We feed the dog on raw chicken carcass and dog biscuits.

Raw chicken bones are ok, it's just cooked bones that splinter dangerously.

I can tell you this with some certainty because every ten days or so we go down to the fancy butcher's and buy a packet of CARCASSE DE POULET. They sell it for stock or something, I guess; it's a lucky-dip bag of the bits of chickens that are left over once they've put all the AILES and POITRINES and AUTRES BITS EDIBLES into nice tidy polystyrene trays. Since a RIBCAGE ET PELVIS DE POULET is a bit too much for one little dog to have all at once, I break the carcasse up into tidy meal-sized bits and freeze them. I do this by RIPPING IT APART WITH MY BARE HANDS, it's like being in the shtetl only you don't get cholera.

So I know exactly how chicken bones go when they break, and yes, they don't splinter when they're raw. So you can feed them to the dog. Costs about the same as tinned dog food, much more fun for the dog, and RIPPING UP CARCASSES WITH YOUR BARE HANDS, what's not to love?

Tangentially, we freeze the chunks by putting them on a baking tray in the freezer, so when the in-laws visited recently we had to pretend we're actually civilised, by putting them all into an old ice-cream box and making like we don't usually have chunks of raw meat just hanging out in the bottom of the freezer. Shalom bayit, yo.

Anyway, today I went to buy a packet of CARCASSE DE POULET like usual, and the tray is pretty large, so I think "Huh, that's a pretty well-endowed chicken" while I'm plomping down my deux dollars et demi.

Once dinner is cooking, it's time to chop up the chicken. Open the packet. Observe a half-inch of fat on what may once have been the shoulders. This is odd. Chickens don't usually have that much fat on them. But okay, it's a lucky-dip, evidently we have Mutant Fatty McFatso Chicken this week (speaking as the fattest girl at my gym); what else have we? Is it a neck week? A wing week?

No. There is a Thing the size of a plum in the bottom of the tray, under an anonymous mass of skin flaps and fat. Anatomically speaking, it looks like a heart ("characteristic fat deposits!" said the boyfriend, who once quit med school), but it's effing huge. There's also a horrible smooth flappy thing, ugh, must be liver, hate the texture of liver, and again, it's gigantic, this poor bastard chicken must have had GIANT ORGANS DISEASE or something because there isn't space in a normal chicken for organs this size.

Poke the organs with a knife a bit. Observe miscellaneous arteries, oozy bits, and wobbly bits. We have not had this much entertainment since we dissected pig's trotters in GSCE Biology!

Drop the heart and half the liver in the dog's bowl and turn to tackle the huge bony thing which is the rest of the packet.

Conclude with certainty that this is no chicken, unless it is Mutant Fatty McFatso Chicken with GIANT ORGANS DISEASE and also REALLY BIG BONES. Like, it's not just fat, it's got big bones. Huge bones, speaking as someone who breaks up a chicken ribcage with her bare hands approximately every other week. And unnaturally greasy flesh. It's probably a goose really. Some sort of large waterfowl.

Okay. The dog can't have a whole goose ribcage, sternum, and shoulders for one meal. Well, she could, there was that time she stole a whole package of six chicken thighs and suffered no ill-effects other than being bloated and grouchy for a day, but we generally prefer to feed the dog in moderation. So it's time to chop it up.

Decide that this much fat is probably not good for the dog. Slice it off. Contemplate rendering it into organic goose schmaltz, very shtetl, great for making fleishig sauces, schmaltz starts off a roux beautifully (shtetl, hipster-style). Set enormous heap of fat aside.

We don't have a cleaver, and cutting bones with the good knife makes your knife-proud boyfriend very cross, so what one normally does is cut the cartilage with a knife and then break the bones at appropriate points.

Turns out a goose sternum doesn't really wanna break. Can't seem to chop the ribs off either. Also, lacking good knowledge of bird anatomy, do not really know where to find the weak parts. Chickens are basically all weak parts.

Idea: a hammer! Break the sternum!

At this point common-sense intervenes: first, wrap the thing in plastic, so that bits of goose-flesh don't go flying all over the room when you hit it with the hammer and get stuck to the light bulbs. Brilliant. Yes.

Hammer it a few times. Goose apparently impervious to being hammered. Note to self: if in combat with a goose, a hammer to the sternum will not do much.

Boyfriend decides to espouse the "if it isn't working, hit it harder" school of home improvement. Hits the carcass to no effect.

Hits it more with rapidly-increasing enthusiasm.

Carcass skitters off towards the microwave.

Tell boyfriend to quit it lest the carcass decide to take refuge in the microwave and he bash the microwave in misplaced goose-bashing frenzy. Microwave belongs to landlord.

At this point the dog has finished licking the fat off the outside of the heart, and picks it up out of her bowl. She always does this with particularly large or toothsome morsels. Takes them out of her bowl and eats them in comfort on her mat. Except that today she takes the heart to the nice beige carpet. Experience visions of her sinking her teeth into the heart and it exploding like some kind of diabolical blood-filled water balloon.

(Yes, I know the heart is not full of blood at this point, but I am bashing a goose sternum with an IKEA hammer and the dog is taking a heart onto a beige carpet; I am not fully rational.)

Chase dog back to her own piece of carpet, brandishing goose-flecked hammer.

Contemplate taking goose carcass out to street and throwing it under a bus. Surely that will break it.

Abandon this idea since the bus only comes once every half an hour.

Stare at goose carcass. Contemplate not feeding dog for three days and then giving it to her as a three-days'-food-in-one bonanza. Abandon this idea since the dog is an expert scavenger and will undoubtedly find alternative sources of nutrition.

Experience primeval beserker desire to rend goose asunder.

Invent new technique. Find squishy bit; poke knife into squishy bit until resistance is encountered; wiggle knife. Withdraw knife. Grab onto both sides of squishy bit and channel primeval beserker rage into pilates-honed trapezius muscles. Ignore hideous cracking tearing noise. Feel mightier than a whole IKEA range of Norse gods and all their hammers and mythical hexagonal wrenches as bones part.

Repeat on other side. Primeval beserker desires now in full swing. LET US REND A WHOLE FLOCK OF GOOSE STERNUMS, BITCHES. I AM THE GOOSE RENDER. SEE ME REND.

Realise that mother-in-law has filled freezer to capacity. Intermission, during which a round of three-dimensional freezer tetris is played to great effect.

Arrange TORN BLOODIED PIECES OF CARCASS neatly on baking tray, very Martha Stewart Meets Zombie Apocalypse. Wonder about filming home episode of Game of Thrones. Abandon this idea since dinner is about ready and the dog is now taking the piece of liver over to the beige carpet. Duty calls.


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February 2017

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