“Don’t you ever run out of D & A (short for Dolce and Amore) stories to write about?” friends often ask me. Even Malcolm will question, “how do you remember all the things Amore and Dolce do?” I think to myself, of course I remember the silly antics of Amore and funny things Dolce does. They’re my kids. My brain goes into mother mode and takes a memory snapshot of their canine shenanigans. I mean, hello? Have ya’ not been reading along here? Dolce and Amore never fail to deliver. Those two are always up to something.
I equate all this to coffee. Something is always brewing. And we have lost more than one coffee filled cup to a swish of a tail or a head lifting muzzle.
The funny thing is, the girls understand the importance of coffee. The start of their mornings evolve around my first cuppa Joe on to Malcolm’s reheating the coffee pot a few hours later. The girls know they will get fed directly following my early morning stumble out to the kitchen to turn on the coffee maker. They eagerly trail behind me as I make my way to the counter and push the start button. They hear that loud beep and they take their places next to their individual feed stands, ready for deliverance. Their breakfast comes after my coffee. Oh yeah, coffee is a big deal to them.
I’ve always enjoyed my coffee. When I was a kid, I remember being told to drink it black. Straight up. No fillers. Leaded. I took that to mean only wussies put cream and sugar in their coffee. Back then, we didn’t have Starbucks in our lives. Skinny Lattes and Cafe Mochas were never heard of. Our choices were limited to Folgers and MJB. Sometimes Sanka (uck!). If you worked in an office, Farmers Brothers was your only option in the employee lounge. Juan Valdez was our coffee god.
Coffee is my social hour. I savor the dark rich brew as I enjoy the early morning hours prior to leaving for work. Me, Dolce and Amore cuddled together, as I read the morning news. I savor my friendships as I join my BFFs on weekends for a small respite from the dogs, catching up on what’s going on. I savor the enjoyment of a special brew after a special dinner on the town. Winding down the conversation before we pay, leave and head home to Dolce and Amore. One last moment of a perfect meal someone else prepared.
I learned to appreciate coffee even more so when I had an opportunity to spend several weeks in Brasil. Coffee harvesting is extremely labor intensive. Hand-picked, those little beans eventually end up in a football field sized brick floor, sorted by color and hand-raked with brooms into rows for further processing. And, those hardened hands that picked the beans only make about $5 a tree as they pick their way through the orchard. Since then, I have never questioned the cost of coffee or the price of a Starbucks.
Dolce and Amore get pretty excited once Malcolm is ready to get going for the day. The hours between me leaving for work and Malcolm arising from slumber, leave them eager for company. The girls have learned a different beep with Malcolm. Malcolm is usually left with a cold pot of coffee that he will nuke for his morning beverage. The two minutes in the microwave is when they get the Malcolm Morning Meet n’ Greet. From the first beep of starting the microwave to the final beep announcing the nuke job is done, the coffee hot, the dogs get their morning love from Malcolm. Two minutes of rubbing, scratching and love. Yep, Dolce and Amore understand the importance of coffee.
So, as long as our household doesn’t run out of coffee, I won’t run out of stories about the dogs. However, I do confess, I have, at times, resorted to stealing hotel room coffee packets for our emergency stash.