The loud days have returned to our house, thanks to Bix, the Mississippi mudhound.
Most of the time, Bix is a sensible dog. He sleeps when the rest of the family sleeps; he waits for me to dry his feet after walks in the rain; and he doesn’t lend money to the kids.
“They’re your kids, Boss,” he explained. “If they want cash, they can go to you.”
Most of his assets have been converted into bones and buried in the yard. That’s probably the best place for them in these days of economic uncertainty.
You get the point: Bix is a sensible mudhound. Mostly.
But that changes in December, when our civilized dog unleashes his wild side. His overreactions embarrass the family, and we’re powerless to stop him.
Bix has an abiding hatred for anyone who drives a UPS, FedEx or U.S. Mail truck.
When dogs down the street alert him that a UPS truck is in the neighborhood, Bix acts as though Osama bin Laden’s on his way wearing a bathrobe made of explosives.
The other day, Bix was focused on food and didn’t notice the brown truck. The storm door was closed, but I hurried to shut the big door to shield Bix’s view. The delivery man saw me through a window and waited.
Bix went ballistic. While my wife and kids wrestled the dog to the floor, I answered the door.
“Is there something to sign?” I said.
“No, sir,” he said. “I just wanted to give this to you in person.”
Behind the door, Bix shed Evan and nearly broke free, but the women held strong.
“Merry Christmas,” I said.
He cranked up his truck and drove away, then I went inside to find my wife exhausted and disheveled on the kitchen floor. On the other hand, the kids looked as though they enjoyed the wrestling match.
“What’s going on, Bix?” I said. “They’re delivering presents from grandparents for the kids to open on Christmas morning. One or two of those boxes probably have bones or balls for you.”
“Did you say ‘ball?'” he said. “Get the ball, Boss. Let’s play.”
“No ball, and don’t change the subject.”
“You shouldn’t say ‘ball’ when there’s no ball.”
“Duly noted. Now back to our discussion. What’s the deal?”
“How do I know they don’t plan to take something away instead of drop something off?” he said. “Besides, they keep touching the house. I can’t stand how they touch the house.”
“Come on, Bix,” I said. “You recognize those trucks.”
“OK, Santa Claus touches the house every Christmas Eve, and you don’t go crazy,” I said, confident in my logic. “Explain that.”
Bix looked at me as though I were the biggest idiot on Earth.
“Did you ever see those reindeer, Boss?” he said. “This ol’ mudhound would rather live to bark another day.”
As I said, Bix is a sensible dog. Mostly.
M. Scott Morris is a Daily Journal entertainment writer. Contact him at (662) 678-1589 or firstname.lastname@example.org.