My brother sent these contributions; I filled in a bit from his text messages:
I have written a lot about my mother, but don’t think I have introduced Dexter. Dexter was my parents’ grossly over-grown standard poodle (not the Polish ham-stealing poodle) and he is a Stephen King novel unto himself. My own standard poodle weighs 60 pounds before a haircut and 57 pounds after. Dexter weighed 120 pounds. He was born a rich chocolate brown, and, like the rest of us, gradually faded to gray. He had “liver-colored” eyes; they were as disturbing as that sounds. He was a frighteningly competitive eater, too.
My brother reminisces about the Hamburger Test. One day my mother and he bought sixteen ground rounds from Don and Bob’s Restaurant, “where quality predominates”. It had been a long winter, and enquiring minds, desperate for amusement, no matter how lame, were bent on finding answers to everyday questions. For an amateur study, The Hamburger Test was quite scientific: two clearly formulated research goals were addressed. Could a dog be satiated? Who could eat faster, beast or woman? My brother swears Mama finished faster than Dexter by a whole burger.
Then there was the day of the Dunkin' Donuts apple fritters eat-off: Mama vs. Dexter. It was a chance for Dex to redeem himself. The fritters were the size of a dinner plate and had enough grease in one to completely occlude the arteries of ten Olympic athletes. This was a quantity contest. Both parties loved those apple fritters. Dexter slowed down after five and walked away from the sixth. Mama ate, my brother believes, nine.
There were no more fritters left at that point, but he thinks Mama could have made it to twelve.