Chef Joey👨‍🍳: always in fashion!❄️ … Vinny’s “tale”!🐶 + 🎄🎶

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Make a great salad today, but hold the chicken, bacon crumbles, (in other words: meat!)! ICT file photo: Rose T.

By Chef Joey❄️🐿️🎅

Some days start out wonderful and, for an unknown reason, chaos ensues, and after the “storm” a calm generally takes place. Not this story. This is a different twist on recipes, neighbors, dogs and social media.

I was taking pictures in my kitchen for an recipe for InCity Times online and making one of my new “Healthy Lunch” quinoa salads that I’ve been making, due to a recent surgery to replace discs in my upper neck. I need to watch my weight. The recipes for my Dijon and Greek Quinoa salads will be at the end of this story, so you will have healthy lunch choices that are nutritious and gluten-free.

So, I glance over at my sliding glass door and I see two massive dogs (over 100 pounds each) peering in through the screen door. I said out loud: “Who do you belong to? I’ve never seen you before.” At this point my little pups come out – Vinny who at 12 pounds considers himself a fair match should Godzilla appear – makes a warning bark and within three seconds the screen door is popped off, plants go flying, and Vinny gets dragged out of the house and is suddenly becoming the mastiff’s snack.

I drop what I am doing and lunge outside – I have no business doing this as I had two discs and titanium plates inserted into my upper neck Friday. I am on bed rest and nothing over 5 pounds to lift; my right side is compromised due to having pinched nerves and not being as strong as my left side.

This is the chaos: The attack dog that we will call “Rover” randomly bit my dog without making a single sound, while the other dog looked on blankly. I pounced on the dog and pried its mouth open like a fool, but that was my instinctive reaction to protect my “fur baby”! I successfully opened his jaw and Vinny, all the while yelping for his life, is free. No sooner does this happen then the mastiff lunges forward and chomps down again on Vinny, causing a blood curdling scream from Vinny. At this point, I notice a young boy behind me visibly shaken and a stream of “Oh my God’s!” and “I’m so Sorry!” while I said: Stay back so you don’t get hurt (I know this little boy as a friend of my daughter’s and one of the great neighborhood kids who loved swimming in my backyard swimming pool with the neighbors’ kids).

Now Richard comes out and says: “What the F*#@ is going on?!” and sees the scene. He jumps in and restrains “Rover” from behind, and I successfully open his jaw again and Vinny scampers away sideways, while yelping in pain. He bolts away, so fast, like I have never seen …

I look at the boy, and he explained to me that the dogs got out of their pen. It was his fault. He was so sorry; he was crying and shaking and quite frankly stunned.

I told him to take his dog home – now. I needed to find Vinny to assess the situation. He had run away into the woods behind our house. I was now in pain, as my adrenalin was no longer needed.

I run around my house looking for Vinny – nothing. I am back in my back yard and the boy is still standing there, in shock. I say, “Get that dog OUT OF HERE!” and he couldn’t as he had no leash. I told him to take my dog run and use it and bring it back. I head for the woods, no Vinny.

I am walking, yelling, hoping to find my dog. I stop at the neighbors, they are mortified, but jump I to help with the search. I now had to stop walking, my right side was hurting me, my neck was sore, and I realized I had been bitten by a 100-pound mastiff three times. I paid no attention until I stopped looking.

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Baby♥️ Cece, what are you doing here?! 📷:R.T.

So this is the part about pets: I have and always have owned pets, dogs and cats, and they all get along, sleep in the same beds, love their treats and pats on their backs and heads – and most important – cuddles. I give my daughter hugs and cuddles and do everything to make her a gentle soul to all creatures. The dog that broke through our sliding door, almost killed Vinny and left me with three big puncture wounds – this dog “Rover” was NOT socialized. He was horrible with dogs and people. I learned he was a rescue from another state, but he was not ‘social’ – he lacked a certain connection that most happy dogs have. When you knock on my door, you get the warning barks, but once inside and my dogs know you are ok, you get slurped – like it or not. Even with this situation, I did not sense that at all.

So I get the hydrogen peroxide, I clean my wounds, call the police to report a loose dog with no collar because it came off during the skirmish, then contacted animal rescue, and then SOCIAL MEDIA. I started with the “Nextdoor” app – I posted the story and started getting feedback. Then I posted to Facebook, and all my pet lover friends shared it to their walls. It was magical!! Then this is where my village comes together! A real, old-fashioned search party was forming! People dropped what they were doing (it is now 4:30 p.m.) and started coming to my house with flashlights, snacks and the desire to help find my Vinny. We had about 18 people total.

At one point on the ‘Nextdoor’ app, someone posted they saw a dog whimpering in the ball field about a mile from my house close to 7:30 p.m., mentioning they just saw the post. With that lead, my neighbors down the street, mind you now it is pitch black, raining and cold, call me to tell me they found Vinny – cold, scared and barking: stay away from me! But also yelping and crying for help. They called me and Richard, and I flew down to the park where they isolated him into a corner. The only light source was the LED headgear that they sported. They had blankets for us to wrap him up in … I picked Vinny up and he passed out immediately.

I chose to bring my pup home to evaluate the situation, knowing this could be an expensive night. All his punctures were scabbed and only his paw was bleeding from where he was grabbed in the house. I cleaned him up, sensed there were no major arteries hit, and he ate and ate and zoomed to his bed and slept. The next day we went to the vet’s, and the doc told us Vinny had a lot of trauma to his spine and was swollen. All the bites were clean and, since we didn’t have proof of rabies for the other dog, Vinny needed a booster, in addition to antibiotics and pain meds.

These days our Vinny is recuperating just fine and is almost 100% back to normal. We found out “Rover” was not vaccinated for rabies and the vaccine had expired – so I had to go get shots! Eight the first day, then five more shots over a period of two weeks! I have one more and am done!

Social media saved “Vinny” from hypothermia and coyotes! We have our share over here! The feedback on FB when we posted “FOUND!” was pure joy! So the moral of the story is stay connected – with your neighbors, your pets, your kids and online!

Now go make a salad!

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Chef Joey and family♥️! photo submitted

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