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Dog dragged exquisite ham on floor -- what to do?

  • w

Need advice! My dog lept over the counter while we were not looking and snagged a lovely 8 lb ham -- one of the best, most tender hams I have ever tasted. Discovered the dog chowing on the ham on the floor in a Treadwell-like scenario. Not all of the ham was lost. Not all of the guests are aware of the issue. To save or not to save, that is the question? I have cut off all jagged edges and rinsed and dried the outside. In fairness to the guests, I have been nibbling on chunks of the ham as I repaired it. I feel fine. Thoughts?


  1. I think I would be inclined to not serve it at this function, but save it for family eating. I'm sure it's okay to eat, but I don't think I would serve it to my guests. You never know if one of the guests saw the dog with it, but just didn't say anything. But if it turned up on the table it might be a bit awkward to explain.

    Wrap at up in foil, and put it back in the refrigerator, and enjoy the rest of your get together. If anyone asked where the ham is, just say, "It wasn't fit to serve."

    6 Replies
    1. re: al b. darned

      Should be fine in a nice split pea soup.

      1. re: al b. darned

        Same here. I would happily eat the rescued ham, but couldn't serve it with a straight face. Knowing my friends and family though, I would probably tell them what happened, and we would have a good laugh.

        1. re: mpjmph

          Don't know if Willa has started the dinner already - but that might be an option IF the guests are close friends or she knows their sense of humor. She could not serve it, but light-heartedly describe what happened and "leave it to the guests" to request** that the ham be served anyway or not, perhaps.

          ** (i.e. wait for them to exclaim that they would be happy to eat it nonetheless, etc)

          1. re: mpjmph

            I'd just avert my gaze, and maybe tell a slightly off-color joke, and no one would be the wiser - unless the guests were all in the room, when Phydeaux snagged the ham. Then, well the jigs up, and a replacement IS needed and quickly.


          2. re: al b. darned

            This is hilarious. I love that it's being
            posed as a serious question.

          3. I'd serve it but let remained guests know of what happened and your remediation efforts. Those who want it can do so, those who opt out can skip. Personally, I would eat it.

            Also, trade dog in for a shorter model who is unable to make the leap. My two can only dream of the wonders that perch upon the counter.

            1. not gonna read answers yet because I want to offer thoughts.
              left side of me is laughing although not funny I do understand.
              but....been there done that in relative terms oh my gosh the several visuals I'm getting are hysterical.
              also I'm so sorry for you~you must have had a moment of sheer terror and panic.

              so you've cut away the offensive visual parts and rinsed.
              I'd get a large container-boil water in it and drop the bomb in
              (the ham not the dog) and boil it for 3 minutes at a hard boil.
              I'd eat it later with your family in any number of ways and have a good giggle every time it gets
              served as ham slices with cowboy gravy-scalloped potatoes with ham-ham and Lima beans in the crock pot all day or Croque-monsieur or Croque-madame

              then I'd tell the guests what happened-ask if there'r any takers winking all the while, and hit frig for any and all sandwich meats and cheeses you've got in there or the freezer stash and say "dinner is now____(fill in the blank) then smile.

              great story, sorry though

              5 Replies
              1. re: iL Divo

                iL Divo,
                Thanks great reply. Actually, I was quite calm about the ham. It was my sister who was screaming in the kitchen when she discovered the ham on the floor with the dog all over it. By the time I got to the kitchen the ham was back on the counter with wounds that looked a little like our friends leg when a dog bit her good when we were little kids. She still has a dent in her thigh. So I wasn't sure exactly how much of the ham had made contact with the floor. After I repaired the obvious bite marks, it looked fine to me! So I was munching away. Still feel fine. We have discussed the issue at some length now, laughing hysterically. She posted the same question on FB but I said, no, the Chowhounders will have the best advice. It happens that our 80 year old mother has just arrived for a visit today and the ham was purchased just for her. I have since learned that the scene in the kitchen was pretty bad and we have all decided that the hard boil recommendation is the best. We chose that over the blow torch scorch recommended by my sister's FB group. And as luck would have it, iL Divo, we also visited a little Italian deli called Bari in Chicago today. We bought a great variety of lovely lunch meats including a pistachio mortadella, cappicola, salami, bologna.........so we've got that going for us, which is nice!

                Pray tell, what is cowboy gravy-scalloped potatoes? Sounds fabulous!

                And the holidays have begun......

                1. re: Willa

                  OH, do I love the 'blow torch scorch'!
                  Willa, you are a great storyteller. Thanks for the laugh. One thing I adore about Chowhounders is the absurd sense of humor so many of our members display.

                  1. re: Willa

                    that's what my Scottish grandparents called this thick meaty white gravy that went atop a slice of ham which was resting on a piece of toast. I think they thought of it as a simple easy inexpensive meal to serve the kids while babysitting.
                    our family always makes/made scalloped potatoes with chunks of ham in there too. probably again a one pot meal that included the protein and starch in the same dish and delicious too.

                    1. re: iL Divo

                      Sorry to hear about the ham, but I would have done the same as you, Willa. On the other hand, scalloped potatoes and ham, with a side of creamed corn - YUM!!!!!!

                      1. re: boyzoma

                        "On the other hand, scalloped potatoes and ham, with a side of creamed corn - YUM!!!!!!"

                        ^^^now you're talkin my husbands language :)

                2. Serve the 'other' ham!

                  1. Honestly I wouldn't serve it to guests. Would you want to eat food as a guest which had been gnawed by their family pet?

                    1 Reply
                    1. Say "Bad Dog!" Cut off the area that the pup had in his/her mouth, and give it to them - later.

                      Wipe the ham well with a damp cheese cloth, and do not tell the guests.



                      1. Willa,

                        Almost sounds like one of the last scenes from "A Christmas Story," regarding a turkey and the Bumpus' hounds: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pPRdj1...

                        Maybe time to head to a Chinese restaurant for Peking Duck?


                        6 Replies
                        1. re: Bill Hunt

                          Hunt and the rest of you funny people,

                          Tears are still streaming down my face from the priceless but painful belly laugh I suffered watching that scene from "A Christmas Story". And Virdute! Excellent story about the cat's head in the bowl of ham! OMG! Love the Chowhounder's funny stories. Its like sitting around the campfire with a group of friends revving up for the foodie "High Holiday" week. I read some of these comments to my mom and she laughed and laughed. Then she told us about one Thanksgiving when we were kids and the dog yanked the whole turkey off the table and tackled it to the floor. The bird was saved, wiped off and placed back on the platter. We never knew about it. It has been a wonderful day despite the loss of that ham, spending time with Mom. She is a young at heart age 80 but sadly not in great health, so the laughs were especially welcome, precious and so much fun.

                          Peking Duck was a great suggestion and we came close to doing exactly that. What we actually did was this. My twin sister and I grabbed Mom, tired as we all were, and said forget about cooking and eating at home. We insisted that we get in the car and go out for dinner. We are in the Chicago suburbs and Mom was really tired so couldn't stray far from home, but picked a very nice steakhouse nearby. What fun we had! Just a wonderful evening! I told Mom that my firm was picking up the bill and that we should order whatever we wanted without worry. A little white lie but she relaxed and lived it up. She wanted filet mignon in the form of a surf and turf. I insisted she get the biggest filet on the bone and a lobster tail. We two sisters and Mom each ordered a martini, great big cuts of medium rare meat, traditional sides, sauces, salads and a very very nice bottle of red wine (most of which we took home along with dessert). Sat in the bar where an excellent band was playing lively blues. Mom loves live music. She perked up, we told stories, tapped our feet, socialized with the crowd, joked with the waitstaff..... How lucky were we to pick that place this night! What a joy to sit and order our extravagant sky is the limit meals, indulge in whatever we wanted without worry about cost, talk and laugh for a couple of hours while listening to great music! It was a life memory (not really that expensive) and worth every penny! So thank you Annie the dog for making our night! And thanks you funny Chowhounders for sharing and adding to our laughs.

                          Happy Thanksgiving!


                          1. re: Willa

                            Love love love your spirit. If you're ever in West Chester, PA, please look me up.

                            1. re: Willa

                              Beautiful! Very heartwarming dénouement to the Annie saga.

                              1. re: Willa

                                Love this story! I hope Annie gets to enjoy some more ham later!

                                1. re: Willa


                                  Thank you for sharing.

                                  We often played similar "games," with my wife's late mom. She came from a totally different time, and place, and thought that we lived extravagant lives. We hid the costs of meals from her constantly, and told the same, "little white lies," regarding her trips with us. She never knew, or if she did, never let on. [I vote for never knew.] Still, we were able to do things for her, and take her places, that she would never be able to visit. We did the same for her sister, and never looked back. It was all minor to us, but meaningful to her, and to her sister. We were more than glad to do it, but needed to keep things "sub-rosa."

                                  Sometimes, "the truth, the whole truth, and nothing BUT the truth," is highly over-ratted. Sometimes, it is only about the enjoyment of life - while it lasts. One just does not need to know all of the details - like the ham and the puppy.

                                  For me, were one of my dogs able to get to the table (maybe the reason that I have always had English Bulldogs?), I would ask a few questions:

                                  What was the dog just doing? Were they licking some private parts? Were they eating another dog's poop - yuck!? Were they drinking out of the toilet? Just what WERE they doing, before they attacked the ham - turkey - beef tenderloin? Did they just eat a rabid possum', or bat?

                                  Then, the secondary questions come into play: When did we last have him/her to the vet, to have their teeth cleaned? Have we noticed any dietary distress in the dog? Again, what about a toilet?

                                  If the incident clears all of those, then a damp cheesecloth on the meat product, and a few, polite coughs, away from the guests, should suffice. Hey, that is just me.


                                  1. re: Bill Hunt

                                    Bill Hunt (are you always Hunt or sometimes Bill?),
                                    You surely loved your English Bulldogs! I can tell you miss your late pet. Do you still have dogs?
                                    Your questions are excellent.
                                    A lot of disturbing unknowns. Now Annie doesn't have that "nasty habit" to the best of my knowledge. Our little dachshund Willa (my sister named her after me -- my middle name is Wilhelmina), does have that problem. And yes, she has bad breath. We adore her but need to cure her of the ice cream cone trick when the bigger dogs are outside with her. I don't think she had any of the ham. But I don't know that for sure........
                                    If Willa had been at her most efficient, I wouldn't worry about what the other dogs might have stepped in while in the backyard. But she just can't be everywhere, can she? And she might be able to eat an entire thin crust pizza if given the chance, but keeping up and cleaning up after three big dogs is still a challenge. So the floor is always questionable (Oh I don't like it either! I have been looking for an apartment in downtown Chicago and sometimes my search approaches an urgent level, depending on the state of the floors and furniture).
                                    You ask if someone might have consumed a rabid animal. Hmmmm. My Oliver (Annie's brother) once ate a baby bunny. I don't think it was rabid but well you just never know. He thought it was a squeeky toy. It did have a strange little scream. I don't mean to joke because truthfully I was horrified watching him walk around with the wiggling little bunny in his mouth. He would not drop it! He didn't mean to hurt it. But he accidentally bit off a leg just as easily as one would pull of the leg on a soft shell crab. That was the low point of the incident.
                                    We live across the street from a forest preserve. Have not seen any possum or bats, rabid or otherwise. However. The skunk population in our part of the world has increased by 40% over the last year I have been told. My sister's yard was a thriving grub community all summer, unbeknownst to us. We had a skunk path much like a deer path directly from the forest preserve to the back yard. Not long ago, all four dogs were hit by a skunk at close range. It was a terrible evening for Sally and me. Ghastly. Annie came running into the house very upset and soaking wet, and jumped into my arms on the couch. The other doggies followed, all quite irritated and uncomfortable. I didn't know skunk spray was a liquid, fire-extinguisher like foam. Our entire house was doused. I think we have removed all traces of the skunk but am I sure about the kitchen floor? No, I am not.
                                    The dogs are well cared for by the vet but I don't brush their teeth. Another worry.
                                    And yesterday, before the ham incident, the plumber was here. He pulled the side of Sally's bathtub off to check out the pipes and try to ascertain the reason the tub empties into the bathroom on the floor below her bathroom. And the nice plumber found mice living in the insulation of the bathtub. I know all about mice and their habits, Hunt. So this house must be infested.
                                    No definite answers to your questions but good reason to dump the ham immediately.
                                    I wonder if any hotel rooms are left in the area for this week?

                              2. I would eat it but wouldn't serve to guests unless they were very close and aware of what happened.

                                Having said that, years ago our golden retriever puppy (R.I.P. Feebe) ate part of the pumpkin pie for T'giving dinner. We shaped up the area she had gobbled from into a nice pie shape and cut away all the edges from where she had been and no one was the wiser until we told them. However, we did not tell my MIL and she ate the pie happily.

                                My husband tells the story of his childhood dog, Cinnamon.

                                It seems one Thanksgiving, a family in the neighborhood put their turkey on their patio to rest before serving (this was back in the late 1950's or early 1960's).

                                Cinnamon comes running home with a fully cooked turkey in her mouth....so, so proud of herself.

                                They never found out whose turkey it was.

                                7 Replies
                                1. re: Janet from Richmond

                                  That story about Cinnamon and the turkey is both hilarious and awful! Gives me pause as well... because sometimes I put things out on the patio to keep them away from my two ravenous and disobedient cats.

                                    1. re: Janet from Richmond

                                      What did his family do with the turkey?

                                      1. re: huiray

                                        My MIL threw it away. They tried to find out whose it was without being obvious...lol... without success.

                                        1. re: Janet from Richmond

                                          Poor cinnamon. She worked so hard to provide Thanksgiving dinner for her family.

                                        1. re: Janet from Richmond

                                          Now, would they gladly eat it, if they did not know the provenance of the dish?


                                        2. I laughed my ass off reading this and the visual is priceless.
                                          This story will trump any story around the holidays for decades to come.

                                          1. If I ABSOLUTELY knew that I was the ONLY one who knew what happened... would probably trim, preslice and serve!?!

                                            3 Replies
                                            1. re: kseiverd

                                              Yeah - what they do not know, will likely never hurt them. Unless the puppy had just eaten a rabid aardvark, or similar.


                                              1. re: Bill Hunt

                                                Ok, Bill. What's the story with you and rabid wildlife?

                                              2. Not sure I want to share the ending here. But last night at least one dog was spectacularly ill. On the trundle bed next to my bed at my sister's house. Next to me. Poor doggies!

                                                And in the light of day, we all agreed to toss the ham.

                                                1 Reply
                                                1. re: Willa

                                                  Ham hangover. Do you think he vowed to never eat ham again? ;)

                                                2. Kind of cheating since I read all the answers, but it partly depends on the situation and what options you had available. If there were 20 people on the other side of the kitchen door and there was nothing else to eat I'd be trying to figure out how to salvage the meat. Probably douse it liberally with the highest proof booze in the house and let it sit for a few minutes. Dropping it in boiling water as suggested would also do the trick, or maybe some combination thereof. Lacking an appropriate adult beverage to baste it with I may have resorted to regular household bleach and then rinsed thoroughly and boiled praying that the rinsing and boiling eliminated the chlorine flavor. you were fortunate that you had other options.

                                                  Mom's Welsh Corgi once managed to get on to the kitchen counter and ate a loaf and a half of some very good deli rye bread while we were out having lunch. Corgi's are not known for their climbing or jumping abilites, although they are known for their voracious appetites. This was no pup either, probably 6 or 7 years old at that point and not especially fit or trim. Let me tell you though, by the time we got home that was one thirsty dog. It was a much less distressing episode than the time he somehow got to the three pound box of See's Chocolates.

                                                    1. Since the original poster has already decided on and executed a course of action (and a lovely sounding one!) we're going to lock this now.