April 19th

theresa albert - my friend in food


For The Love of Dog!

oh my dog

There are a lot of reasons to get a dog. Perhaps your kids are begging you for one because, well, they’re just so cute.  Maybe you would like an excuse to go for regular walks or you just like the idea of furry companionship.  Whatever the motivation, there is no doubt that adding a cuddly canine to your home will change your life in one way or another.

We’re on our second dog.  Our first was from the Humane Society where we arrived with a laundry list of qualifications for our future pet:  young, medium-sized, no shedding, no drooling, docile (not far off from my list for the ideal man when I was single… but I digress…).  What we got was a skinny, exuberant, 6-month old, oversized, gangly cur with thick black fur barely covering his emaciated rib cage.  He’d been picked up on the streets of Chinatown where he’d, no doubt, been foraging for scraps in restaurant garbage cans.  We could tell by the size of his paws that he would soon grow big enough to easily open our fridge with his teeth and one quick snuggling session told us we’d never be able to wear light-coloured sweaters again.

Studies show that dog-ownership lowers stress and blood pressure but somehow I doubt this applies to owners of overgrown, untrained puppies.   Our pooch was delighted to go home with us and would frequently show his gratitude by knocking us down, Dino Flintstone-style, and slathering our faces with his drooly tongue.  Within a week, this former garbage-hound had scarfed down a piece of cloth from the gutter, which turned out to be saturated with a chemical that led us to a week of doggie intensive care at the nearby vet.  Childless at the time and unable to eat or sleep from worrying about our new family member, we questioned our fitness as future parents, thinking the illness of an actual child might just kill us.

Fortunately, our new fuzzy friend eventually recovered and though a great deal of training was necessary, he became a great asset to our lives.  He got us out of the house to enjoy the city parks in all seasons and kept us from feeling lonely when one of us was on a business trip.  Not only was he a delightful cuddler, starting at the foot of the bed and then snuffling his way up to land under our armpits or chins but he became our diaper-change alarm system when we started having kids (he would sniff at their rears and then give us a disparaging look).  He lived to the ripe old age of 13 and though we grieved for him when he passed, we were grateful for the joys he brought to us over those years.



Ilana Waldston is the mother of two teenage girls who keeps sane by singing. A graduate of the prestigious International Cabaret Conference at Yale, she’s been delighting Toronto audiences with her comedic patter and well-honed ability to sell a song. She’s a self-professed foodie, loves to bake, travel and dine (often all at once) who sometimes sings of food in songs such as “My Diet Starts Tomorrow”, “Dieter’s Prayer” and “Foodblooz”. In addition to her solo work, she’s also a part of Toronto’s only female jazz quartet, The Satin Dolls... www.jazznlaughs.ca


One Response

    September 21, 2011 at 6:13 pm Reply

    love this post. We have a dog & he brings us so much happiness. Luckily he has never eaten anything but food. Although he did once fall off the boat while we were sailing.

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