Stories from the Stringam Family Ranches of Southern Alberta

From the 50s and 60s to today . . .

Friday, September 16, 2011

Dining With Dogs: Spoiler/Ick Alert . . .

Now wouldn't you love to invite them over to dinner?

I know you've all had one.
Some of you might have had several.
You never forget them, no matter how hard you try . . .
My husband and I were hosting our very first, ever, dinner party.
We were starting small.
People we thought would be forgiving if things didn't go perfectly.
Okay, it was a few of my former college buddies.
Fellow journalists.
I probably should have given it more thought . . .
Things were going well.
We had served them their before-dinner drinks of chilled ginger ale.
And yes, that is as high-class as we get.
Moving on . . .
They had exclaimed loudly and satisfactorily over our new addition, a cute little Old English Sheepdog puppy named Skaya.
And greeted Skaya's companion and chewing toy, two-year-old Muffy.
Another OES.
Who, by the by, couldn't understand what any of us saw in this small, annoying ball of fuzz.
We chatted. 
That's a classy term for 'gabbed like crows'. 
Because we're classy.
Ahem . . .
Dinner was ready.
They took their places while I proudly carried in the tureen (a classy term for 'bowl' because we were being . . . I'll move on) of Beef Stroganoff.
I made Beef Stroganoff.
Me, who can't even spell Beef Stroganoff.
Talk ceased as all eyes were on me.
It was my proudest moment.
And, just like that, it was over.
The side of the stupid bowl (okay, classy had definitely flown out the window) broke right out and the entire contents of hot deliciousness landed, unceremoniously, in the nearest girl's lap.
Did I mention hot?
Did I mention lap?
There was a breathless gasp of dismay.
And my friend was on her feet, scraping frenziedly at the formerly delicious-looking, now distinctly icky, main course.
But the story doesn't end there.
Too bad.
While my husby and I were frantically trying to clean up our sticky and uncomfortable guest, our  puppy, Skaya, was making quick work of everything that had hit the floor.
She was efficient.
And thorough.
We ignored her, foolishly thinking that we were taking care of the greater problem.
We were so wrong.
I hate it when that happens.
Skaya, having cleaned up the floor crawled under the table and proceeded to . . . umm . . . regurgitate everything she had just managed to swallow.
And managed to place it, quite effectively, on everyone else's shoes.
Something, I might mention, that wasn't lost on the aforementioned everyone else.
There was a mad scramble as people leaped to their feet in a vain attempt to avoid the . . . erm . . . mess.
My Husby grabbed the little pup's collar and dragged her towards the door.
Now, I should point out, here, that Skaya, when frightened, always performed what we later termed the 'submarine manoeuvre'.
Blow all tanks.
She left a (for want of a better term) 'trail' all the way across the floor and out the door.
For just a moment, there was silence in the dining room.
Picture the scene:
Beef Stroganoff, in its many incarnations, everywhere.
Guests liberally bedaubed (great word – I just found it).
Ichor (The long word for ick. Trust me.) in a glorious trail on top of everything else.
It wasn't a pretty sight.
Or appetizing.
Needless to say, most of the guests turned down our offer of 'something else to eat?'.
And left soon after.
Never to return.

Our first dinner party taught us three things:
  1. Never try to be classy.
  2. Never try.
  3. Beef Stroganoff – not just for eating anymore!
Now, when we invite people over, they are invariably handed a long, twisted wire and a hot dog and told to 'crowd into the fire and git started'.
It saves on mess.
And embarrassment.
And the dog is in its proper place.


  1. Wow..that WAS classy. So the lesson here being, serve from the pot on the stove and keep the dogs out back?

  2. Exactly, Delores! See, you learned it! What's wrong with me?!

  3. Oh you are sooooo making this up, aren't you? Please! My stomach is heaving just thinking about it!

  4. She isn't making it up. The details never change, and she's never made beef stroganoff since...

  5. Oh HOW awful! I'm so sorry. It does however make a good story! :)

  6. lol that was so funny.
    I can just picture it all lol
    The poor pup eating such hot food. No wonder it had to regurgitate and as for your friend omg!!
    Hope she is ok.
    I often think about the handles breaking carrying hot food in a bowl and hold the bowl fully with a towel. They just don't make things like they used to.
    Oh boy !

  7. Diane, I have laughed my butt off reading this post! Oh my goodness! Skaya sounds like someone I want to meet! I'm delighted at the lessons learned from this horrific attempt at a dinner party. I'm glad you've seen the light of a more practical approach to feeding guests! :) Thanks for dropping by my blog and commenting!

  8. How funny (and horrible) Too bad you never made beef stroganoff it is one of my favorites:) Thanks for the chuckle

  9. This is most definitely one of those stories that goes in the, "Horrible when it happens, but hilarious after the fact" category. :)

    When I saw the picture before I read the post it made me think of the movie, "The Shaggy Dog". That was one of my favorite movies as a kid because I thought that was the cutest dog I had ever seen!


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