One night Jeana and I were talking about our friends Bob and Deen. I happened to mention their little dog, Bob. Jeana wanted to know why they would name the dog the same name as the owner.
So I started telling her about Bob, who is Frankie's only doggy friend.
Now this is an East Texas story, which I pieced together from different sources. I can no longer remember who told what part of the story, but the most noticeable feature of all the narrators was the sense of place--the East Texas way of telling a story, rambling from one thing to another, from one person to another, and all told in that deep East Texas vernacular.
I have consolidated all those voices into one narrator, and tried my best to reproduce how those voices sound.
Wall, y'all ain't been in the neighborhood long enough to know who is who and what is what, but y'all know that house that's right opposite y'all's house on the circle? [We live on a road that makes a full circle.] The one with the fenced yard?
They's just somethin' about folks as would fence up their front yard. Don't seem very welcomin' somehow, does it? Like they don't really want you to come visit. Don't set out on the porch, nor in the yard, nor come 'round nobody else's place neither. And they had a big boy, nearly growed up, and he don't go to school, nor work, nor nothin', far as any of us could tell.
Never seen his daddy hit a lick at a snake with a stick, don't know as he ever worked much either.
The mama, now she had a whole passel of them lil ol dogs, you know them little Mexican dogs, like that'un on the Taco Bell ad, that always said Yo, Key Arrow Taco Bell [yo quiero Taco Bell]?
Them lil dogs ain't big as a minute, none of 'm.
Wall, she had a whole herd of them lil dogs, and she sold'm to folks as wanted one. But then they fell on hard times. Couldn't even pay the light bill. Said they just couldn't afford to feed so many dogs, no matter how little, and just opened the gate and turned 'm loose on the neighborhood.
Wasn't long after that the laws showed up. Just went right in through that open gate, busted down the door, and hauled 'm off to jail.
We always suspected they was dealin' drugs or somethin'
Lots of folks took one of 'm, just picked 'm up off the road. [We are back to the dogs now.]
But a few of 'm hung around, all skinny and scrawny, and lookin' pitiful.
Joyce, across the road, she felt sorry for 'm, and she took up with lil Bob. He was so skinny an' poor lookin', she just had to feed him.
Then, o'course, he kep' on comin' round to her house, lookin' so pitiful, she just couldn't turn 'im away. But you know she's got two dogs already. That big 'n, the one with the crazy blue eyes, that she calls Sonica cuz they found her at the Sonic, and that little'n that looks sorta like them Mexican dogs, that she calls Puppy--that Puppy is mean as a snake, she'd as soon bite you as look at you.
Anyways, she couldn't keep lil Bob cuz of her dogs, she was scared they'd eat him up, so she calls Bob and Deen and asks 'm to take lil Bob.
Now Deen, after her chows Sam and Pam died, she said after somethin' happens to Tabby, that lil black cat, she ain't havin' no more animals.
But she seen lil Bob, and he didn't weigh but two pounds, just skin and bones he was, and she couldn't turn 'im down.
She carried him home, and took him to the vet, and fed him up til he weighed more 'n five pounds--real plump he is now.
Bob, he didn't care much for havin' a dog with his own same name, so they tried to change it, but he wouldn't pay them no never mind no matter what they said, unless they called him Bob.
Wick said it would be easier to change Bob's name than to change the dog's name.
So we call him Bobby, or Little Bob, and he just loves on everybody that comes around, licks on 'em, and wants to sit in their lap, and just wags his tail til he nearly wags hisself off his feet. Cute as a button, and real smart. Hardly ever barks, except at the cows.
He's a good little dog, that Bob. If you like them lil ol' bitty dogs.