I don’t think I have properly introduced my beagle, Louie. You may have seen him, the adorable 6-year-old pup who makes a regular appearance on my social media feeds. He’s my boyfriend, love bug, best friend, and favorite cuddle buddy.
We met a little over a year ago at the Chesterfield Humane Society in St. Louis. I was on a mission for a big, burley dogs that could protect me—Coonhounds, German Shepherds and Rottweilers were on the top of my list of possible new roommates. The idea of something smaller was completely out of the question.
The adoption room echoed with the sounds of yips, yaps, bellows, and bays. As I walked down the wide aisle I saw sleeping puppies, pacing labs, and lazy retrievers. I was overwhelmed by the number of innocent dogs that were without a home—part of me wanted to adopt them all. At the end of the row, on the right hand side, I spotted a medium-sized beagle, sitting behind the glass, his white tipped tail wagging happily.
I fell in head-over-heels in love with his expressive, honey colored eyes. When the volunteer brought him into the meeting room, I could feel it. We were meant to be together. I am pretty sure Louie knew it, too. He jumped up into my lap and started licking my face, nuzzling my hand, and stealing my heart with those big, golden eyes.
Since that day life with Louie has been one interesting adventure full of trips to the dog park, hikes through the Redwoods, even surprise scavenging through my kitchen garbage has become a popular excursion. Now that we’re in California, Louie has decided to add experimenting with mind-altering substances to his list of recreational activities.
I knew marijuana was legal in California—for medicinal purposes only, of course. What I didn’t know was that marijuana came in forms other than the sloppily rolled joint. Popcorn, peanuts, and even butter can be found laced with cannabis and sold to the public as “edibles”. This means whenever someone wants that higher-than-life feeling they just slather some marijuana butter on their toast or much on some popcorn for an afternoon snack. They can even keep a bag of cannabis-laced peanuts in their purse for those stressful days at the office. Of course, when you leave a bag of pot-covered peanuts in your purse, and leave that purse on your friend’s kitchen table, the resident beagle is bound of sniff them out and indulge in the “special,” salty treats.
A couple of months ago Louie found a bag of peanut edibles in a friend’s purse. Even though I wasn’t there to witness his discovery, I am pretty sure he devoured them in seconds, reveling in their salty, herbal flavor. I have never indulged in marijuana before in my life, so I have no clue what my little beagle experienced. I don’t know if he saw rainbows or felt dethatched from his body, if he heard voices or reached nirvana. What I do know is that for three hours he lay on the couch, twitching and completely immovable. He didn’t budge when I brought out a slice of pizza, or when I tried to tempt him with his coveted kibble. I had to physically pick him up in order to take him outside. It was then that I knew something was wrong. Louie was stumbling, tripping over his own paws like a college student after too much tequila.
I can’t really describe the fear that I felt when I rushed Louie to the emergency vet. His pulse was low; his body was completely limp, lying in my arms like dead weight. As the nurse removed him from my arms, all I could say was, “Please, please make sure he’s OK.” Louie had to be kept over night after receiving intravenous fluids and having his stomach pumped. Apparently animals eating edibles is quite common in California and the vet assured me that Louie was fine and there would be no long-term damage.
Like I said, Louie is a curious beagle who lets his nose lead him everywhere, even into trouble. I brought him home and doted on him for days, even going to far as to letting him have a bite or two of pizza. Since then, Louie has been the butt of many family jokes, although, I assure everyone that we’re still on the sober train.
This homemade pizza is a salute to pot-smokers and edible eaters everywhere. With a soft, chewy crust and a thick layer of melted cheese and fresh, market vegetables, just one slice is guaranteed to satisfy those post-high munchies. Just please remember to keep your edibles out of reach from a beagle’s nose.
Olive Oil Farmer’s Market Pizza
For the crust
- 2 ½ to 3 cups of flour, divided
- 1 tablespoon of sugar
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- 1 package of quick active dry yeast
- 4 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
- 1 cup of warm water (120 degrees F)
For the toppings
- 2 Roma tomatoes, sliced
- 1 red pepper, sliced
- 1 zucchini, thinly sliced
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- Fresh mozzarella
- Handful of fresh basil leaves
- Parmesan cheese
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
For the crust
In a bowl, mix 1 cup of flour, sugar, salt and yeast. Add olive oil and warm water. Beat with a mixer on medium speed for about 3 minutes. Stir in enough remaining flour until dough leaves the sides of the bowl. Switch to the bread dough attachment and knead the dough for 5-8 minutes on medium speed, until dough is smooth and springy. Cover with a clean towel and let it rest for 30 minutes if a dry, warm place.
For the toppings
Sautee the peppers and zucchini in 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium high heat, until just softened. Remove from heat.
Preheat the oven to 425. Coat a 9x13-baking sheet with olive oil.
Roll out pizza dough and place on baking sheet. Pre-bake in oven for 8 minutes.
Remove pizza from oven and drizzle with olive oil and garlic. Top with mozzarella, tomatoes, peppers, zucchini, basil leaves and Parmesan. Return to oven and bake until the crust is golden brown and cheese is melted and bubbly.