The Pizza Tree: A Story about the Chef’s Dog

Liriel, the dog who is trying to grow a pizza tree.

Okay, I wasn’t going to post anything else until tomorrow when I posted the Chupacabra Chili recipe tomorrow, but as I was doing dishes, I looked outside and beheld a most droll sight and had to share.

The above picture is one of our two huskies, the eldest one, Liriel. Liriel used to live in the house about half the time and outside the other half, but she essentially prefers being outside. The other one, Nanika, has always had to live outside; we found her by the side of the road, starved, beaten and pregnant, and owing to her awful childhood, she never really got over her desire to eat cats, though she did eventually learn to become somewhat housebroken.

However, since we have a lot of cats, Nan has to stay outside.

Anyway, I looked out to where Liriel was supposed to be enjoying the leftover pizza I had just taken to her as a treat, and saw her half-hidden behind her doghouse. Her head was not visible, but most of her body was, and it seemed to be lurching in an odd, spasmodic fashion.

She is around fourteen years old, so I was afraid she was vomiting or choking on something, so I ran outside, leaving the sink water running in my haste, to see what was amiss.

When I got next to her, however, I could see that she was not in any sort of discomfort or distress. She was not retching, but was using her nose to cover something with dirt. She was burying something.

Now, here is the thing about some huskies. They can be ferocious diggers. Liriel is one of them; Nanika is not. Liriel used to dig such big holes in her youth, we thought she was either going to end up in China, or that we should hire her out to some archeologists as an assistant. She is an expert at excavating large expanses of heavy clay soil, and tends to go about with her forepaws constantly stained with mud and her nose covered in what looks like a clay mask. You’d never know it from the picture above–she cleans up to be a gorgeous dog, but in her natural state, she is generally coated in grime. Happily so, I might add.

I looked at what she was burying it and saw it was the crust to one of the pieces of pizza I had given her. Which is odd, because that is her favorite part of the pizza. Not that she turns up her nose at any of it, but still–she really likes the crust.

I looked at her, and she finished her burying job and looked up at me. “You trying to grow a pizza tree?” I asked. She tipped her head to one side, wagged her tail and bounced over to the remaining pieces of pizza and picked one up, then began pacing across the yard restlessly.

I went back inside, finished up the dishes and watched her.

She paced around until she came to the stump next to the driveway. This has been her favorite digging spot for a while–she has torn up at least half of the stump, and like Joe Starrett in the movie Shane, the stump has become a bit of an obsession for her. She hasn’t had a handsome gunfighter ride up to help her dig out and destroy the stump yet, so she hasn’t yet defeated it, but she has given it a good shot. She has a good sized hole on one side of it. She stood in front of the hole, chewed the flat part of the pizza off from the crust, ate it, then dumped the crust into the hole and began covering it with loose earth.

Then she took the third piece of pizza, and paced around until she found a good spot at the edge of the woods, where the former owners of the house had an ill-fated flower bed. Once again, she ate the flat part, and buried the crust.

By the time she got to the fourth piece of pizza, she was either creating a pizza graveyard or she really wanted to grow a grove of pizza trees.

I giggled as she worked, then realized what she was doing.

She was burying the “pizza bones.”

Duh! How could I have not thought of it before?

The day before I had given her the bones from the lamb shanks, and had watched her gnaw the meat, gristle and fat from them, then crunch one of them up and carry the other to a spot next to her house and bury it. Dogs bury bones in part to save them for later, but also to let the marrow partially decompose. My Grandpa said it was to make the bones easier to chew up, but my Grandma always said she thought that the decomposition made them taste different and maybe to the dog’s taste, a little bit better.

Considering that our dogs will eat deer scat and cat droppings when they can get them, I don’t doubt that partially decomposed bones and such taste good to them.

To Liriel’s mind, the thicker, harder crust of the pizza must be its “bone.” And she thinks that by burying it, she is seasoning it more to her taste.

Leave it to me to have a gourmand for a dog.

Now, I wonder what it will taste like when she digs them back up?

No Comments yet

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.

Powered by WordPress. Graphics by Zak Kramer.
Design update by Daniel Trout.
Entries and comments feeds.