bit too close while holding their plates, the munchkins were charming and adorable after dinner hosts.
However, they cannot be trusted with food as the concept of food belonging to anyone other than themselves is completely alien and absurd. This is so ingrained into our lives, that we are fascinated by tales of dogs who apparently operate under a different code.
Our dental hygienist’s wolfhounds fall into this category. Eric came home from his appointment yesterday to report on Thanksgiving with wolfhounds. The wolfhound mom heard a shriek from the kitchen from a visiting in-law who was near hysterics because a wolfhound licked the turkey. The wolfhound’s human said, no worries, we’re going to cook the turkey. It’ll be fine.
We tried to imagine what, if any, food would be left if Ivan and Dasa stood eye level with the counter. That turkey would’ve been stolen before the guest could even open her mouth to scream.