The Missing Turkey
As dog trainers, my husband and I have discovered that many of our clients have a delusion about our dogs, they believe that our dogs never misbehave. I can definitely say this not true, especially after what happened on a particular Thanksgiving Day….
That Particular Thanksgiving Day
Most Thanksgiving holidays we have friends and relatives visiting, but on this particular Thanksgiving we were having a quiet day together with just the three of us, my husband our youngest daughter and myself. The day started out as planned, we slept late and then spent a lazy afternoon just relaxing. For dinner we choose to spend time in the kitchen together making fabulous food. This was the grand finale of our day, each of us made our special creations which included homemade cranberry sauce, corn bake, giblet dressing, homemade yams with marshmallows, mash potatoes and gravy, baked apples, and the list went on. As the last part of dinner was being prepared I started to feel a little sick to my stomach. I decided to ignore how I felt. I was having such a wonderful day I wasn’t going to let a little upset stomach ruin it, so I continued with dinner preparations. An hour later dinner was ready and our dining table looked amazing. The turkey, roasted to perfection, sat in the middle of the table on its decorative holiday platter. Our crystal serving bowls were overflowing with all of our great creations. The place settings shined with our new china dishes, the silver cutlery glistened and the carbonated cider sparked in long stemmed wine glasses. It looked like a picture from Rockwell’s Thanksgiving Day painting. We were anxious to eat our fabulous meal, however as soon as I sat down my stomach lurched into an erupting swirl. I could no longer stand the smell of the food without feeling completely nauseas and now my head was aching and my face felt flushed, I realized then that I must have the flu. I confessed how I felt to my family. My daughter spoke up and also confessed that she had been feeling nauseas. We decided the only thing to do would be to go to bed, sleep off the symptoms, and see how we felt later on.
We left Scott sitting all alone at the table and after a few minutes of staring at the food he elected to go see a movie instead of eating dinner alone, hoping that when he returned, Celeste and I would feel better and then we could all eat our fabulous dinner together. He got his jacket and keys then he was met at the door by our two Golden Retrievers Quasar and Pulsar. They were always ready and able to go an outing. Scott didn’t want to take them with him and he didn’t want to leave them running around the house so he put them in Celeste’s room and told them to take good care of her while he was gone.
Have you seen the Turkey?
I was in a deep sleep not wanting to wake up, but a hand kept shaking me and I could hear a voice far off asking something about the turkey.
“What- huh- The turkey- uhhg- I don’t even want to think of the turkey I still feel sick.” I said half asleep.
Scott patiently said, “I know you aren’t feeling well, but the turkey is missing, did you get up and put it somewhere?”
“No, I’ve been asleep since I left the table.”
“Well, the turkey isn’t on the table that is where I left it when I went out.” Scott was said with a baffled sound in his voice.
“Wait what time is it? What do you mean when you went out? Where did you go?”
“To a movie, but when I came home the turkey wasn’t on the table.”
“Are you sure you didn’t put it away.”
“Yes, I’m sure I didn’t put it away. I guess I will wake Celeste up and see if she did something with it.” Scott said as he got up to leave our room.
Getting some rest helped me feel a little better, and since there was a mystery going on I just couldn’t stay in bed so I decided to get up and follow this mystery to the end.
Scott was already in Celeste room waking her up.
In a sleepy voice I heard Celeste say, “The turkey? I didn’t touch the turkey Dad. I still feel sick can I go back to sleep?
“Yes, go back to sleep.” He said, and then I noticed a strange look on his face as he glanced around the room. “Hey, Celeste, one more question before you go to sleep, where are the dogs? I put them in your room before I left.”
“Dogs? Oh, I got up and let them out of my room they were whining so I figured they wanted to go outside.” She said groggily.
“Did you put them outside?” Scott asked her.”
“No, I just let them out of my room I thought you were in the living room and I knew you would put them outside.”
“When did you do that? ” Scott looked surprised.
Celeste became a little more coherent and said, “Dad, Pulsar and Quasar woke me up, I figured they had to go potty so I got up to take them outside, but when I looked down the hall I saw the front room light on so I just let them go down the hall. I thought when they got there they would tell you they wanted to go outside and you would let them out. What’s this all about anyhow?”
“The missing turkey and the conveniently missing dogs, you can go back to sleep now if you want.” he said, as Celeste snuggled back under the covers.
I began to see a connection between the missing turkey and the missing dogs. The mystery was beginning to unravel. Scott and I looked at each other,
“You weren’t in the living room when Celeste let the dogs go down the hall, were you?” I asked. He shook his head and then he said,
“And the dogs didn’t greet me when I came in the door either, a possible sign of guilt.”
“Yes, very suspicious,” I said as we headed down the hall towards the dining room.
I looked at our dining table and sure enough the turkey was gone, but the funny thing was all of the other dishes were exactly how we left them and they were full of food. In fact the whole table was exactly as we left it, except the turkey was gone. The other strange thing was there wasn’t a dog anywhere to be found in the dining room, which was odd because the dogs always hung out with us wanting to be involved in whatever activities we are doing. We went into the living room and we saw pulsar curled up on her bed in the corner and then we found Quasar lying behind a chair. This behavior was not like our Goldens at all, it was very odd and it gave us another clue that the dogs most have had something to do with the missing turkey.
“Now for the interrogation,” Scott said as I nodded my agreement. We went back into the dining room and called the dogs. Reluctantly they came in displaying some very guilty body language. Pulsar walked around in circles blinking her eyes at us, she always did this when she was caught misbehaving and Quasar sat in front of us in a very proud and upright position, which she usually did when she wanted to make us believe she wasn’t the one who was involved in a crime.
“Do you see any of the evidence?” Scott asked looking around on the floor. I looked around too, but I didn’t see any turkey pieces, no greasy mess, not even a bone to speak of.
“No I don’t see anything, but turkeys just don’t disappear into thin air, I answered.
“Did you two eat our thanksgiving turkey?” Scott said looking at the dogs. They gave a quick half wag of their tail.
“Where is the turkey?” I demanded, they gave the timid wag again.
After a bit more interrogation, the dogs, by way of body language, told us that they were guilty of eating the turkey and they were sorry, they also admitted to eating the whole bird wishbone and all.
Quick call the vet
“We had better call Dr. Wisest and see if she can tell us if the dogs will be alright. Eating a whole turkey bones and all, can’t be good for them.” Scott said.
I was a bit reluctant to call our veterinarian on a holiday, but she was a good friend and I also agreed with Scott the dogs health may be in jeopardy. So I called Dr. Wisest.
She answered the phone and I apologized for the holiday interruption, then I explained what had happened with Quasar and Pulsar. She confirmed that the little feast could make our dogs quite ill, in fact she said, “If you don’t do something quickly they could end up hospitalized for the next few days.
“What can we do?” I asked with great concern.
“Well,” she said in a calm voice, “As I always say, when in doubt puke it out.” Then she gave me instructions on her recommended never fail method of getting turkey bones out of dogs without the complications of surgery. Use a half cup of peroxide and a turkey baster, put the peroxide in the baster and then give the baster a good squirt down the dog’s throats. Make sure to do the procedure outside because I guaranteed that the turkey and bones would bubble right up. She instructed in her usual confident and soothing voice.
We followed her instructions taking the bottle of peroxide, the turkey baster, and our dogs outside. Then we gave them a dose of peroxide from the baster. Dr. Wisest was correct they did puke it out. If we had any doubts to whether or not the dogs had eaten the turkey they were dismissed within minutes after the peroxide treatment. we witnessed mounds of turkey meat and bones bubbling up out of our dogs. We basted each dog twice just to make sure they were out of the danger of digesting the turkey bones. After the regurgitating process was all over, Pulsar and Quasar both looked at us with strange expressions on their faces as if they were saying, “Wow! you guys really wanted your turkey back.”
We kept an eye on our dogs for the rest of the afternoon making sure they were ok from digesting the 15lbs of turkey and from the very bubbly peroxide treatment, but they were fine and had no lasting ill effects. I was very thankful for Dr. Wisest’s advice.
We never did find out how our dogs got the turkey off of the table without making a mess or moving a single thing. However what we do know is this;
Never leave your Thanksgiving turkey on the table unattended because you just never know where it could end up, even if you are dog trainers, and even if your dogs are, for the most part, well behaved.
Have a Happy Thanksgiving everyone!!