A wonderful thing happened to me last weekend while I was down on the floor checking out the bottom shelf of a display at A. C. Moore for an art lamp that Lesley needed. Two ladies came down the aisle accompanied by a very large (are there any other kind?) Great Dane. The doggie came over and licked my face as I was struggling to my feet. Indicating her dog, one of the ladies told me that, “She can help you get up.”
And I’ll be damned if this wasn’t the biggest, friendliest service dog I have ever seen. And she had an official Service Dog badge on to prove it. A big badge. To match the rest of her.
When you are very young or at the other end of the life spectrum you find that arms are better at pulling than legs are at pushing when you find yourself on the floor, so I just grabbed onto that wonderful animal and pulled myself up. I tried to tell the three females how much I appreciated the help, but one of the ladies said that her dog was just doing her job.
I was behind them in the checkout line and we were all telling the cashier, a teenager, that the service dog had helped me get up. The young girl thought for a minute and said, “How? She doesn’t have any thumbs.”
You just can’t make these stories up. They have to be true.
I checked out service dogs on the internet and according to what I found, it looks like all you have to do is get a doctor to say that you meet some ADA disability standard or other, grab yourself a nice dog and “train” him, and you have a companion who can go everywhere with you. You know there are even psychiatric service dogs for folks who have trouble coping with people and are OK with dogs. This certainly makes sense to me.
Lesley says I can’t use Clancy because he is shy and too old. Lucy won’t hold me and there is no point in considering little Bennie. But I am filing this info away and making plans for the future when I have even more trouble getting back up off the floor.
It just seems a lot better to whistle for a dog than to whine about how I have fallen and can’t get up.
And speaking of chicken….
Jalapeno Roasted Chicken
1/2 cup packed fresh oregano leaves or 1/3 cup dried oregano
1 shallot, peeled and roughly chopped
4 garlic cloves, peeled
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 jalapenos, stemmed and seeded
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
1(5 1/2-pound) roasting chicken
2 sprigs fresh rosemary
2 shallots, coarsely chopped
1 1/2 cups chicken broth, plus more if needed
3/4 cup dry white wine or 1/3 cup white wine vinegar
Salt and freshly cracked black pepper
Special equipment: 1 roasting pan with rack.
Position a rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
In the bowl of a food processor, combine the oregano, shallot, garlic, butter, 2 tablespoons olive oil, the jalapeno, salt and pepper and process to form a coarse paste.
Pat the chicken dry and then put it, breast side up, on a rack in a large roasting pan. Using your fingers, loosen the skin from the chicken breast, legs, and thighs without detaching it. Spread half of the jalapeno paste under the skin. Put the rosemary and the shallots in the cavity of the chicken. Tie the chicken legs together with kitchen twine. Spread the remaining jalapeno paste all over the exterior of the chicken.
Pour the chicken broth and wine or wine vinegar into the roasting pan. Tent the chicken in foil and roast it for 1-1/2 hours, basting with the pan juices every 20 minutes, adding more broth to the pan if it begins to dry out. Remove foil and continue roasting and basting until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the innermost part of the chicken thigh, without touching the bone, registers 180 degrees F, about another hour. Remove the roast chicken from the oven, tent it in foil and let it rest for 15 minutes.
Arrange the chicken on a platter and serve.