Tuesday, July 09, 2013 8:20 AM
Sandy waits for a taste of steak
By Lee Jennings | Special to the Times
The smell of perfectly grilled rib eye steaks floated through the summer air. Sandy the farm hound inhaled the delicious smell as she waited in the bed of the truck for the Baker family. The Bakers were eating their meal inside the Beef Mastor Inn, one of their favorite places to eat a juicy steak, baked potato and a fresh salad. Sandy and her 1-year-old puppy, Fudge, paced back and forth every time the door to the restaurant opened, as they sniffed the air.
The parking lot at the restaurant was packed with cars as it was on Friday evenings. Several Wilson residents and visitors waited in their cars with their air conditioners purring. When they would see a waiter come to the door, they would roll down their windows to see if the waiter was calling their name for the next available table. Other customers were sitting on their tailgates or standing around talking while they waited.
Sandy and Fudge watched as the people visited with each other and would then head into the restaurant. Some people were dressed up. Others were dressed casually in shorts and T-shirts. There were children and grown-ups. There were different kinds of people with different kinds of cars and trucks. But no other dogs were to be seen anywhere.
A soft summer wind blew Sandy’s fur as she sat there quietly observing everything around. Fudge was now lying down taking a snooze. The Baker family had been in the restaurant for a while now. They had been welcomed at the front door by the owner of the Beef Mastor, Chad, who was grilling steaks to perfection.
"Hey, Shug,” Chad said to 6-year-old Emma Baker as he flipped a steak on the open grill. There was hardly room for the people heading to the cash register as the Bakers were shown to their table. It was shoulder to shoulder. The cozy accommodations were part of the fun at Beef Mastor. It wasn’t fancy, just good and comfortable. And if somebody thought it was going to be fancy, they forgot about it when they tasted the food.
The Bakers had eaten their meal and were paying. Chad asked Mr. Baker if he still had the yellow dog that helped him on the farm. Mr. Baker told him that he did still have Sandy and one of her puppies. He told Chad that both of them were waiting in the bed of the truck with instructions to be quiet and not to leave the truck.
They both agreed that Sandy was the smartest dog they had ever seen. Emma carried a doggy box with some steak scraps that she had saved for Fudge and Sandy. Out of the goodness of his heart, Chad added some grilled fat to the box. Mr. Baker thanked Chad, and they shook hands as the Bakers left.
When they got to the truck, Emma opened the box and gave Sandy and Fudge their steak. The dogs enjoyed it so much that they licked their lips over and over after they finished eating. Sandy knew that Fudge had enjoyed her steak as much as she did by the way her lips curled up in a smile.
The trip home was filled with singing by the Bakers who had the back window open. As the truck pulled into the long drive that led to the Baker farm, Sandy and Fudge sat in contentment in the back with their tongues hanging out. When the truck stopped, Mr. Baker let down the tailgate for Sandy and Fudge to get out.
Mrs. Baker and Emma were walking up the steps where the porch light welcomed them home. Mrs. Baker was so glad that she didn’t have to clean up the kitchen after a good meal. She and Emma waited as Mr. Baker unlocked the door, and they entered the farm house kitchen.
Sandy and Fudge went to the backyard and were sniffing of everything, making sure everything was in its place. Mr. Baker told Mrs. Baker that he was going to check on the sheep. Since he was going to be outside, Emma wanted to know if she could go outside and catch lightning bugs. Mrs. Baker said that would be fine.
The warm night air was light and comfortable. The soft green grass felt like carpet under Emma’s little feet. Sandy walked with Mr. Baker down to the sheep pasture and the barn, while Fudge stayed to play with Emma.
When Sandy was through with her chores, she sat down beside Mr. Baker on the back steps to watch Emma and Fudge. Mr. Baker rubbed her soft, fuzzy head. It had been a satisfying night. Sandy lay down with her chin resting on her front paws as she thought about how thankful she was to be lying on the soft grass under the starry sky after a taste of the best steak she had ever had. If you stop to think about it, we all have a master who satisfies our every need if we wait on him in obedience.