By M. Scott Morris/NEMS Daily Journal
Bix, the Mississippi mudhound, had company this past week, so he wasn’t inclined to talk much.
He preferred to be a normal dog, and skipped our intellectual conversations for a while.
My feelings were the tiniest bit hurt, because I had plenty to say, especially after discussing the universe and everything with the Mighty Daily Journal’s C. Todd Sherman during an assignment.
On the verge of big revelations, I invited Bix for a walk to help me sort through some of the grand details.
“Not now, Boss, we’re busy,” Bix said. “No offense.”
I was tempted to say “Offense taken,” but held my tongue and sulked for the rest of the night.
The universe? Forgotten.
Bix was distracted by Abby, my mom and stepfather’s dog.
Abby and Bix didn’t get along when they first met, but she has shed some of her puppyish enthusiasm. Now, he enjoys having another four-legged pack member to pal around with. They sniff at each other, bark at the UPS truck and annoy our cats.
About the only thing they don’t do together is eat. Abby’s not exactly skinny, but she doesn’t eat much when I’m around her.
It’s rare for food to hit the floor at my house because Bix catches it in mid descent.
I’ve seen Bix lick up ketchup – catsup, as he prefers to spell it – off the road. It wasn’t even a road near the house. It was in Georgia. Who knew what had been on that road? Bix licked his fill and sniffed around for more.
But Abby requires special catering.
Mom heats up her food, mixes it with rice and puts garnish on the side. Abby nibbles around the edges for a moment or two, then leaves the bulk of it on the plate.
“Abby’s eating habits don’t make sense,” I told Bix after Abby had left town with my mother. “I thought food was every dog’s religion.”
“You’re being a dogist, Boss,” he said. Before I could stammer out an apology, he added, “Just kidding.
“Let me explain,” he continued. “I’m a Mississippi mudhound, and a mudhound’s going to eat, Boss. That’s the way it is.”
“What’s Abby’s deal, then?”
“She’s part Shih Tzu and part Pook-a-Doodle Deluxe 3000,” he said.
“Pook-a-Doodle Deluxe 3000? You made that up.”
“Yeah, but you get my point.”
“I guess so.”
“Here’s the important part: Pook-a-Doodle Deluxe 3000s are made, not born.”
“What? She’s a robot?”
“Stay with me, Boss. You see, your mother and stepfather …”
“Stop right there. You’re not going to start talking bad about my mother.”
“I’m trying to explain.”
“Nope, that woman is a saint. You’ll not besmirch her name.”
He tried to restart the conversation a few times, but I gave him the silent treatment for the rest of the walk. There are limits to human/dog interaction, after all.
M. Scott Morris is a Daily Journal entertainment writer. Contact him at (662) 678-1589 or firstname.lastname@example.org.