With all due respect to my husband, daughter, mother and beyond, my favorite family member is the lowliest in our pack. Cleo is simple, and I mean simple, as in, she could be permanent cover girl for Really Real Simple.
Cleo is three, but never had terrible twos. She is happy to see everyone, especially mailmen bringing bills; she is overjoyed to carry the paper, full of bad news; she does not mind the rain, does not need cool boots, has a conspicuous lack of shame and requires no products for greater volume and shine.
She has no vices to speak of, but Cleo likes to chew sticks.
I am Cleo’s feeder. She might follow big-sister Josie and worship her master Greg, but I am the feeder. A little water in the dish, two scoops of pricey organic food, and then – here’s where culinary school and a decade of foodservice come into play – I do a one-handed, clockwise swirl and jump the food against the bowl. If the Food Network Dog Feeder Challenge ever calls, I’m ready.
Simple to feed and simple to snack – no foodie, all she needs to do is find the right stick.
Cleo, can I get you something with that? Pellegrino with lime? Dirty jalapeno martini?
You’re sniffing. Is that stick okay? More cumin, less oregano? Maybe next time, try a curried stick.
Ah, intermezzo. Spoonful of prawn-plum mousse, some green tea-grapefruit sorbet? Nothing?
You know, that is one nice stick. It really deserves a light panko crust, or balsamic, or some tuna for a spicy stick roll. Cleo, that stick is so nice you should blog about it. You could call it “Every Day a Stick.”
Cleo doesn’t care where the stick came from. She doesn’t care about blogging, or side dishes or garnish or if sticks are so yesterday. She just chews sticks, and then falls over in blissful, paw-twitching sleep. We always say that Cleo’s only skills are being soft, and being simple. Two sweet and desirable points, things that make it easy to play favorites, and dream of a dog’s life.