I don't remember the exact year, but I was 7 or 8 years old. It was Thanksgiving Day and my parents had spent the entire morning preparing our annual family feast. It remains the most memorable Thanksgiving dinner of my entire life.

My dad had just taken the turkey out of the oven and we were getting ready to gather around the table. All of a sudden, we heard a loud crash come from the kitchen. Our dog Whiskers had knocked the turkey off the counter and helped himself to the leg.

Whiskers was a sweet, adorable Labrador Retriever-Dalmatian mix. But as a puppy, he was very mischievous. He had a habit of getting into the trash, climbing up on tables and chewing anything he could find. In spite of his behavior, my parents welcomed him as a member of the family. Until this day.

As my father attempted to wrestle the turkey away from Whiskers, he became quite agitated. He scolded Whiskers for about 10 minutes, even threatening to take him to the pound. Meanwhile, my poor mother broke down in tears and proclaimed that "Whiskers ruined Thanksgiving."

Several minutes and many screams of "bad dog" later, my dad came up with an alternate plan. He threw the turkey in the trash, put away the stuffing and potatoes and packed up the family station wagon. We ended up having dinner that day at a truck stop a few miles down the road.

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