CHAPTER 3, Part 2
I scooted around to check out our backseat lineup. Parson is directly behind me sitting upright on the seat with his giant, pink tongue lolling out of the right side of his mouth. Lucy has wedged her sizable pug rump between Parson’s two front legs, the top of her round head coming to right under Parson’s chin. About twice a minute, Parson licks the top of Lucy’s head. Lucy is showing signs of severe saliva saturation. It is not a good look but Lucy doesn’t seem to mind. Michalene O’Flynn is sprawled out on his right side (keeping his head down like a good boy) with his snout resting on his two front paws. Newton is on the floor board mat, his hideous Body Odor forming his own personal cone of space.
“We can drive back to Vancouver. It will be a road trip vacation!” I say, trying to make light of our new situation. “Tasha and I can drive. We can stay in cheap motels and dodge celebridog police dogs, hookers, and sleazy motel owners and real live human police! It will be great!”
Emil jumps up to give me an eye roll so I can experience the joy of seeing his eyeballs exploring the top of his cranium. “Give it a rest Emmaluna. There are dog Yards nearby, it’s just the closest is Cowdogs. We’ll be out of Texas in a jiffy.”
“We should drive to Pathetic Bob’s house!” Lucy says, bouncing a bit between Parson’s front legs and whopping the base of his chin with her head. Parson’s muzzle slams shut with a resounding snap. I briefly fear for his tongue. “He’s got a Yard! And snacks! And shampoo! A really, really nice coconut shampoo that smells, you know, great. Coconutty.” Lucy ends a bit lamely, resolutely ignoring Newton. “I mean, I think I could use a quick bath and maybe all of us could scrub up a little.” Lucy is looking at me with the big puggy ‘help’ look.
“Second long day in my green mini, I know I could use a scrub and some clean clothes.” This earns me a grateful look from Lucy. “How far to Pathetic Bob’s?”
“We’re about an hour away.” Emil answers, unfolding the map and standing on it. He’s following highway lines with his muzzle. “Sit back and relax, primates! I’ll even navigate. Break out the Liver Snacks, Luce, PB’s house is our new way home.”
“Wait just a doggone minute! Isn’t Pathetic Bob your ex?” Parson exclaims, finally putting two and two together, albeit a bit slowly. “I’m not so sure I like this idea. Can’t we make Chew Bones in N’Orleans?”
Emil jumps straight up to shoot Parson a split second stern look over the seat back.
“Well, don’t think I’m not grateful for my rescue. Your plan’s been tops so far, Emil. It just might be a tad awkward.” Parson finishes, drawing out the word awkward for emphasis the big Labrador ham. He then proceeds to slurp Lucy’s head like a tootsie roll pop. Ah, puppy love! Gross me right out.
“Don’t worry about Pathetic Bob, Pars.” Michalene chimes in while doing a big prone stretch on the back seat. “Lucy and Pathetic Bob are really good friends and have been for ages. PB is a lot older than any of us. He introduced Lucy the Pug to the celebridog world. He’s a good guy. Now he’s chaperoning Lily the Cheegle. Lucy just gets jealous sometimes.”
“Lucy is a celebridog. I don’t get it? Why did she need an introduction?” I ask, wondering how I missed this part.
“I’m only half celebridog. My momma is a celebridog and my pop is a regular Pug. That’s why I’m so good looking. It’s the extra Pug genes. The sexy, super, duper sexy Pug genes.” Lucy announces triumphantly, kissing Parson again.
This is from a Pug whose head is entirely soaked in Labrador saliva. Of course, maybe she is on to something as Parson does seem very enamored.
“So Pathetic Bob put you on the map?”
“Yeah! P Bob’s really good at spotting talent. He got me my first two movie rolls and a stage piece in the Appalachian Theatre. He’s tops! If you don’t have Pathetic Bob in your corner, your career mostly consists of nudie dog calendars and Family Dollar openings.”
“He’s going to make Lily the Cheegle a star.” Emil chimes in. “Lily is beautiful but she’s still young and impressionable. PB looks out for her and keeps her out of trouble in the celebridog hangouts.”
“Pathetic Bob has humans, too.” Michalene says, finally standing on the seat.
“Humans?” Tasha asks, “How many humans? Do they know Pathetic Bob is a celebridog?”
“PB’s humans are great! Mr. and Mrs. E. They know all about PB and they don’t discriminate at all!” Michalene enthuses.
“Discriminate?” Tasha asks, looking as confused.
“Only Pathetic Bob and Lily are celebridogs. The rest of their pack is pure dog. They love all of them and let Pathetic Bob have a Yard right behind the house so Lily can visit her parents and PB can run his casting company.” Michalene continues. Lucy the Pug opens a bag of Liver Snacks and all four backseat dogs start munching away. Occasionally, Lucy spits a Liver Snack across the seat to Emil with an audible Ptooooie!
“But other people and dogs know about Pathetic Bob’s Yard?” Tasha continues, looking a bit worried and watching Michalene in the rear view mirror. “I just don’t want a police dog surprise when we get there.”
“I think we’re ok.” Michalene says, leaning against the front seat. “I’m pretty sure Scruggs and Shane only saw Lucy the Pug and her magnificent Interpretive Dance at the window. The rest of us hit the deck.”
“Yeah! Interpretive Dance!” Lucy yells, spraying Newton with Liver Snack crumbs. “That’s what it was!”
“Anyway, the last time anyone saw Lucy and Pathetic Bob together, it was at Pink Paws and they were having a big fight.”
“We had a fight?” Lucy asks, looking momentarily stunned. “I don’t remember a fight.”
“Do you remember how many Livertini’s you had?”
“My point entirely. Anyway, Shane and Scruggs saw Lucy. They know that Parson is with her. They’ll cover Cowdogs but won’t bother with Pathetic Bob’s house because of the fight and Parson. We don’t need to linger, but PB’s Yard should get us back to Vancouver.”
The conversation lulls and Emil turns on the radio. Tasha and I discover that while celebridogs love music and know the words, as a whole, they can’t carry a tune in a bucket.