Saturday, March 13, 2010

Adventures in Dogsitting: What Goes With Oatmeal?

In case you're wondering, aside from the run-away oatmeal incident, yesterday's oatmeal turned out quite well.

Okay... maybe "quite well" is pushing it. It is acceptable. It is similar to the "perfect pot" of oatmeal Amy left for me.

So, what do the dogs eat besides oatmeal?

Mostly chicken thighs. That's easy, though- chuck thighs in the crock pot, cook all day, fish out of fat, burn the prints off your fingertips trying to remove skin from meat and meat from bone, put meat on top of oatmeal, serve.

Easy, aside from the burning the snot out of your finger tips when you pull the thighs out of the slow cooker.

Well, Amy left me with enough chicken thighs to get through most of the week, with a couple "quick-fix-extras" to cook the other nights.

Me, being the caring person I am, didn't want the dogs to eat chicken thighs every day until I ran out and then have to eat other stuff until Amy came home, so between "thigh cooking-s" I thought I'd use some of the quick-fixes to break things up. So, the first night between thigh cookings, I used chicken soup. Easy enough.

The next morning, I grabbed a can of mackerel.

Before I go any further, let me tell you about fish.

I hate it. I think its gross. Its pretty much the one thing I won't eat. I'd eat a big ol' steak before I'd eat fish. I don't even like when people I'm eating with eat fish. Because it smells fishy. And it tastes fishy. And its just... blech. Gross.

I CAN, however, eat tuna. Sometimes. I used to eat it a lot, when mom would make tuna melts etc. I can HANDLE tuna.

Now let me tell you more about fish. A story, even.

When I was ittybitty, my family was on vacation. We were in Michigan. Or Wisconsin. Or maybe Indiana. I don't remember, I was ittybitty. Keep that in mind. Anyway, it doesn't matter- we were somewhere in the midwest. For some reason, they decided to take us to a trout farm. Maybe we passed it and they thought it would be fun, maybe they knew it was there and it was a special trip, maybe... well, who knows, really.

I'm sure I had expressed an interest in fishing, because my dad and brother occasionally went fishing. I'm SURE I just wanted to sit on the dock with a pole and a bobber and no hook and "fish." Of this, I am sure. I probably did not express that quite coherently.

So, they took me to the trout farm. Naturally, I caught a trout. Again, I'm sure my ideal version of fishing would have been throwing a handful of fish food over the railing on the dock. And again, I'm sure I didn't quite express that.

So I had this trout. And my parents were proud of me! And they wanted to take a picture of me with my trout! What a momentous occasion! But wait...

I was horrified. It was DYING! It had a HOOK IN ITS MOUTH! I was responsible for that. They wanted me to hold it up by the HOOK! It started to BLEED! I was a murderer! I could never call myself an animal lover again! What a horrible person I was! I was the murderer of innocent trout and I could never be forgiven. Besides, what kind of person takes pictures while holding suffocating, bleeding, flopping, hooked trout?

I started to cry.

No, I didn't just cry. When I was ittybitty, I couldn't just cry.

I sobbed and bawled and everything-short-of-hyperventilated like I had lost the only friend I ever had. Poor little trout. Poor ittybitty sobbing-while-holding-a-bleeding-trout-and-yes-there-is-photographic-evidence-of-this-somewhere Lauren.

That may or may not have something to do with my utter loathing of fish.

Fast forward 20-some years to not-as-itty-bitty Lauren, doing the big-girl job of dogsitting for her riding instructor's 6 dogs. Who always eat oatmeal and sometimes eat fish. Out of a can.

So, I open a can of mackerel, expecting something like tuna fish.
Tuna. I can handle Tuna. 

I open the can. My face wrinkles up like I found something stinky and dead. I grab a fork and go to fork some mackerel out into the first bowl. Remember, I had deluded myself into thinking I was going to get something like the above picture out of this can. 

I was WRONG. Have you ever seen canned mackerel? No? Here's a stock photo I found on the internet. You'll have to make do with a stock photo because THERE IS NO WAY IN HELL I AM OPENING ANOTHER CAN OF MACKEREL. EVER. AGAIN.
*Lauren grabs barf bag*

Its like... slabs of fish, shoved into a can. When I stuck my fork into the can, expecting TUNA, I was rewarded with half of a fish. There are bits and pieces of fish in that can that should never be consumed. Shiny bits, crunchy bits, innards. (Okay, maybe I'm using a bit of hyperbole here. I don't care. I'm making a point, right?) But my reaction to what I found in that can can only be described as... visceral.

Maybe you would eat them. I wouldn't want to offend you if you're a lover of canned mackerel. Obviously the dogs enjoy it! I have a strong stomach. I talk about things over dinner that would make most people gag a little. Or a lot. I can't handle a can of fish.

It smelled like fish. It was seeping into my pores. I had to rinse the bowl and run the dishwasher immediately. I took the garbage out and it wasn't even full. 

Okay, okay, maybe I over reacted. I mean, I doubt it, but maybe you think so. 

But let it be known that I think canned mackerel is the nastiest thing ever. In fact, I may be self-diagnosing myself with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder right now, via this enlightening blog post. 

So, sorry dogs, if you want mackerel on your oatmeal again, you'll just have to wait until your Mom gets home. I will feed you chicken soup and chicken thighs and oatmeal. And I will have no issues besides those listed previously. 

Mackerel. Is. Out.


  1. I am pretty sure that I would have to put a tent in the back yard and get out of that house after a can of anything "fish" was opened in the house. A guy at work microwaved some kind of fish thing last week. He won't be doing that again.

  2. LoL!! This is fabulous. I'm pretty grossed out by the canned mackerel as well and I LOVE fish! I'm still weirded out though that these dogs eat people food rather than dog food.

  3. I like fish but I find canned Mackerel gross as well. I used to buy it for my dearly departed Himalayan cat and I just tried not to look or smell when I opened the can and scooped it out.

  4. I absolutely LOVED all the posts about dogsitting. Hilarious friend!! I sent them all to my friend who is starting her own dogfood business and keeps a blog about it. I know she's going to love them too. :) Thanks for the laughs. Oh, and here's a fun little video for you. ;)

  5. Well... at least she didn't leave tripe for you to feed. Bleeeech!