Ricky Harpole 3/26/13

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Ricky Harpole

Mexican-born chihuahua outlived first owner, longevity of second in doubt

Ms. Rita, God rest her, passed into the “Great Beyond” last year. A great lady and a close personal friend for almost 40 years, she was an artist and craftswoman of no small acclaim. Her works are shown in galleries and her craft work sold across the nation before the web was invented.

She was a talented musician and a phenomenal song writer. Not only a connoisseur of fine wine, she could mix a really wicked martini and make a flawless souffle simultaneously.

Upon her demise she bequeathed me three gifts which I treasure. The first was a ladies guitar gun. A small double barrel derringer that she used when she was a faro dealer in an illegal gambling joint in Desoto County. She’d carried it since our college days at Northwest and never shot anybody with it (as far as I know. Forty years ought to be a record).

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The second gift was an old but reliable Chevy Nova (vintage 1988) which has never failed on a run to a show or a likker store.“Ol Red” has served faithfully as a ride, a shelter, an escape and assault vehicle and sometimes a doghouse when my ex-wife got ornery.

The third bequeathment was an unexpected surprise, to me and probably to Rita (if she were to see it): Levi, her dog.

He adopted me. When I returned about a week after the funeral they said he’d been despondent, no ambition, no appetite, no nothing. He ignored his toys and spent most of his time lying on the back of the couch grieving and looking out the window.

Rita had acquired the canine as a wee tiny puppy (about the size of a starved half-grown rat) in Tucson and shortly thereafter decided to abandon the “watered down” Wild West and return to the wilder country of North Mississippi.

Ms. Rita being the animal lover that she was wasn’t about to trust an airline (already famous for losing and misdirecting cargo) with her beloved Levi, so she stuffed him in her warbag and smuggled that Mexican-born Chihuahua in to North Mississippi.

He’s damn near old enough to vote now and rotten as fish cheese. As far as I know there’s only two crimes that Ms. Rita ever committed: one was for illegal transport of a domestic animal and the other, making the “said” illegal immigrant love me.

He is not incontinent except when it comes to rose bushes and car tires. He does not bite but he barks like hell. At other dogs, roaming opossums, coons and all things that go “bump” in the night (including me when I’ve stayed at a distillery too long).

He chases golf balls ‘til my throwing arm gives out. He whines when I have to go somewhere he can’t. If I put on my shoulder gun and boots and hat he literally climbs me to go.
He will jump and cavort to not be left behind again.

He don’t eat much but he will eat anything that I will, which makes him cheap to keep.

He will guard my still but only drinks beer. Every time I came home he is the same way. His value as an entertaining companion far outweighs his deficiencies.

We have had the honor of sharing the presence of Rita and of her loss. We miss her and the pranks she pulled on both of us. In the mean time me and this mutt are stuck with one another and there’s no gettin’ past it. He won’t chew up anything but my socks, so you know he has a strong stomach. He weighs in at less than three pounds.

He is a black and tan bony fidy Mexican hound and a scholar and he’s here for the duration.

Chihuhuas live (barring accidents) on the average about 12 years, so it’s possible he will outlive me. If he does I bequeath him to John Howell so his damncats will have an opportunity to get his attention.

Gone to the dogs,

Ricky Harpole
(Contact Harpole at www.facebook.com/harpolive or www.colespointrecords.com)