As I mentioned last week, neighborhood events coincided with the teenager’s pet sitting commitments to have us at full capacity with dogs— except for Buddy who at the last minute got to go on vacation with his family.
Little Dog Sobaka’s mom left for a wedding in Western Pa., allowing me the time to teach Sobaka that Bean might be scary but she’s really just a big, dumb puppy and not a threat.
And the teenager decided to test Sobaka’s ingenuity and made her eat her nightly supper from a dog puzzle. Bean would have just eaten the puzzle.
Video: Baki learns the treat puzzle
On Friday night, Baki and I slept in my bed with Louise and Khloe hiding under the bed. On Saturday, the teenager left for her housesitting job, so I planned a sleepover in the living room—Baki and I in the hand-me-down pull-out couch bed and Bean in her downstairs crate.
The clientele for the week includes 2 dogs (one geriatric German shepherd with mobility struggles), two personal cats, one Senegal parrot and at least eight foster kittens who all need meds.
My daughter is a very special pet sitter. I have heard horrible stories and witnessed some of friends hiring people to care for their pets and these people neglect their wards. When my daughter accepts a job, her focus becomes that household and my job is to make sure I maintain standards at home. She spends a lot of time doting on animals.
I provide back up and moral support and make sure the pet sitter doesn’t live on diet soda and chips for the week. She usually has me over to the home once or twice so I know the basics should she need to leave or needs help.
Last night the “can you come see if the cat likes you better than he likes me” request ended up being a three hour visit because she wanted me to shoot video of how well the German Shepherd was doing to set the family at ease.
And a little after 8 pm, I announced I was going home to make supper.
“I forgot the food you told me to take,” the child says.
It’s almost 8:30 on a Sunday night in the town where her father grew up and not our own— the mom and pop places are closing up and I don’t have the time or patience for a sit down meal.
We find Tuscana Pizza & Pasta. The first thing I see when I walk in the door is empanadas. There are seven slices of pizza on the counter, a pile of garlic knots and the empanadas.
There are three slices of pepperoni, one plain, two sausage and peppers and one meat lovers.
We take one of each and some garlic knots. $16.47.
They start speaking Spanish to each other at the register. When everything gets done, they take it out of the oven, throw it in a large pizza box, hand it to us and tell us goodbye.
Obviously they were trying to close the restaurant and didn’t want us hanging around.
We were okay with that. We ate in the car.
The sausage and pepper slice was really good, but I don’t like onions so I could only make it through half. The garlic knots were soft— I’m used to them being like chunks of pizza crust but these were like dinner rolls smothered in butter and garlic.
I love neighborhood pizza shops. I love the ambiance. I love them simple. I wish they’d stop trying to be full fledged restaurants and push slices and pies and sugary concoctions like the mysterious red “jungle juice” of my youth and arcade games and pinball.
My daughter— who has apparently spent far too much time in town ordering Dominos or grabbing Little Caesars and eating it four hours later “like a ravenous beast” (her words) on the band bus— always acts like every time we have real pizza, it’s the first time and it’s the best food she’s every had in her life. She moans with every mouthful.
Last night was no exception.