Happy Thanksgiving to all my comrades in grooming! Since today is all about family and tradition, I found it only fitting to share one of my favorite family tales with all of you today. Like most great family stories, this one is always told after a few gin and tonics and a good helping of Laurence Welk, by my paternal grandfather. My mother of course is in the corner,hand firmly planted on her forehead and silently doing hail Marys that nothing too "colorful" issues from his mouth in front of company.
This tale, from what I can gather occurred sometimein the 50 or 60, on Thanksgiving. Remember this is from a very well pickled narrator who like most grandparents likes to make everything "walking barefoot 3 miles in the snow both ways," if you get my drift. Both my grandmother and him were planning a huge party for the occasion. The guest list was well over 50, and included not only family and friends, but important co-workers from my grandfather's workplace. They were running around the kitchen like chickens with their heads cut off. Of course the large amount of guests dictated an equally monumental bird. From pictures of this massive gobbler (this is the same year that my father and the turkey shared the same weight so a picture of the two side by side was a must for future embarrassment :)) I estimate it was close to15lbs...easy.
Amoungst all the chaos of preparing for the party of the century was the family dog, Tanbark. Tanbark was a chestnut dachshund and from all accounts basically a grouchy old man trapped in a dog's body. He loved his family, but darn sure was going to let them know when things did not met his expectations from his throne/bed by the fireplace. He was one of those dogs you couldn't help loving, but often questioned why?
With Tanbark, annoyed by all the bustling, resting on his pillow, my grandmother started to set the food out on the back veranda dinning table. She figured the guests would enjoy the beautiful weather and view of the downtown Ashland, KY and the Ohio river. With the holiday spread laid out, she then turned her attention to greeting her guests. As the guests arrived, the liquor began to flow and needless to say everyone was getting toasty and hungry.
Seeing that everyone's mouth's were salivating for this delicious feast, my grandfather made his way outside to start carving up his prized bird. However, as he reached the veranda, a cacophony of expletives began to spew from his mouth. There lying on top of the table, legs sprawled in all directions and unable to move was Tanbark and the remnants of the Thanksgiving feast. The dachshund had devoured the 15lb turkey along with all the sides, with a pack full of guests in the main house. How my grandfather let they dog leave with his life that day we never know! I'm sure the thought of serving dachshund did cross his mind. Of course, the feast was ruined and they made due with whatever was in pantry. Thank heavens for free flowing liquid dinner that curbed some of the disappointment.
Tanbark did live through his gorging unscathed. Although, I've been told he was not fed for a few days after since he had rendered himself immobile from his gluttony. So now each Thanksgiving when we are stuffed to capacity we dwell on old Tanbark and sympathize with his plight. Happy Thanksgiving!!