Chapter 2, Part 2
Tasha leaps to her feet, empty coffee cup flying and points to Emil, her mouth a perfect O of surprise. I wore the same expression about 8 months ago so I recognize it right off. The special Liver Snack works every time!
“Tasha, let me introduce Emil. Emil, this is Tasha.” I say, smiling my best cheery, made up smile.
Tasha hyperventilates for another ten seconds and falls over backwards in a dead faint. Thank god she is wearing a nice pair of tan slacks and for Emil’s lovely expensive carpets because there was no way I could have gotten to her in time. At least Tasha won’t have a concussion and Emil can’t stick his head up her skirt to check out her panties.
“Damn! I hate it when that happens!” Emil says, abandoning me and leaping onto Tasha’s quite prominent ‘special pillows’. “Heeeeellllo! Hello in there!” Emil yells into Tasha’s face and licks her cheeks and lips. “Man, her special pillows are fantastic and her lipstick tastes great!” Emil says to Lucy.
“Really? Her special pillows look great!” Lucy says, testing a pillow for cushion and resilience with her right front paw. “Good and soft. Must be real! You are one lucky Chihuahua, Emil.”
“Cut that out you two! Stop feeling up Tasha. God, you guys have no manners! Give her some air.” I yell at Lucy and Emil, who roll their eyes and retreat a couple of inches. Michalene is actually behaving himself, watching the whole thing from the couch. I can tell he is worried about Parson.
“W-w-what? What was that?” Tasha says, coming around and sitting up. She squeaks out one of those embarrassing yelps when she sees the three stooges looking at her from a foot away. At least they weren’t standing on her boobs and licking her lipstick off anymore.
“Now, I know you’re having a stressful morning.” I begin.
“Are you a ventriloquist?”
“No and I think it’s a good idea for you to sit on the floor for a minute more.”
“Did the Chihuahua say something just a second ago?” Tasha says, her voice going up another octave. Pretty soon only the dogs would be able to hear her – a block away.
“Listen, I just went through the same thing 8 months ago.” I start, holding a finger up to the dogs to keep them quiet for another minute. “I wish we could take a week or two to acclimate you to the celebridogs but we’ve got some really important stuff to do this afternoon in Dallas. Sorry, Tasha but you’re getting the crash course in super smart dogese.”
“I knew there was a catch to this job!” Tasha groans, cradling her head in her hands. “I was sucked in by $200,000/yr salary.”
Glad to hear the salary. Leverage!
“Emil is going to say one word for you to listen to.” I say, hoping this would help Tasha get used to understanding a dog. I was the picture of calm and control. “Emil, please say a word for Tasha.”
Emil jumps up and down for a second and says, “Porcupine!”
“Porcupine? Porcupine? What the hell is that all about?” I say, monetarily flabbergasted. You couldn’t say a nice easy word like cat or fish or log?” I forget to look at Tasha because the word porcupine has filled me with consternation.
“I like the word porcupine. Do you know how hard it is for celebridogs to bark the letter P? It’s tough, I tell you, tough.” Emil says.
“Hey! I don’t have any trouble with P’s. Lucy the P-P-P-P-Pug!” Lucy interrupts.
“P’s are tougher for me. Notice how they sound kinda like B’s?” Michalene says, repeating the letter P about five times.
Tasha whimpers a little but she’s holding her shit together. I’m starting to like her.
“Quiet guys, please! Let’s not traumatize Tasha too much. I just wanted a few words!” I say.
“Well, speaking of pee, I need to go outside. You guys want to come with me?” Lucy asks, sensing this would be a good time to give Tasha a doggie break. Emil remains still, staring at Tasha until Lucy smacks an ear tip with her paw. Ah, alone at last.
“$200,000 a year.” I say singsong, drawing it out like lure for a fish.
“He’s a Chihuahua. A talking Chihuahua.”
“Some guy is going to pay me 200 grand a year to take care of a talking Chihuahua named Emil.”
“That’s pretty much it.”
“A talking Chihuahua that drinks too many martinis. For 200 grand. A year. With health, dental and vacation time.”
“Don’t forget the travel and adventure!” I add in lamely, about to dump the whole traveling yards concept in her lap.
“What did you put in my coffee?” Tasha says shrewdly, finally figuring it out.
“It’s a special Liver Snack. You’re lucky; I put it in your coffee where it dissolves, tasteless and odorless. Lucy stuck a special Liver Snack in my yogurt granola. Disgusting.”
“Well, thanks, I think.” Tasha says, pulling herself up into a chair. “Anymore surprises?”
“Well, yeah.” I say, and fill her in.