Wednesday, December 2, 2009
A Potato Aficionado in Unusual Form
Maybe I shouldn't mention this. After all, it is a dirty family secret. Well, anyways, my parents have a dog. He is an exceptional yellow lab bursting with personality and facial expression. When you play fetch with him, his enthusiasm for the sport activates laughter and induces smiles. He barrels towards the ball at an appalling rate. Then, he cannot stop in time and finds himself on the ground with his head under his hindquarters and his paws strait up in the air conducting an imaginary orchestra in the sky.
Besides ball playing, long walks on the beach and meaningful glaces, this dog also has an insatiable passion for food. Dog food, cat food, Cuban cuisine, French food and anything else. And, my mom discovered something very peculiar about this canines unusual tastes. Although he eats all manner of food, he enjoys potatoes. it turns out he is a potato connoisseur, a very distinguished on, in fact. He likes Russet potatoes, Idaho potatoes, Ruby Norland potatoes and any other variety of potatoes. This canine can describe to you, in unintelligible dog dialect, what makes them distinct, unique, and delicious.
How do I know all this? I've observed him in the process. My mom is his personal chef and she bakes him potatoes. That is the dirty family secret part. And no, they do not set him a place-setting at the dinner table with a little name card that says "Honored Guest." And no, they do not frequent that fancy dog bakery in the Pearl district. (hey, have you seen the price of dog food these days? Why, it's simply astronomical! But potatoes are cheap).
When it comes to homemade baked potatoes, fresh from the fields of Idaho, this dog takes his time. He receives his potato from his master. Then he carefully holds it in his mouth and takes it to a secret corner of the field. He waits until the ambiance is just right, until the sun is at the right place in the sky, until the birds are chirping sweet calls to one another and then he indulges in a romantic dinner with nature. But, he indulges very slowly, like that of a seasoned restaurant critic eating at the restaurants in the winding streets of Mo mart in Paris. He savors each chomp with care and thoughtfulness. And then he floats off into a fantasy with the taste of potato fresh on his tongue.
He truly adores potato's. When he gets standard dog food he woofs it down (get the pun? A real knee-slapper, eh?). He is scarfing it down at such a supersonic speed that it's unlikely he even tastes the stuff. But perhaps that is why dogs eat so fast, the food is unpleasant to the palate. If you give them carefully prepared Coquilles St. Jaques, baked brie in a homemade pesto sauce, some escargot, and coq au vin perhaps they would eat slower and enjoy the food because it is cuisine to be savored and enjoyed. Dog food is not.
My speculation is that dogs eat so fast because the food is simply too unpleasant to want to savor and enjoy.