Food Salvage? Nuh-uh.


My dog has a new nickname: Pot Roast.

On Monday, when I’d finally gone to the supermarket to do the “big shopping” (after weeks of successful postponement, mind you), I dragged half the groceries inside and placed them on the kitchen floor. I knew right then and there that this was a mistake, because the kitchen is my dog’s bedroom, and who can pass up breakfast in bed?

Ignoring my better judgment, I left the groceries (including a package of chicken, a package of ground turkey, and a set of buy one, get one free chuck roasts) and went back out to the car. When I opened the minivan hatch, 2 pints of grape tomatoes tumbled down and out, ultimately spilling royally and scattering all over my driveway. I’m not sure whether asphalt is (a) food safe and (b) rinsable with water, but I figured that at 5 bucks for the 2 pints, I’m willing to take my chances.

When I returned to the kitchen with the rest of the groceries and my salvaged grape tomatoes, what do I find? Yup, it’s a chuck roast, sans bag or wrapper, lying in the middle of my kitchen floor, with one miniature dachshund standing by with a “Where’d that come from?” kind of look.

I hesitated, but I’ll admit that I picked that thing up, rinsed it off, and started heating up a pan, as if some version of the three second (three minute?) rule applied to a piece of meat that was exposed to both floor germs and dog cooties. Besides, the heat would burn “it” off, right?

But then, I had visions of the newly mutated canine flu overtaking the swine strain and wiping out entire cities, with patient zero being a former columnist and blogger from Dover, Delaware who was too cheap to toss the contaminated foodstuff. I pictured my minister putting a “she was always a frugal gal” spin on my funeral, knowing full well that I sleep with an electric blanket uneconomically cranked up to 11 from September to May. And I thought of my dear, recently deceased grandfather, who, in an episode completely unrelated to his death, once soaked his Thanksgiving turkey in the stationary tub where the dirty laundry rinse water drains.

So, telling myself that the pot roast on the floor was the free one, I chucked it. Sad but necessary, especially considering that my dog’s mouth may have been on it…and you don’t want to know what I know about where that mouth has been.

Let me tell you, though, I’m keeping those tomatoes. Driveway be darned—a little tar never hurt anybody.




  1. May 6, 2009 at 1:26 pm

    Funny story, thanks for sharing!

    We have a dog that just can’t wait for us to come home from Angel Food day or the grocery store in hopes we’ll leave something on the floor. But we’ve learned from our mistakes, too, and never put the bags on the floor…one dog-eaten pack of sirloins was a tough lesson. We’re lucky enough to have plenty of counter space, but it’s just so much easier to put the bags in front of the fridge and unload them straight from there. Now, our Tibetan Terrier just lays in the floor with a sad look on her face, as we bring the bags / boxes in and set them on the counter well out of her reach!

    • scheirmad said,

      May 6, 2009 at 1:42 pm

      Hello David. Thanks for your feedback and your gracious commiseration. Dogs are lovable–and always hungry–aren’t they?

      It’s a shame that my chuck roast #2 went in the trash–it would have done so much better (had the dog not gotten to it) with a wonderful organization like Angel Food. Thanks for what you do to feed our community!

  2. Andie said,

    May 6, 2009 at 5:41 pm

    What happened to our dinner?

  3. Cheryl said,

    May 6, 2009 at 6:32 pm

    Still working on that. If you get a pot roast tomorrow, remember that they were buy one, get one, and that the one from the floor went in the trash. So, yours will be nice and clean, and in no way doggie contaminated. Enjoy!


  4. Lorraine said,

    May 7, 2009 at 7:33 am

    I can’t wait to meet “Pot Roast”! We had a border collie/ heeler cross when I was a kid who had a dreadfully sweet tooth and we learned very quickly not to leave the Easter Eggs,birthday chocolate or show bags laying anywhere the dog went. We considered ourselves lucky that he never learned to open the fridge so that was about the only safe place to hide them!
    Now I’m just wondering why you didn’t cook the pot roast for “Pot Roast”?

    • scheirmad said,

      May 7, 2009 at 10:24 am

      Unfortunately “Pot Roast,” aka “Wesley” has the weakest constitution in the canine world. The longstanding holder of The Throw-Uppingest Dog on the Planet title, he’s finally in a good place, digestively speaking. I thought that actually feeding him the pot roast might upset the balance.

      Funny story…Wesley’s brother, Beardslee, once ate about 5 inches of pepperoni that Craig had bought on a business trip right after 9/11/01. He (Craig) was out of town and, like many of us in America, was concerned about outlandish possibilities like a curtailed food supply (in those first days after the big terrorist attacks, it was hard to know what would happen). Anyway, Craig bought a pepperoni, as he didn’t have a fridge and figured it was non-perishable. The pepperoni came home with him, and was quickly discovered and consumed by Beardslee, who I’m sure came to regret it, almost instantly.

  5. Craig said,

    May 7, 2009 at 11:13 am

    I love that story about Beardslee. I never thought we’d have two “hotdogs” named Pot Roast and Pepperoni, but I guess we do!

    • scheirmad said,

      May 7, 2009 at 11:39 am

      How do you like that. I guess pork fat really does rule!

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