This column was originally published on Feb. 23, 1959.
Returned from lunch a while back to find Felix Morales, the John Daly of Radio Morales, had called. Returned his call promptly because it was Felix’s office dog, Pulga, that bit me a month ago, and I had asked him to let me know the minute there was the slightest change in the animal’s behavior.
Felix was out when I returned the call, but his secretary said, “I think it was something about a mad dog.”
The next half hour was as bad a one as I can remember. I alerted the doctor. And telephoned the undertaker. Even started writing my obituary. At last Felix called again.
“No, no, no,” he exclaimed. “What I told my secretary was that the dog was NOT mad YET. But what I called you about was to ask you to come and get my Cadillac. I’ve given it up for Lent again.”
Felix Morales is a devout man. He was about to depart for Mexico to make a pilgrimage to a shrine somewhere in the Sierra Madre between Saltillo and Torreon.
As an extra penance he was going in a small, uncomfortable car. In any event I was welcome to use his new Fleetwood for a couple of weeks.
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“What about the dog pulque?” I asked.
“You mean Pulga?”
“Whatever her name is. The one that bit me.”
“Don’t worry about her,” said Felix. “I took her to the vet right after she bit you and he gave her all the shots he could think of. I think she’s gonna be all right.”
It wasn’t the dog’s health but my own that I was worried about. I explained, “What I mean is, are you taking her to Mexico with you. Because if you are, how will I know if she goes mad?”
“Don’t worry about that either,” said Felix. “I will leave the little dog with my aunt, Mrs. Pete Fierro, of 606 San Patricio in San Antonio. If Pulga gets sick, my aunt will take her to the vet, then telephone Saltillo. From Saltillo they will send a messenger to me in the mountains. If there is any danger I will call you.”
That’s the situation. The dog that bit me is in San Antonio. Her owner is somewhere between Saltillo and Torreon.
Before me I have a road map of Mexico and it shows absolutely nothing between Saltillo and Torreon except the highway number and the mileage. The number is Federal 40 and the distance is 170 miles.
I can just picture a messenger from Saltillo, probably riding a burro hunting Felix Morales down among the mountain villages of the Sierra Madre. When I begin frothing at the mouth with hydrophobia.
And I didn’t take the Cadillac, after all. Last Lent, when Felix loaned me his new Fleetwood, I couldn’t even get the monster into my driveway, let alone the garage.
“I believe I’ll take the jeep instead,” I told the man at the Morales garage.
Now I am just back from a trip down the coast to the mouth of the Brazos and up the Neches to Dam B. Brought back stories and pictures about various subjects, including the strongest man in the world, who has never tasted liquor or tobacco, but who, in his prime, could lift almost a tone and a half.
As of this writing, I still have no symptoms of rabies.