A Story and a Recipe

By Dorothy Johnson


The first dog that I remember having on the farm was my sister’s collie-shepherd, Laddie.  There was no question that Laddie was my sister’s dog.  He went everywhere my sister went. My sister was nine and a half years older than I so the dog already belonged to her before I came along.  I loved Laddie, but I never could inch my way into his heart the way my sister had.  Laddie was a typical long-nosed collie even though my mother had sent away for a collie-shepherd.  He came in on the train in Calais and became my sister’s family.  When I was about six, Laddie went down by the woodshed one Easter morning and died.  He was old by then and my sister was about 16, but his passing left a big hole on the farm.

Then Tippy came in on the train too, but he was not of the even temperament that Laddie had been.  In fact he may have been more shepherd (German shepherd, that is) than collie.  He had long silky brown hair and learned very fast that he was all mine.  Tippy was definitely my dog and was very suspicious of anyone else around us especially anyone who approached me.  He was particularly hard on Aunty and she never did learn to trust him.  He and my father had several arguments when my father told Tippy to do something and all Tippy did was snarl and bare his teeth. With my father’s temperament towards animals, Tippy did not do that too many times.

Life on the farm continued as expected with a girl, her dog and many adventures.  Then another dog came to the farm.  No one is sure where this dog, a short, shaggy, loving pet named Ginger, came from, but he settled into farm life and joined the action on the farm.  Ginger had several faults.  First, he chased cats and kittens; second, he cause trouble between other dogs.  He would get Tippy and Prince, Aunty’s little bull dog, into fight-to-the-death situations and he would be the only dog to come out of a fight unscathed. This situation was not a big problem until the farmhouse burned and we all moved back to the little house just across the road from Aunty’s and therefore, Prince’s territory. Then we had about one big dog fight every week.

These were the only dogs on the farm in my day.  I did have a mutt when I lived in the Swamp on Palm Street and of course, I had Orie who was taken over and adopted by my mother. All of my dogs were smart and for the most part, they were good dogs.  Lulu, the present farm dog, is a lot of company during these stormy days, but she does have some peculiarities that I have not experienced before.

Lulu is having a difficult time adapting to Maine’s winter, especially this winter.  We were lucky for most of the winter because the wind blew the snow off the deck that we used for our outdoor trips.  Then the storm came that did not blow off the deck and Lulu could not get off the deck without fetching up on the snow. She would jump off the step, go into the snow to her belly and stay there spinning her paws.  Those paws did not even touch the ground. Since she could not get off the deck, I just put her lead on and while she went on the deck, I stayed inside.

Then we had a few days of melting weather and she would not go off the deck unless I went out with her. She would sit in the corner of the deck and not budge.  We had a battle of wills, and she won.  I resumed going out on the deck with her.  Imagine her surprise this morning when she went out and found snow once again. She decided that she did not have to leave the deck and she did not.

Besides the weather, another problem that Lulu has is that she likes to eat cloth items.  The other night she settled in down by my feet while I was watching television.  I thought, “This is what I wanted…a loving dog who wants to sit by me.” Then I realized she was chewing my blanket. So much for my loving, cuddly dog. 

Lulu also prefers human food to dog food.  She is non-discriminating and eats anything I have to eat. I expect that the veterinarians would say that dogs need dog food and I was looking for a nice recipe for all of us.  Then I realized that since Lulu will eat anything, I could put any kind of recipe in here.  I found a recipe that would make a great dessert for Easter dinner. It is quick, easy and delicious and I found it in the cookbook, The Daughters’ Favorite Recipes of the Daughters of Isabella in Eastport. Here is the Mandarin Orange Cake Recipe.

Mandarin Orange Cake


One yellow cake mix

One cup oil

Four eggs

One small can of mandarin oranges and juice


Mix all together and pour into a greased and floured 

13 by 9 inch cake pan.

Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes.  Cool.


One (20 ounce) canned of crushed pineapple and juice

One package instant vanilla pudding

One (eight once) Cool Whip

Mix all together and frost cooled cake.

Keep refrigerated.


Enjoy this quick and easy cake with your friends and your dog.