A Turkey of a Turkey Day

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    A tale of two canines and two turkeys.

    Only fair that this title should have two turkeys in it, since it's the story of two turkeys. (or maybe it's three and dh was one of them!)

    i met my husband when we were both working in the same ccu and had the same group of friends. As was the case in most of the jobs i've ever worked, it was the custom for nurses who had to work a holiday to have a potluck at work on the holiday. The sign-up sheet was posted weeks in advance -- the same day the schedule came out usually -- and people penciled in their favorite holiday dish or their cooking specialty. Mike always brought the turkey; i think i made pumpkin pies that year.

    Mike and I were both scheduled to work thursday, friday, saturday and sunday of thanksgiving weekend, and given that i love celebrating holidays almost as much as i like turkey leftovers, we celebrated our holiday on wednesday. We slept late, ate a leisurely brunch and then set about cooking thanksgiving dinner with all the trimmings including a small, 15 pound or so turkey. I had two golden retrievers at the time, so we spent most of our time together at my house rather than his bachelor apartment. So it was that we were cooking in my kitchen, and anything that fell on the floor (or looked as if it might) was fair game for my food patrolling canines. "don't give the dogs too much to eat," i cautioned. It will make them sick." "ok," said mike . . . And if i'd been a bit .

    Mike loved those dogs -- and part of loving dogs is to give them treats, right? They got the turkey neck and giblets -- and mike was kind enough to boil them before feeding them to the dogs. And when mike carved the turkey, molly and mo got the spare bits. Lots of spare bits, as it turned out. And of course they got to finish everything we left on our plates. They dined well that evening, and slept so well they managed to sleep right through mike's many nocturnal trips to the kitchen to roast the turkey he was taking to work thanksgiving morning as part of our holiday ccu potluck. But they were at full attention at 5am when mike got up to carve the turkey and arrange it decoratively on his turkey platter for transport to work. Molly and mo were underfoot in the kitchen when mike was carving that second turkey -- a 30 pounder -- and mike was always generous when those dogs were begging.

    Thanksgiving potluck at work was its usual feast -- we had traditional american dishes and filipino dishes and even dishes from china brought by one of our cardiology fellows who was homesick. Because we were working the next three days, mike went home to his own apartment that evening, and i went home to my dogs.

    I knew something was wrong when i drove up my steep driveway and some substance was trickling down the driveway from under my garage door. I parked in the carport and in my rush to get inside and find out what was leaking -- another burst hot water heater perhaps? Another broken pipe? -- i overlooked the obvious clues. I rushed in the front door, dropped my stuff on the kitchen counter and hurried to the garage where my dogs spent their days while i was at work. It was dark in the garage -- we usually left the one light bulb burning for the dogs, but it did nothing to illuminate the corners. So the first thing i saw was molly's white teeth bared in an embarrassed grin. And the second thing i noticed as she streaked past me to the door leading into the fenced back yard was that she was wet. I noticed the smell about the time mo brushed up against my scrubs-clad legs on her way to the back door. She was wet, too.

    Stomach sinking with dread, i flipped on the remaining lights to be confronted with a scene from a nightmare. Brown stuff was dripping down the walls of the garage over canned goods and camping equipment -- all the way around from about waist height to the floor. It pooled in the middle of the garage floor and then leaked in a continuous stream toward the garage door and underneath it to trickle down my driveway. You know where i'm going with this, right?

    My retrievers had projectile diarrhea in a 360 degree arc around my garage, and i never would have guessed that so much of it could have come from my two 85 pound girls. It was all over everything, including molly and mo.

    I spent most of the evening and well into the wee hours of the morning hosing down the garage and cleaning camping supplies, skis, snow shovels and everything else that collects in a garage. So i hadn't had very much sleep at all when i stumbled into work the next morning. I found mike at the front desk, cheerfully chatting with the night shift about the great thanksgiving we'd had. With a big smile, he turned to me and asked "how are you this fine morning?"

    "What did you feed my dogs?" i demanded.

    Mike got that guilty look -- you know the one. "a little turkey fat," he said.

    "How much turkey fat?"

    "All of it," he admitted reluctantly.

    "All of it? From both turkeys?" he nodded. "You jackass," i snarled. "You -- you -- you -- you jackass!"

    Everyone in the ccu -- including all of the patients and most of the visitors -- heard about molly, mo and the fat from two turkeys. And no one ever let mike forget it. In fact, we get facebooked from folks we've not seen since the last century asking about whether we gave any turkey fat to our dog this year. Different dogs now; molly and mo went over the rainbow bridge long ago. But no, we don't give our current dogs any turkey fat, either. I suspect mike won't even think of giving turkey fat to a dog again because the next time, he gets to clean up the mess. All by himself.

    Happy holidays.
    Last edit by Joe V on Jan 24, '17
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    About Ruby Vee, BSN, RN

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  3. by   VivaLasViejas
    OMG!!! I'm sooooo glad I was strong today while my dog was looking up at me longingly, mutely asking for just a teensy, weensy bite of the marvelous turkey innards I'd just lifted out of the bird to be turned into stock for the gravy. It was hard to resist those big brown eyes, that cocked head, but I did it for her own good.........and now I realize it was for MY own good as well, since I didn't have a mess to clean up afterward. Thanks for sharing your story, Ruby!
  4. by   Tweety
    OMG! Great story......my spoiled little dog got a plate of turkey breast....no fat because it was a pre-cooked turkey. Nice to know when I cook my own not to give them fat though.
  5. by   Spidey's mom
    I tossed the neck, raw, out in the yard to the dogs . . . . they've chewed it up. I never thought about cooking it as dogs in the wild eat raw stuff.

    There's fat on turkey?

    My dachsund dogs spend the night in a small kennel next to the wood stove in the basement . . . they stay in the yard the rest of the time. The chocolate lab sleeps on a rug next to the wood stove. Otherwise, they are outside in the yard. Guess I'd better be careful stepping in the grass.