It’s Wednesday, so we must be wrong about something. Author Kimberly Grenfell joins us today to tell us why we’re wrong about our dogs. Here’s Kimberly.
Before I begin my semi-grouse about why I believe my husband is wrong on one issue in our household, I must say this: My husband is far from dumb. He is, in fact, one of the most intelligent people I’ve ever met. And wonderful, to boot. I wouldn’t trade him for anything in the world, but . . .
Why? What’s the issue?
Well . . .
“Dogs don’t belong in the kitchen.”
Ah. Yes. Totally something a woman would say, what with dogs being man’s best friend and kitchens normally being sanitary places of culinary creation a good many wives utilize, likely on a daily basis.
Besides, women are supposed to be partial cats, right?
In our household, dogs reign supreme, and my pair of canine kids have always been a fuzzy extension of myself; whither I goest, so do they.
Living room? Obviously.
Dining room? Usually.
Bathroom? Unfortunately, yes . . . and it does get crowded in there.
Closet? Occasionally, especially since there are stray socks.
Kids’ rooms? Sometimes.
Kitchen? . . .
Dogs don’t belong in the kitchen.
I beg to differ. Whither I goest, so do they.
Now, make no mistake, my husband loves our dogs just as much as I do, but he has rejected the notion of canine “kitchen buddies.”
You see, to me, my canine kids don’t hang around the kitchen merely to beg for food, to get underfoot, or to snitch scraps that might fall from the counters. No. They’re social creatures who seek our companionship with a desire to absorb the true nature and habits of their human “pack”—yes, including (at least, in their viewpoint) any weird stuff we do in the kitchen.
Hey, they want to learn! Why deprive them?
As a result, in our house, our dogs have become my quiet partners, watching my every move involving meal preparation. It’s comforting to have company during the boredom of cooking; you know, friendly fuzzy faces I can glance at every so often, a silent support through expressions of genuine doggy interest. Not to mention funny reactions to kitchen noises: endearing head tilts at crinkles, crackles, and crunches; or the perked-up ears at the snaps, sizzles, and pops of a skillet, coupled by their “Holy smokes, what in the HECK are you doing?!” startled stares at my sudden cursing yelp from a hot splatter.
But then they calm because I’ve calmed, because they’re there, because I’ve let them stay as my canine “kitchen buddies,” and it all spirals downward into a total warm-and-melty zen moment, allowing me to enjoy the evening routine of family meal preparation. So shooing them off—i.e. removing this sensation of peace and robbing them of a learning opportunity—is, to me, akin to punting a garden gnome across a Walmart parking lot.
It just doesn’t make a lot of sense.
Hey, who listens with more intensity to the finer points of making a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, than a dog? No one. Who would want to? No one . . . but those favored canine “kitchen buddies,” of course. And I just know, deep in my heart, had my former Golden Retriever possessed a set of opposable thumbs, he would have wielded that butter knife, opened up a jar of Goober Grape, and successfully applied his in-depth knowledge of making PB&J . . . probably to our utter shock and surprise.
Yes. So I beg to differ: Dogs DO belong in the kitchen—as acute observers, comfort companions, and future sandwich makers; they want to be with us, to watch us, to learn from us, and they’re rather eager to please. What’s wrong with all of that?
Ah, but alas . . .
Perhaps one day my wonderful husband will accept if not embrace the idea of canine “kitchen buddies” and all good things that comes with it, in which case he would be 99% correct in nearly everything. Hurray! But until then, I stick by my previous statement: He’s wrong.
(. . . well, at least by that tiny 1%.)
Kimberly Grenfell (a.k.a. Devon Winterson), wife of one and mother of two human and two canine children, lives in the backwoods with black bears, coyotes, turkeys, and the occasional stray moose. In her random spare time she writes dark fantasy novels, and in July she will be opening her indie press site, Imagination Ether Press, through which she’ll promote her own projects and help support other good indie authors. She also waits with bated breath for that tiny 1% of the time her wonderful husband is wrong.
You can connect with Kimberly at Facebook or follow her blog of writer musings at The Ether of my Imagination.