So maybe she didn’t have her own TV (did you know dog television for $5US a month is now a valid channel?) but Annie was royalty, above the common folk like us. Her owner even homecooked, then froze for future use, special doggie food* for her.
One hot, humid day, we waited expectantly for a chef-inspired meal in Annie’s owners’ air-conditioned apartment.
As we sat around our hosts’ bountiful table, extolling the virtues of tropical fruits, my salivary glands anticipated the fresh beef stew dish prepared by our chef/host. Animated conversation, long cool drinks, the click clack of eating utensils---even Annie sitting longingly beside our chef/host at the head of the table--- presented the perfect Norman Rockwell painting of generous hospitality and culinary delight. With gusto, we dug into our beef stew, rich with gravy, simmered to perfection with healthy chunks of carrots, eggplant, and squash. Delicious!
I happened to notice during this fabulous repast, however, that our usually animated host was not so. In fact, looking round the table, I heard conversation from everyone except our chef.
“You’re awfully quiet,” I said. “Feeling okay?”
“Um,” he replied, his hand on the nose of his favourite Annie. “….feelin’ fine.”
Suddenly I noticed he hadn’t eaten a morsel of food. “You sure? You haven’t eaten a thing.”
He shifted slightly in his chair. “Um…” His voice trailed off.
“This stew,” he commented slowly. “I made a mistake. This is Annie’s food.”
Stunned silence. Slowly, deliberately, each diner put down knife and fork.
I looked at Annie. She cocked her head.
“Sorry ‘bout this,” our host said. “Say something...anything…like you’re mad at me…!”
Thinking carefully now. What could/should I say? Unexpectedly---as if from a galaxy, far, far away, as if I no longer controlled what I said---I heard my words tumble forth automatically:
Like I said, it’s a dog’s life.
*see comments below for Annie’s food recipe