Thursday, February 21, 2019
River Song and the Westminster Baking Competition
Everyone is familiar with the Westminster dog show where dogs are judged by the standards placed upon them by humans.
There are other events that same weekend. These were created by and judged by, dogs themselves. This is an event where we don't have to please humans and meet their expectations. The only opinion that matters are the dogs.
The competitions include toy destuffing, chair leg chewing, counter surfing, tissue shredding, toilet water licking, marathon barking, and many more.
My specialty is baking. It is something I have to hide from my parents. Some dogs pace nervously, bark loudly or destroy the house when their parents are away. I jump on the counter, turn on the stove, and create.
I have to manage my time carefully. Humans get upset when they come home and find you shredded the newspaper. But when they see a bacon souffle cooking, there's real trouble.
I started my baking career slowly, a batch of oatmeal cookies, watermelon squares, turkey and potato pastries. When I mastered these recipes, I advanced to sausage and jelly torts, pumpkin cupcakes with bacon bits, and a turkey truffle.
Not all my recipes turned out as expected. Luckily I have a captive audience to taste my goods.
When our parents leave the house Pocket is crated while I roam wherever I please. This allows me to shove my creations into her crate and tell her either she eats it, or I will say she pooped a cannoli. She would be in a doctor’s office getting tested for weeks. Pocket has an advanced pallet. If she gobbles up my creations, I know I have created a masterpiece. If her eyes roll back, her tail sags and a mighty winds blow from her backside I need to try again. She has helped me to become a master baker. And my apologies to her because most of her belly issues, and having to eat limited diet food, is because of my baking fails.
This year I finally worked up the courage to compete in dog baking contests. My salmon and rice cupcakes got me to the Massachusetts state finals where I took the first place ribbon with my lamb tiramisu.
All these competitions took place at night while our parents slept. We used Foley’s downloading method to go to the events. We entered a link on the computer then jumped on the keyboard and were uploaded to the site. We got home the same way.
Westminster was going to be the crowning achievement of my baking career. I made a kangaroo cake with peas and watermelon icing. A nervous Pocket, always afraid she was about to get caught, reluctantly agreed to travel with me.
There were a hundred dogs with their dazzling creations. The first judge, Hollywood, a shaggy sheepdog, tasted my cake. He let it settle on his tongue for a long time then swallowed. “I like how the watermelon helps bring out some of the flavors in the kangaroo,” he said. “And the peas are an unexpected surprise.”
The second judge, an immaculately groomed poodle named Merry Berry, was more interested in the presentation. “It holds together very nicely,” she said. She took a big bite. “The watermelon icing gives it a nice texture.”
Then she vomited it on the floor. Hollywood jumped down and licked it up. “It holds up very well after regurgitation,” he said. “The vomit has a watermelon aroma which is pleasing Now we just have to wait for Merry to poop it out. After I taste that, we will let you know if you are going forward in the competition.”
It was a long wait for Merry to poop. Older dogs are rarely regular. It was getting close to morning, and I was worried because we would be in big trouble if we weren't in bed when Mama woke up. Finally Hollywood said that Mary had passed the cake. “I'm afraid her poop tasted like crap. Better luck next year.”
I shot Pocket an angry look. She was my poop taster. “It's not my fault,” she pleaded. “Mommy picked the poop up before I could eat it.” Just my luck, Mommy chose that moment to be fast.
I was disappointed but never discouraged. As soon as we got home, I began planning my creation for next year's competition. If I can figure out how to keep poop from tasting like crap I am sure I will get a ribbon.
Now, if you excuse me, it is time to bark.