Teddy waiting patiently for his dad to get his ice cream from Erik Berakovich, the owner of Candy Harbor. KARIN SPICER

One exception to Teddy’s no-ice cream policy

In a previous column, I wrote about Teddy, my family’s 5-year old Lab, and why we don’t let him eat ice cream. I need to add an addendum. Teddy doesn’t eat ice cream at home. When we’re on vacation at Bay Harbor and Lake Michigan, he does. At least a little.

Teddy has three objectives at the lake. The first two are typical of most Labrador Retrievers – taking as many walks and swims as possible. The third, depending on the dog’s owner, may be less typical. Teddy tries to lead, drag or pull the human on the other end of his leash around the corner from where we stay toward Candy Harbor, a delightful shop filled with sweet treats, chocolate and ice cream.

Teddy’s laser-like focus is on the ice cream. He’ll lead us to the shop’s door and, once inside, straight to the ice cream counter, where he waits patiently for his turn. When the treat has been paid for, Teddy leads his leash-holder outside, where several tables await. His one rule, seemingly, is that he eats his ice cream first as his enormous tongue efficiently cleans his bowl in record time, almost before the leash holder’s ice cream has begun to melt.

We indulge our furry friend’s obsession a few times during our summer stay. The owners, Erik Berakovich and his wife, Trisha, have been making ice cream as well as the other delicious treats for 25 years. The Berakoviches have about 60 recipes and about 20 flavors in the shop at any one time. Teddy gets vanilla, Ed, my husband, raspberry chip, Jordan, our daughter, chocolate brownie. I get pretzel rods dipped in chocolate.

Over the Fourth of July weekend the shop sold about 100 gallons of ice cream, mostly on the evening of the 3rd, when Bay Harbor shoots off fireworks. Teddy and Ed were two of the many who waited in line for their holiday scoops.

The reason we break our no-ice cream policy is Teddy’s resolve. Teddy is consistent when it comes to following directions. He comes when called, looks at us when asked and stops or waits when told. Candy Harbor and its vanilla ice cream is where all those directions fall by the wayside.

The dog is obsessed. When we get out of our car after a day excursion, instead of heading toward our place Teddy tries to head toward Candy Harbor. If he had his way, daily walks would start and end at Candy Harbor. When we go out without him, upon our arrival home Teddy checks our bags – for ice cream, I’m sure. And forget trying to explain to him that the shop is closed for the evening.

Dogs are a common fixture at Bay Harbor in the summer and I’m sure they are probably as obsessed as Teddy with Candy Harbor’s vanilla ice cream.

Truth is, my family is a bit obsessed with the shop. Just writing about it makes me wish I was eating anything drizzled with their made-from-scratch caramel.

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Karin Spicer, a magazine writer, has been entertaining families for more than 20 years. She lives in Bellbrook with her family and two furry animals all who provide inspiration for her work. She can be reached at spicerkarin@gmail.com.

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