Happy Birthday Jack Kerouac.......I think you would have been 90 today.
One of my favorite Keroisms is......
"If you own a rug, you have too much."
True Dat brother, so to commemorate your life and ideals, I would like to honor you with a little story that I think you would like, and if my little L.A.B. Rats sit patiently, there will be a recipe posted at the conclusion of todays story.
The protagonist in todays tale is a woman who is a doctor, and yeah....doc's usually make a bundle of cash, but just hang tight for a second and we'll address why Jack wouldn't find that offensive.
So yesterday was my day off, and Sue McGleno tells me I am going to spend it driving to the burbs to check up on a beagle.
Around a year ago my wife was taking care of an elderly woman who was dying from cancer.
Sue McGleno works with these people everyday, and typically has a pretty good handle on when they are about to shed their mortal coil.
I still remember this because we were eating taco's, and Sue McGleno got up 1/2 way through her meal and made a phonecall.
She had been kinda bit**y all night, but when she hung up the receaver, her countenance had changed, she was happy.
It turns out that she was cranky because that old woman should have been dead, she wanted to die, and w/o sounding like a jerk....she needed to die, it was her time, but she simply wouldnt because...she needed to find a home for her lifetime companion, a beagle named Honey.
The following day was a Tuesday, and Sue McGleno had it off, so she drove across town, picked up the womans beagle, and then drove back across town to the outskirts to drop the dog off at Dr. M's.
Dr M is kinda famous amongst the medical world, because she is an Oncology doctor, as well as an advocate for animals.
During her career she has taken in many-many pets that have outlived their human conpanions.
So now let's shift back to yesterday....
After a lengthy drive, Sue McGleno pulled into the driveway of the doctors home,this driveway was like a mile long....but before we even went 50 yards, a 1/2 dozen hounds came flying across the the estate forcing my wife to stop her Volkswagen.
It was kinda like that scene in Cujo, we were pinned inside our car wondering if we dared to hop out.
Off in the distance, I could see the doctors house, but I'm not when a house stops being a house, and then turns into a castle, but this place qualified as the latter.
As I stepped out of the car and began letting some "Marmaduke" looking mutt sniff me in a personal area...I almost had to laugh.
This house looked like one of those Swiss Chalet's that you always see in WW2 movies. In Hollywood, they overan those chalet's with nazi officers that would eventually fall at the hands of Lee Marvin....but this space was under canine dominion.
After a few seconds, the scratched up front door opened, and Dr. M passed through with another wave of dogs.
There was coon hounds, poodles, dachshunds, terriers....and last but not least a dumpy little beagle, Sue McGleno's beagle.
As you can imagine, by this point my wife has COMEPLETLY wiped me off her radar and is engaged in her beagle reunion, so Dr. M noting this takes me for a stroll across the estates campus.
On the south side of the estate was an acre and a 1/2...comepletly fenced in. This is where the big dogs are allowed to run.
The smaller dogs all wear those invisible fence collars, jokingly I asked how much she spent each month on batteries, but it wasn't exactly a joke to the doc....
"Funny you should ask, I have a full time associate that I hire out to work with the animals 11 out of every 14 days, and I give her a budget to work with. She's the one who purchases the batteries, but for one reason or another, I ended up having to get some for the pack recently and it cost a little over 800 dollars."
O-M-G......800 bucks each month on collar batteries?
It shouldn't of surprised me though, not after walking through her home. As we entered...everywhere you looked was artwork and animals. It really was like a hotel for dogs. I think she said she was currently housing 22 or 23, whatever the legal kennel limit is, but if that weren't enough....
When you walked upstairs, you entered into "Bird Land" LOL, I kid you not....
One room had 2 African Greys, and 4 or 5 Indian Ringnecks,and 3 more Cockatiels just for giggles, but then as we moved down the hall we entered the Master Bedroom (which doubled as Cat Land) because on the other side of the bedroom was another door that lead you into the main aviary.
I paused a couple moments to spot one of the cats, but they must have been hiding, but one thing that I witnessed kinda freaked me out in a queer kind of way......
Dr. M had what almost looked like a workbench in her room, and it was covered underneath a tower of boxes filled with puzzles.
You know what kind of puzzles I'm talking about...the one's with the water wheels on foamy rivers or barns under an autumn sky. The nature-landscape dealios.
On the ride home, Sue McGleno told me that she estimated that there was "at least" 170 of those puzzle boxes, but the creepy part about this is......EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM WAS STILL WRAPPED IN ITS ORIGINAL PLASTIC SHRINK WRAP.
Sue McGleno and I love Dr. M as Christ loves the Church, but when our eyes locked on the puzzles and then on each other....
We both got the E-B Jeebies.
But I suppose,you wake up, feed 20 some dogs, 20 some parrots and then head off to work to deal with people who are fighting for their lives.....you'd have to have some compulsive behavior, or at least some kind of ritual like system to cope with whatever demons stare into your eyes.
OK, now we open the aviary door, and a blast of hot air comes rolling out,within minutes I had to peel off my Adidas hoodie.The temp was over 80, imagine those heating bills.
3 African Greys, one huge Red Parrot, one big Blue Macaw, and then there was 2 Peach colored Cockatoo's. I swear to Caesar when they screamed, they were louder than elephants.
Then the last part of the tour arrived, we were about to embark on Dr. M's pride and joy....her tiny dog room.
Before my second foot crossed the threshold a little chihuahua came out of nowhere and bit me. Sue McGleno had never been happier...she laughed and laughed, but then there was 2 small black poodle like dogs.
The boy (who I tagged Mustafa) had an underbite, and sat next to his sister (who I tagged Helen) as if he were guarding her.
Upon further investigation....thats exactly what Mustafa was doing.....Helen was born with no eyes!
Now I'm not saying she had eyes that didn't work....she literally didn't have eye balls.
How precious the 2 of them together were.
How precious the threesome was when Dr. M kneeled down next to them.
So let me close this story by alerting all my beatnik, socialist and blue collar brethren.....
Just because a person has money or status...that doesn't neccasarily mean they are pretentious or pious.
Sometimes the greatest things accomplished, come from the finger tips and purses of those who are good stewards.
As Dr. M and Sue McGleno participated in a prolonged good bye, I went against my A.D.D. instincts and decided to let them have their moment.
As the 2 of them talked softly and smiled....I just watched Honey the Beagle and wondered how the woman who had been dead for a year now was doing in heaven, and then it made me feel good that the angels were able to report to her that her mutt was in such loving hands.
This was a humbling moment for me Mr Kerouac, and just for the record....I miss you as well.
PEANUT BUTTER - BROWN SUGAR DOG BISCUITS
2 1/4 CUPS OF ALL PURPOSE FLOUR
1 CUP WHOLE WHEAT FLOUR
1/2 CUP OF DARK BROWN SUGAR
1 TABLESPOON B-SODA
1 CUP MILK
1 CUP PEANUT BUTTER (real dogs prefer chunky)
8 OUNCES BROTH
Preheat oven to 400 degrees (F)
In a bowl, combine the flours, brown sugar, and b-soda, then use your hands to loosely mix these ingredients.
Add the egg, milk, and peanut butter to dry ingredients, mixing with a sturdy spoon until the dough becomes pliable.
Place beef broth in a bowl and set aside for later basting.
On a floured surface, roll out the dough to 1/2 inch. Using a pizza cutter, make horizontal and vertical slices to form cube shapes. The size of the cube will depend on the size of your dog's jaw.
Place biscuits on a baking sheet with parchment paper, making sure to allow adequate space between the biscuits.
Bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes, remove the biscuits and reset the oven's temp to 375 (F), then dip a pastry brush into the beef stock and paint biscuits heavily. Place the biscuits back into the oven for 15 minutes, then remove and baste again.
Remove from the oven after a total bake time of 35 minutes (or golden brown).