Last night, I was going to grill salmon on a cedar plank. I'd done this before and the results were really good. Soak the plank in water for a few hours, and I seasoned my water with some lemon juice. Then you grill the salmon on top of the plank; the plank generates this great smoke that infuses the fish with a wonderful flavor.
Well, I kind of screwed up. You need to get the heat turned way down when you put the plank in to warm up before putting the fish on it. Well, I didn't turn the heat down enough. So I go out with the fish to put it on the plank and the plank had caught fire.
Now, bear in mind that my dogs are exquisitely well-motivated by the prospect of people food. Anything the peoples eat, they want to eat, too. And the dogs know that the peoples especially prize food that comes off of the grill, and the grill usually emanates some mouth-watering aromas to begin win. So when I remove this piece of flaming wood and toss it down on the concrete, Sassafras goes for it immediately. The thing is a rectangular hunk of charcoal with flames still coming out of it and she wants to put it in her mouth. I thought dogs had a powerful instinctual aversion to fire, but apparently my dog's instinct to put her mouth on any kind of food, or anything that might possibly be food, overpowered that.
So I yell at the dog to stop her from setting herself on fire by eating hot charcoal. And then we keep the dogs near us during dinner (not so difficult to do with these two beggars) so I wasn't too worried about the burnt plank on the ground, which I knew would need some time to cool down anyway.
When I got home from work today, The Wife told me that one of the first things she does when she gets home (usually about two hours before me) is feed the animals and let the dogs outside. Once that's done, she changes out of her work clothes or gets a drink or checks her e-mail or whatever else she does when she's home alone in the afternoons, and then she went outside to enjoy the nice early summer weather. And she saw the dog, eating something.
Of course, it was the ashen remains of my cedar plank. When I went out to pick up after the dogs, I saw evidence that indeed, a dog had eaten and passed lumps of burnt wood. This explains, then, why the dog's breath smells like she's been smoking.
A cute dog, that dog o' mine. But sometimes she can be an IDIOT.
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