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Powerball pooch inspires a Million Dollar Cocktail

6:00 PM, Sep. 26, 2013

Million Dollar Cocktail

1 ounce gin1 teaspoon sweet vermouth1 teaspoon dry vermouth1/2 cup pineapple juiceDash of egg whiteDash of Angostura bittersPour all ingredients into a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake vigorously to froth up egg white. Strain into a chilled highball glass.

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When Powerball jackpots start to reach into the hundreds of millions, I’m not the only one that gets sucked into the frenzy. My dog also gets into the act.

A few weeks ago, when the jackpot was at more than $400 million, I brought home a numbers sheet to fill out. As I sat at my desk calculating the most probable spread of winning numbers, Dexter took notice and sauntered over to sit by my side. I explained to him what a lottery was, and if we won, I promised to buy him a lifetime supply of pig ears.

Well, I could see the wheels start to spin inside his head, and it wasn’t long before he started whining and whimpering about how he wanted his own numbers. So off we went to the Tom Thumb.

On the car ride there, instead of sticking his head out the window, laughing as the wind flaps his lips and ears, he sat in the front seat next to me and excitedly conveyed his thoughts on how he would spend his money. While most people dream of buying a yacht and spending their time fishing, Dexter dreams of a gigantic park loaded with squirrels that he can chase all day. He adds that it would also have little caches of really smelly “stuff” that he can roll in to his heart’s content.

When we arrived at the store, we jumped out of the car and headed towards the door. I stopped him as he tried to enter with me. “No, no, Dexter! Dogs aren’t allowed in here,” I told him. “Sit right here and stay.”

He obediently listened, and, with tail tucked between his legs, looking into the store window, watching as I walked to the counter and got our tickets. As I turned to leave, I saw him, ears and head hanging low, flashing those sad eyes at me. We got back into the car and rode home in silence.

We stayed up that night and waited for the numbers to be drawn. As the time drew near, I could see his mood start to lighten up, and by the time the numbers were ready to be called, his tail was wagging and he was jumping with excitement. We sat side-by-side in front of the television. Right before the first number rolled out, he took a deep breath, turned to me and put his paw on my shoulder. With a goofy smile that showed off his front teeth, he revealed that he really doesn’t care about squirrels, pig ears and smelly things. What he really cares about is companionship, laughter and maybe, an occasional piece of bacon. He explained that if he won the lottery he would build a place where people and dogs can go everywhere together and enjoy each other’s company, side by side.

I swallowed the lump in my throat, wiped my leaking eyes and promised him my winnings would go to the same thing.

We turned to the TV and watched as not a single one of our numbers were picked. We looked at each other, laughed and ran to the kitchen because we both knew it was cocktail time.

In honor of love, laughter, and friendship, Dexter presents to you the Million Dollar Cocktail.

Jackson’s Steakhouse, 400 Palafox Place. 469-9898 or visit jacksons.goodgrits.com.

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