Christmas and Christmas dinner came early for Sandy the Labrador, with a possible New Year’s resolution in the making to go easy on the midnight snacks.
As Carmel and Pete Sandham slept early Christmas morning, their retriever went to town on a Christmas dinner for eight that had been left on a cloth on the kitchen table, ready to pop into the oven.
Mrs. Sandham had thought the food was safe from spoilage in the cool kitchen, and high enough to be safe from Sandy.
But the dog apparently tugged at the end of the cloth, bringing the feast crashing down. The Sandhams heard nothing.
For several hours, Sandy gorged.
He demolished two pounds of prawns and seven ounces of smoked salmon, meant as an appetizer.
Then, he tackled a 17-pound turkey, two pounds of sausages, 10 slices of bacon, a container of applesauce, a bowl of sage and onion stuffing, three pounds of partly cooked potatoes plus carrots, Brussels sprouts and one pound of roast parsnips prepared the week before and rolled in butter.
To top off his meal, Sandy sampled 12 miniature ginger and brandy puddings in lemon sauce, a container of fresh cream and a box of chocolates.
When Mrs. Sandham came downstairs Christmas morning, the bloated Sandy lay in his dog basket, too full to move. Around him were strewn numerous turkey bones, Brussels sprouts and carrots.
“To say I panicked would be an understatement. I was frantic,” said Mrs. Sandham.
All the stores in Oldham, a Manchester suburb, were closed for Christmas, so she couldn’t buy any fresh food.
The only thing left for Christmas dinner were meat and potato pies and fried potatoes.
“It was the worst Christmas meal I’ve ever had,” Sandham said. “The dog didn’t do badly out of it, though.”