By Bob Huber
There’s a conspiracy in our house. It blossoms every day when my wife Marilyn and our dog Cody put their heads together. (Ironically, “Cody” is short for “Co-dependent.”)
Don’t think I’m paranoid, but sometimes when I hear them whispering in the kitchen, I feel obliged to sneak up and take notes in award winning, journalistic fashion, just to be on the safe side. Most of the time it’s girl talk, but often the conversation goes like this:
Marilyn: As long as we’re on the subject of global warming and its effect on the Euro, what causes you to hang out your tongue continually and wag your tail?
Cody: Would you rather I bit you on the ankle? I’m just hungry. I’m always hungry.
Marilyn (offering a dog biscuit): Don’t be smart-alecky. I might have to starch your crooked tail again.
Cody (takes dog biscuit): Mmm, good. Boy, that’s heavenly.
Marilyn: How would you know? Dogs don’t believe in heaven.
Cody: Where did you get that notion? Certainly we believe in heaven. We call it Canis Firmamentus, or Dog Heaven. The only hangup is, do they allow us up on the couch there, or is it the same old story?
Marilyn: I suppose dining room tables in Dog Heaven have on-ramps, and there are more meatballs and fewer pastas too.
Cody: And we’re also allowed in restaurants up there, in spite of that carpet nonsense.
Marilyn: Sometimes you sound just like old What’s His Name.
(What’s His Name?)
Cody: No, he says we dogs have broccoli for brains. He can be so tacky.
Marilyn: Well, I doubt you’d get past the Pearly Gates anyway. Remember when you tossed your cookies in the back seat of the car last month?
Cody: If you fed me enough, I wouldn’t be tempted by road kill.
Marilyn: Back to the subject, I suppose your Dog Heaven is also packed full of mailmen, meter readers, and cats. Paradise without musical background, if you get my drift.
Cody: By Lassie, I think she’s got it.
Marilyn: I suppose that’s better than reincarnation. The problem with reincarnation is you might come back as a human. That could be a problem.
Cody: Profoundly so, which makes me wonder, how come you people go around sniffing flowers and garlic, but never bother with each other? Where are your priorities?
Marilyn: I’m not going there.
Cody: Well, as long as we’re discussing my species, I have another question. Why don’t you alleged animal lovers name cars after dogs? You have Jaguars, Cougars, Mustangs, Colts, Stingrays, even Rabbits, but no one names a car for a dog.
Marilyn: I’ll ponder that, but I think I know the answer.
Cody: And well you should think about it, because how often do you see cougars or rabbits leaning out car windows, their tongues drooling and their tails wagging? Dogs love cars. You could at least name one after us.
Marilyn: Old What’s His Name has tried to accommodate you over the years. He’s always crabbing about the latest dog he bought, usually small and foreign from Italy.
Cody (contemplating the ceiling): You could at least change the Chrysler Eagle to the Chrysler Beagle, or the Ford Thunderbird to the Ford Greyhound, or the Chevrolet Malibu to the Chevrolet Pembroke Welch Corgi. Has a certain ring to it, don’t you think?
Marilyn: You’re beginning to sound more and more like old What’s His Name.
Cody: Only from your point of view. Look at it from mine. Isn’t anyone concerned by the query that says, “Are there dogs on other planets, or are we alone?”
Marilyn: I suppose your next question will be, “If a dog barks all night in a forest and no one hears him, is he a bad dog?” The answer is yes.
Cody: But still, I can’t help wondering, when I get to Dog Heaven, will I get my body parts back?
Marilyn: No. Knight to Bishop 2 and check. Your move.
Bob Huber is a retired journalist living in Portales.