Friday, November 25, 2016
The 2016 Rainbow Bridge Thanksgiving Dinner
It has long been a tradition at Rainbow Bridge that the new Angels cook Thanksgiving dinner for the rest of us. But this year that tradition ended. While the mortal world lost a great friend we gained a loyal brother and the Internet’s best known dog chef in Leo.
A month ago Leo visited me in my cottage and said he would be cooking the entire dinner. I had eaten his food at many a gathering before: his stunning chicken; his perfectly braised ribs; his juicy burgers; the tasty pizza. My mouth watered in expectation. I told him I agreed and was looking forward to tasting his creations, but I still needed to find assignments for the new angels.
The other angels had been training for months to cook. Leo picked the two best, Sarah Jane and Gracie Mae, to help him He wanted Bella too but she was committed to visiting some humans who were having trouble adjusting to life at the Bridge. Once a therapy dog, always a therapy dog.
Leo needed the finest ingredients for his food and he entrusted his good friend Smoochy to find them. It is hard to find fresh meat in a place where nothing can be killed but Smoochy led an expedition with Rain, Clyde and Quincy into the fresh meat caves near the mouth of the River. The meat caves are scary, dark places where the freshest meat can be excavated from beneath large rocks. Smoochy used his fine sniffer to find the meat, Rain and Clyde used their digging skills, and Quincy went beneath the rocks and pulled out piles of fresh meat. They put it all in huge saddlebags on Smoochy’s back and he carried it to Leo’s kitchen.
Whitley spent the days before the meal sewing outfits for all the dogs who would be waiters and waitresses. She made dozens of pilgrim outfits to bring the meal a sense of authenticity.
The seating arrangements for all the angels in our district is a huge responsibility and there was only one dog I could trust with this difficult assignment: Odie. His brother Scooby helped create a tuxedo for him. He looked spectacular. He stayed up two nights arranging the seating so all dogs could eat with their friends and family. Based on the big smiles on every angel’s face he did a fantastic job.
As much as we all loved Leo’s food he is an American chef and everyone loves Italian food so Leo made room for Paco who, working alone, made platters full of meatballs, wedding soup, crispy Italian bread, lasagna, bolognese, and manicotti. Paco, ever the quiet gentleman, was reluctant to serve his food with the great Leo’s offerings but Leo told him that Paco’s food was superior to his. Paco grinned and blushed at the compliment.
Despite Smoochy’s scavenging there were some items that needed to be shipped to the kitchen. We put Dirty Harry in charge of making sure the items arrived safely. Harry has lots of experience in the delivery business and he was very prepared to insure everything arrived safely.
Dot has always been a very disciplined dog so she was put in charge of making sure that every dog behaved and none of them had too much bacon beer.
Cotton sent an emissary and asked if she could attend with her cat friends. Cotton has been so good to me that I could not say no and Odie set up another table for our kitty friends including my cousin AJ. There was no need for chairs because the cats sat on the table.
In between courses we wanted our guests to be able to cleanse their palate with some treats. We put Lexi in charge of the treats and, of course she did a great job.
After dinner we gave our guests two options to work off all the food they had consumed. First they could go running up and down the hills with Ciara. Most of the big dogs choose to do this. They kicked up a lot of dirt running off those extra calories.
But us little dogs went to Chelsea’s house. She had huge beds, couches and pillows placed all around her rooftop palace. I climbed into bed to snuggle with Chelsea and we watched the big dogs running before we fell asleep.
It was dark out when Jazzy woke us up. We all gathered outside in a valley. Jazzy set up a projector and we all got to see our families enjoying their Thanksgiving dinners. There were a lot of tears shed as we watched those we loved enjoying each other’s company.
Then we heard the sound of a band. Sandy stood on the stage. He said we needed to end the day with a Kentucky hoedown. There were bonfires, square dancing, and lots of Kentucky bourbon.
It was a magical day. A big thank you to the new angels. They outdid themselves this year.
Let’s hope they do it again next year. That they will still be the new angels.
We don’t need any new angels crossing the Bridge next year. There were way too many this year.
And all your Angels want to wish you a very happy holiday season.
We will be watching.
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