Chapter 1, Part 2
On Emil’s advice I carry him over to the dance floor to look for Lucy the Pug. Hans abandons us to wait by Pillow Girl, thoroughly enamored with her cashmere dress. Emil, the picture of Chihuahua happiness, is riding around in my arms snuggled up to my special pillows.
“Hey Emil, me carrying you around like this doesn’t mean anything special does it?” I ask, smartening up a bit.
“Yeah, it means I get to scrub your teeth with my tongue. After that, I teach you the secret handshake.” Emil snarks, rolling his eyes. “Hold me up over your head! I think I see a pink dress.” I oblige and a second later we have the attention of Lucy the Pug!
Lucy boogies off the dance floor, shimmies over to our table and gives Emil, now sitting on the tabletop a quick kiss. Lucy is in a good mood and looks spectacular in her pink polo dress.
“Hi Emmaluna! Emil! Whew, that Arko can dance. He’s off to get Livertini’s. Has anyone seen Parson?” Lucy crunches a Liver Snack, grabs her cell and starts scrolling through her copious text messages. I give her a quick pat and a neck rub and she companionably drapes a paw over my right thigh.
“Oh no!” Lucy jerks upright, staring in horror at her cell.
“What is it Luce?” Emil asks.
“Oh no! It’s Parson! He’s eared up at Cowdogs in Dallas and got into a big dogfight. The police dogs have him cuffed and sitting on the curb, waiting for animal control! A Standard Poodle and a Rotty are still struggling so Parson can text me.” Lucy the Pug yells out as she jumps to her feet. She’s texting Parson like crazy. Arko shows up with Livertini’s and Lucy downs hers in one gulp.
“Damn Babe!” Arko says, eyes wide to the amazing Livertini intake. Arko is a very handsome Siberian Husky. I introduce myself. Arko high fives me. Apparently, this is the Husky equivalent of the handshake.
“Parson is so eared up I can barely understand his texts. I’m going to kill Michalene.” Lucy says to no one in particular, her head swiveling like Linda Blair in The Exorcist. A moment later she spots Michalene’s distinctive snowy white coat. Arko, sensing trouble, starts to back away.
“There he is!” Lucy snarls. Lucy the Pug grabs Arko’s Livertini off of the club table and stalks over to the unsuspecting Michalene O’Flynn.
“You rotten jack bastard! Parson is in big trouble and it’s your fault!” Lucy the Pug shrieks at Michalene. Splaaaaaaat goes the Livertini, turning a completely stunned Michalene into a brown and white pinto.
“Damn!” says Arko, flicking Livertini splatter out of his coat. He didn’t get quite far enough away.
Lucy flings her cell at Michalene. “Read those texts! Parson is in big trouble, all eared up at Cowdogs and fighting with a Stardard Poodle! A Standard Poodle! God, nothing could be more embarrassing. His rep will take a huge hit. You and those damn black market pig ears!” Lucy the Pug pauses to take a breath. She bursts into tears and flings herself at my legs.
“Wait, Luce! You’ve got to listen to me.”
“Waaaaa! I don’t have to listen to anybody. My boyfriend is going to jail. They’ll put him to sleep!” Lucy howls, burrowing into my ankles and trying to climb my legs. Emil jumps to my shoulder to whisper in my ear.
“Wait, don’t pick her up yet.” Emil coaches me, “If you pick her up - Michalene can’t talk to her.”
Michalene moves in closer to whisper to Lucy and rub her head with his muzzle. “I’m serious Luce. Whatever Parson is eared up on, it’s not my produce. I sold him two ears about two weeks ago and two ears just a couple of days ago. Even if he saved all those ears up (which you know for a fact that he didn’t), it still wouldn’t get him eared up that bad.”
Lucy blows her nose on my stockings and wipes her eyes with her paws. “He’s not eared up on your ears?”
“No, there’s no way. I just haven’t sold him enough. You know he has a pig ear problem. I know you like him. I am trying to sell him a maintenance dose only.”
“What are we going to do? He’s eared up and biting. If animal control has him, he’s a goner!” Lucy breaks into fresh and loud, sobs. “We have to get to Dallas and break him out of animal control!”
Lucy tosses herself on the (sticky) floor to bawl loudly.
“Now pick her up. James carries her when she gets like this. You can stoop down, I can hold on.” Emil is a veritable fount of information.
I scoop up Lucy the Pug. She lays limp and crying over my shoulder like an exhausted toddler.
“Uh-oh.” This is from Emil, who is clinging to my shoulder like a monkey and looking behind me. Amazing. “Police dogs! They are right near the entrance.”
“P-p-police dogs?” Lucy the Pug said, swiveling her head to look down at Michalene. “We have to get out of here!!”