Canine Casseroles

I am a fan of the food culture in Seattle particularly that enthused by Chef Ethan Stowe.

One of Ethan’s first restaurants was called “How to Cook a Wolf”. The title was from a cookbook that Ethan had discovered that espoused culinary creations from less popular cuts of meat, like, …wolf.

“How to Cook a Wolf” has been something of an epiphany for me. It has not only inspired new culinary creations it has ephanized a superior plan for travel with canines.

Because they are much smaller wolves the best way to travel with a small canine is to cook it in a casserole. Then you just freeze the casserole, wrap it in bubble wrap and carry it in one of those little cooler bags.

I am a scarred veteran of travel with canines.

I recently survived a long airplane trip with Jazz, our family canine.

Jazz is a rescue dog and the dumbest Jack Russell in history.

Calling dogs “rescue dogs” is becoming a popular way to excuse a pet’s bad manners.

Some women are now calling their husbands “rescue husbands”.

On my last trip ever with a canine, Jazz and I were returning from a family visit to Seattle. The first leg on the return trip was Seattle to Vegas.

I had learned on the trip west that Jazz hated airplanes.

Jazz had yipyapped the whole way to Seattle.

It was an exhausting six hours.

For the return event the vet suggested tranquilizers.

He said two tablets.

I set my mind on four.

At eight in the morning, I gave Jazz a pill. 

At nine I gave Jazz another pill. 

At ten, in the airport, she had her third pill and she was more alert than I was. 

I walked her through the terminal. She barked at everyone.

She did not like the escalators but she was nimble in her entrance, rise and exit. 

At the waiting area she barked fiercely at a decimated kid sitting next to us who appeared to be recovering from chemotherapy. 

The kid looked weary and sad, and Jazz barked at him incessantly.

He got up and left for another seat.

I gave Jazz another pill.  

I am an old white guy. 

While waiting in the numbered Southwest line, Jazz whined and struggled to get out of the carrier.

People were looking at me disapprovingly. 

“Look at the old, white guy hurting the little dog.”

We boarded the plane. 

“No, you can’t sit in the exit row you have a dog. You are an old white guy with a little dog and you would be no good in an emergency.”  

I put Jazz’s backside under the seat in front of me. She began to howl.

It was time for Plan B. 

Plan B involved a small dropper bottle of marijuana oil developed for dogs with anxiety.

I had scored some at a pot shop in Seattle. I also had a baggie of salami slices.

Plan B was to feed Jazz salami coated with marijuana oil.

I steadied Jazz between my knees, and dripped oil onto the salami and into Jazz.

Jazz gobbled the salami.

People were staring. They smelled pot.

“That silly old white guy is doing drugs with that dog.”

The bottle started leaking. The oil was on my fingers. It was on my clothes.

Everyone smelled pot and salami.

I smelled like a freshman pizza party.

Jazz got the munchies from the oil. Jazz wanted all that salami …NOW !!                            

Jazz was scrambling from the carrier… SALAMI…!!!…more SALAMI…!!

She dove at the bag of salami. I dropped the marijuana bottle and it rolled, dribbling, into the aisle.

Then it occurred to me.

We were 35,000 feet in the air. 

We were not on the ground in Seattle where there is a liberal attitude toward marijuana use. 

We were on an airplane – federal jurisdiction – where marijuana is still an illegal substance – and the feds take a very dim view of anyone screwing around on an airplane.

I was going to jail with this dog.

We were not arrested.

Jazz was manifestly stoned by the time we landed in Vegas. 

She staggered off the plane. 

She had done her weight in drugs.

A canine Hunter S Thompson.

Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.

I am grateful we both survived.

I will never again travel with a dog on an airplane unless it is in a casserole.

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Sean Murphy

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