The holidays roll around and people rejoice and enjoy huge turkey dinners and stuff themselves until they can hardly walk. Did you smile as you read that? Then you probably had a great time with family on Thanksgiving Day.
But in the animal shelters around the country, dogs and cats are miserably—yet hopefully—waiting for someone to take them home. Two years ago "Cannoli the Brave" was among them. Then someone walked into the shelter and made the fluffy, white dog's dreams come true.
Buffalo, New York, Chef Malik Von Saint adopted Cannoli about two years ago, just in time for the holidays. As he reflected on his happiness, he began to consider the shelter pets who would not be in families or share a celebration of any kind. And that got him thinking.
What did he have that could bless all the dogs and cats in the Buffalo Animal Shelter? His talent cooking gourmet meals came to mind, and he decided to do what he does best. He'd cook a full, gourmet Thanksgiving Day meal for all the shelter pets, and make it an annual undertaking!
He just couldn't stand the thought of all those animals without humans to share the holidays with. "Them alone, while we celebrate with friends and family, did not sit well with me." he said.
Being careful with the ingredients (after all, he didn't want them to get upset tummies!), he cooked up a menu that was haute cuisine for the animals. Not only that, but they were served on beautiful china plates with garnishes to fit the dish. To top it all off, it was a three-course meal!
Cats and dogs alike enjoyed specially prepared dinners. Dogs were presented with beef tartare for the first course, followed by chicken sous-vide, roasted sweet potato, basmati rice and broccoli florets. He even cooked up a recipe for homemade dog ice cream. Von Saint calls it crème glacée de woof. Cats got similar fare, including a milk soup (made with 99% lactose-free milk), fish with no extra oil or butter that Von Saint calls Le Chats Paradis, and a tiny catnip cupcake he named Le Gateau Cattier.
The event hoped to draw attention to the animals in the shelter, perhaps garnering donations from people, or even better, get them to take one of those animals home. Now that would be something to celebrate!
So many pets are in shelters, and without the kindness of humans who learn of their situation, they would either live out their lives in confinement and without people to love, or even worse, be euthanized.
How was your Thanksgiving? Did you reach out to those less fortunate than you are? How about visiting your local shelter this year and seeing how you can contribute to the welfare of the dogs and cats there?