Turkey necks!

I’ve been buying frozen marrow bone slices for my dog at Publix for years. He loves chewing them and I am certain that they are great for keeping his teeth clean. Someone somewhere discovered a market for marrow bones among dog lovers, so the price has steadily increased. The last batch I bought went for $2.19 a pound!

However, marrow bones are not always easy to find at my neighborhood Publix. Over time I have established that the truck delivers them on Thursday nights and they may be available on Saturday morning, but you better get their early. They are popular!

For the past two weeks, I’ve been looking for a new supply of marrow bones. But the meat case where I usually find them has been filled with turkeys for Thanksgiving. And not just turkeys. Turkey necks. Piles and piles of packages of turkey necks. I asked myself, “What in the world do people do with turkey necks?”

Well, it turns out you can do a lot with turkey necks. You can sear them, roast them, eat them and enjoy them. But most importantly, you can give them to your dog!

What? You don’t give turkey bones (or chicken bones) to your dog! Do you want a boatload of trouble? Well, as it turns out, dogs love them and it is fine to give raw ones to your dog. I learned about it here. Cook them, and you might have trouble. Frozen or dried? A treat!

I am not the first to discover this treat. The packs of turkey necks at our Publix are selling for $3.49 a pound! Yep, someone is making a fortune on something many people simply tossed out in the garbage. Never again. My doggo will now also get some turkey necks!

“Here are some treats.”

My dog Samson and I had just headed out for a longer walk yesterday afternoon when a neighbor unloading her car said, “Hey, I’ve got something for you!” I don’t know her name, but I am certain we’ve waved at each other before. She handed me a grocery bag and said, “Here are some dog treats. We just had to put our dog down, and you’re the first one I saw, so you can have them.”

The words put our dog down immediately tugged at my heart. In an instant I pictured every single one I ever had to put to sleep. I said, “I know that’s hard. How old was your dog?”

“She was thirteen-an-a-half; just a little Yorkie.” As far as I’m concerned, the words “just” or “little” aren’t appropriate for describing our dogs. Each one claims significant acreage in our hearts, regardless of their actual size or age. That brief moment of sharing spoke volumes. But all I could say was, “Thank you so much!”

Sam and I talked about the encounter as we continued our walk. Well, he just listened, as I reflected how nice it was to take home an extra bag of treats and what a good dog he was.

Brown dog security company

Brown Dogs

The two brown dogs guarding our home raise the alert status to Defcon 5 about every fifteen minutes or so. Growls, woofs and urgent barks echo through the house for any of the following reasons.

  • The mailman is delivering the mail.
  • The garbage man has arrived.
  • The UPS man has arrived.
  • The Fedex guy has arrived.
  • The neighbor across the street has opened his garage door.
  • The neighbor has closed his garage door.
  • Our garage door has opened.
  • The neighbor from down the street is walking by.
  • The neighbor from down the street is walking by with a dog.
  • The neighbor from down the street is riding by on a bicycle.
  • A car door opens.
  • A car door shuts.
  • A squirrel runs across the fence.
  • Something sounds like a knock at the door.

This is the short list. I am sure there are many more in the Florida Brown Dog home security manual.

“Can we play with your dogs?”

Two Labrador dogs

We lived on the end of the row while I was doing my vicarage (internship) in Baltimore, so we actually had a yard in-between us and the church. It wasn’t a big yard, but was fenced in so the dogs could be out there.

We also lived right across the street from an elementary school. I was told that over six hundred children lived in the nine-square blocks about the school. I don’t doubt that estimate. There were always kids coming and going, running and laughing.

And knocking at our door. You see, we had the dogs. We brought the yellow Lab, Gabriel, with us. We brought home a chocolate Lab, Rachel, a few months after we arrived in the city. They were great companions at home, on walks and when I went for runs. They were great watchdogs, too. Right after we arrived, a repairman came to the house to fix a lock. Gabriel had him pinned against the wall with a snarl I had never seen before.

And the neighborhood kids loved them. It was not unusual to hear a knock at the door and find 18-20 kids on the front step asking, “Can we play with your dogs?” We would let them out in the side yard and the dogs would chase the herd of kids to one end of the yard, and then the kids would chase the kids to the other end. The smaller children would ride the dogs around the yard like ponies. The kids would throw balls and sticks, and then try to wrestle them away from the dogs.

I’m not sure who loved it more – the kids or the dogs. Finally the kids would tire or have to go home, and the dogs would collapse, exhausted and happy, panting with their tongues rolled out on the floor.

We were there over thirty years ago, yet I can still vividly remember the sound of gunfire from a passing car, the all night conversations and music passing by our window, and those excited little voices asking, “Can we play with your dogs?”