I got a rare canine opportunity a week or two ago. The Geezer put Mrs. G and me in the Ford Sport Trac and took us to see the space shuttle launch. However, it did take some convincing on my part. The Geezer and his Mrs. had originally gone to see the Endeavor blast off when the President went to see it, but some kind of gizmo in the fuel system failed and the trip was a bust. I didn’t get a chance to go on that trip. I don’t like being left behind. I decided to drop some gentle hints.
“Hey, Geezer, are you going back to see the shuttle go up when it’s rescheduled?” I asked.
“Yes, I believe we are. You know there’s only one more flight scheduled and then the program ends.” He gave NO indication he’d take me.
“That must really be something to see!” I figured the old boy would pick up on my desire, but the rust in his mental system had the process really gummed up that day. He said, “Uh-huh.”
Maybe something a little more indirect would get the synapses firing if I took time to allow them to catch up. “Gee, Geezer, it must really be enriching for anyone to see such important historical events.”
The mental gears groaned. After a few seconds, the old boy answered, “Yes, Sandy, I suppose it is.”
“What a wonderful opportunity. Have you seen many of these type events? In person, I mean?”
The Geezer went deep into thought. You know, somethings are painful to watch. His eyes rolled around like pinballs in a game. I didn’t see any oil leaks, but I’m sure the strain must have caused some. I decided to prompt him a little.
“What about previous launches?”
“No, that’s why I want to go,” the Geezer mumbled.
“You know, I haven’t seen one either.” I figured he’d have to get that one.
Humans can be so mentally retarded! I tried another avenue. “All those wonderful things you’ve seen—the first super sonic passenger jet, Lindberg’s crossing the Atlantic, the Wright Brothers first…”
“Whoa, Sandy. I know you think I’m ancient, but I’m not quite that old.” He grinned weakly. “I certainly would have like to have seen them, but…”
It was my turn to interrupt and lie. “Oh, I thought maybe you had. I know how important you think it is for everyone to witness those kind of things.” I paused. “Because you only get a few opportunities in a lifetime.” I paused. “In person.” I paused. “First hand.” I paused. “To soak up the atmosphere and ambiance.”
He answered, “Uh-huh.” Have you ever looked into your human’s eyes and wondered if there was anything functioning back behind them? It makes you want to shout, “Hey! Is anything going on in there!”
The indirect approach wasn’t working. I decided something a little more direct might work better. “Ahhhhhh, Geezer, you might want to think about this. When you and the Mrs. go away, I don’t get the same kind of love from the pet-sitter that you two give me. It makes me feel deprived. When I feel deprived, it makes me depraved. I want to chew things. Dig holes in rugs and sofas. It gives me leaky bladder syndrome and the green apple quick steps. It makes me want to–”
“Would you like to go along?” The Geezer asked. The blind squirrel found another acorn.
Seeing the shuttle blast off was extraordinary. We drove to Cape Canaveral the night before and stayed in a motel south of Kennedy Space Center so we could get up early and get a good spot on the beach to watch the launch. The three of us were seated on the sands in our folding camp chairs before the sun was up. It was beautiful. The calm Atlantic licked at the white sands while the sun rose from low clouds on the eastern horizon. When the time came, the glow of the rocket and its roar were spectacular. I’ve borrowed some pics from Mrs. Gator to share with you.
That reminds me… you do meet some of the nicest people at events like that. Gertie, a long-haired dachshund, Forrest a blue tick hound, and Trooper a shih tzu romped around with me on the sand chasing waves and shore birds until the time came for the event. We discussed our favorite subject…eating! And Trooper, this recipe for Hush Puppies is for you. They’re lighter than the traditional ones you might have eaten before.
Here’s what you need:
2 cups of Hush Puppy mix (Autry or Dixie Lily)
1 cup of self-rising flour
3/4 cup of diced sweet onion
1 teaspoon of garlic powder
1 1/2 cups of water
Here’s what you do:
1) Mix together thoroughly the Hush Puppy mix, flour, and garlic powder in a large mixing bowl
2) Add the two eggs (For humans using this – take ’em out of the shells! Daaaa!)
3) Stir in the eggs.
4) Add the water and stir thoroughly.
5) Add the onions and – guess what – stir thoroughly.
6) Let sit for ten minutes minimum.
7) Heat fresh cooking oil, 1″ deep, to 375 degrees (or about “6” on an electric stove) in a large pot or skillet.
8) Use a tablespoon to drop the batter into the hot oil. They’ll float in a few seconds. Turn ’em over at least once. Don’t worry how they look. They aren’t gonna look good once they get inside anyway.
9) Fish them out with a slotted spoon when they’re a nice light brown.
10) And Ummmm-ummmm, put some dog slobber on those rascals! They are good! Makes about 40.
Oh, if your humans have been behaving tolerably share some with them. They’ll love them too.