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The Recipe Department

2015-06-09 08.02.00-1--FB 6-9-15I sensed it was a wrong number but returned the call anyway. She said in a voice heavy with exhaustion that she wanted the recipe department.

I explained we do not have a recipe department, that we are a pet food bank. Did she need help with pet food? She shouted no, she did not need help with pet food.

And to emphasize her frustration she repeated back to me the full sentence of what I had just asked her. Only now her exhaustion sounded more like full blown emphysema.

I wasn’t sure what to do and worried that anything I said was going to make a tense situation even worse. So I asked her what recipe she needed help with. And she said the parfait. I asked her which parfait? And she said the one with goat yogurt and blueberries. For dogs.

And at that moment everything changed.

I told her I worked in the recipe department and would be happy to help. Because I knew the exact recipe she was looking for.

I asked how she heard about the parfait for dogs and she said she was in line somewhere and two women in front of her were talking about it and she thought her dog would like it. She found our number somewhere and now she was calling.

A long time ago I posted about a blueberry parfait I made for Scooby, my almost 21 year-old Beagle/Basset mix. I don’t remember the exact post but the parfait likely had blueberries, strawberries, goat yogurt, almond butter and some other tasty treats all layered together in a parfait dish.

Sometimes I do stuff like that for him, just for fun.

And now here was a woman who knew how to reach us but did not really know anything about us. Nor did she care. Because all she was concerned about was that her elderly dog was not feeling well and she thought a parfait would make him feel better.

But she needed the recipe. So I told her. And as I was telling her the recipe I could sense the frustration in her tone because her current situation would not allow her to go shopping for the ingredients. Meaning this one thing she so desperately wanted for her dog was still out of reach.

So Scooby and I decided that our recipe department should have a delivery department too. That way we could deliver the parfait. Her address said she lived in a very low-income building so I sensed her health was not the only challenge she faced.

She still doesn’t know who The Pongo Fund is or what we do. All she knows is that someone in the recipe department delivered the ingredients to her doorstep so she could make a special parfait for her elderly dog.

Along with the ingredients was a handwritten note explaining how to make the parfait. We also included a bag of yummy treats. And a gift card to an area grocer too.

And another sheet of paper with The Pongo Fund contact information, asking her to call if her dog needed food or vet care.

The Pongo Fund is a pet food bank. The Pongo Fund is a recipe department. And we’re honored to be both.

And this is why we Pongo.

Sit. Stay. Eat. Live.