There are no bad owners, only bad dogs


Maybe he should try the Mock Apple Pie made with Ritz crackers...

The Bocuse d'Or is a very prestigious international culinary competition. It's no Pillsbury Bake-Off or World's Best BBQ contest. No "Kiss the Cook" aprons here. It's very very strenuous and has many different areas in which a chef must show expertise, originality, and lots and lots of garnishes and chiffonaded crap. They wear tall hats and shout at an army of white-aproned underlings who scurry about, making compotes of this and reductions of that. Each country involved enters one national team and they compete in categories like meat, fish, dessert, and sugar sculpture.

Greggers plans someday to enter this competition. He will go through years and years of culinary training and apprenticeship, he will hone his chef's knife until it gleams, he will crush all of his opponents and then, and then, when it comes to the dessert portion of the competition, he will triumphantly parade before the judges holding a Fudgy the Whale cake from Carvel.

Early this morning I was awakened by a lot of barking. A lot. It went on for so long that I eventually went outside with a flashlight to find out if there was a rapist hiding in my toolshed. After much searching, I eventually found the cause of all of the excitement -- what looked like an adolescent raccoon on my neighbor's roof, chattering away at the dogs. Apparently it was swearing at them in 'coon/dog, because whatever it said worked them up pretty good.

It reminded me of the young raccoon that we had at the animal shelter where I worked. Someone had tried to keep it as a pet, but it was starting to get aggressive (because it's a WILD ANIMAL), so they brought it in to us. We arranged for it to be accepted at a wildlife rehab center (like Betty Ford, only with nuts and berries) in downstate NY, but they couldn't take it for a few months. So it lived in our petting zoo.

It is well known that raccoons like to wash their food before they eat it, so she had a cat litter box full of water in her pen for her to wash her food. Raccoons need a pretty high protein diet, so cat food is the closest thing we could give her on a daily basis. Guess what happens to cat food when you put it in water and swish it around? Mush. Gruel. Gross.

Every so often, though, one or two of the guys would drive over to a bait shop and pick up a Chinese food container full of earthworms or crawfish. She loved them both, and would do a little dance with her front feet when she saw the container.

The crawfish were pretty gross because she'd start eating them from the tail first -- crunch! crunch! -- and the front end was still waving the claws around, yelling for help while the back end was being consumed. But before the crunching started, she'd dump the whole lot into the "pond" and they'd start to scatter, thinking they were free. Run, Forrest, run! She'd pick them out, one by one, and scrubscrubscrub them in the water, then she'd start with the crunching. And she didn't stop until they were all gone.

The worms were eaten in a somewhat similar fashion -- dumped into the water, then scrubbed. But they were slurped up like a little kid does with spaghetti noodles. Yum.

Eventually she was transferred to the rehab center where hopefully they put her on a 12-step program to get her off the Friskies.

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