“I took Duckworth to the dog show up in the city last weekend,” Dud said.

The other members of the Mule Barn truck stop’s world dilemma think tank and philosophy counter just looked at him.

Doc put it gently. “Dud, was this so he could get some inspiration on looking good?”

Duckworth was a medium-sized dog that found Dud while Dud was walking and thinking about the novel he’s writing. No one answered the ad he put in the Valley Weekly Miracle, so he was henceforth known as Duckworth, for some reason Dud seemed to want to keep to himself. To be honest, Duckworth looked like he fell out of the ugly tree and hit every branch on the way down.

“No, I was going to enter him in the dog show,” Dud said. “Took him right up to the registration table and tried to get him in a class. The lady there looked at ol’ Duck and asked to see his papers.”

Dud grinned. “I told her they were back home on the floor of the laundry room. She didn’t think it was funny.”

Now Duckworth had been introduced to the other dogs in the group at the sale barn, as is the custom, and Dud’s pals had been hesitant to ask much about him. Duckworth looked like something put together by a committee with a sense of humor. Oh, he was a dog … no doubt about that. But what kind of dog was he? It made for interesting coffee speculation, that’s for sure.