As I whipped up some clam dip this afternoon, for a special gathering, I was reminded of Babe, the Black and Tan Coonhound that befriended us this past Christmas.
It was cold and rainy, when we pulled up to the Water Valley Inn the night of December 26. Perched on a hill overlooking miles of rolling farmland, the 1920s-era farmhouse is our home-away-from-home, when we visit our daughter and her family, whose Owl Creek Winery and vineyards are just down the road.
As our son, Charlie, stepped out of the car, he was greeted by a wagging, wriggling, seal-soft hound that cried and whimpered as if he was her long lost master. Since she was wearing a collar, we hoped we might coax her into the house so that we could read her tag. But when we opened the door, she trotted right in, then stood looking at us with her tail wagging, as if to say, “Welcome home.”
Her tag told us that her name was Babe. While we waited for her owner to return our call, Babe wandered into the kitchen, where I found her standing politely but deliberately in front of a cabinet. She wasn’t exactly pointing, because her lovely, long tail was arched upward and her front end was erect, but I knew that she knew that there was food in the cabinet. (more…)