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Chet Baker, Companion Animal

Tuesday, April 4, 2006

I know this is your chair. But I am very small and I can tell you are lonely, so you should not mind sharing it.

One of the first things Chet's breeder told me about Boston terriers is also one of my favorites. Jane said, "Bostons are companion dogs, and they take their job seriously." There was a big ugly front coming through yesterday, and we were all a bit jumpy, and Chet decided to make us feel better. His first step was stealing my chair as I was sitting down to draw warblers for the New York Breeding Bird Atlas.
When Phoebe got home from school, I suggested that, rather than fret about the storm, she start her homework. Chet got to work, helping. I could feel Phoebe's anxiety ebb away as the little dog worked his magic. She dawdled on her math homework, loving the companionship, then went to get a magazine to read so she could keep cuddling with Baker.
Spreading any reading material out on the floor is an open invitation to any Boston to sit upon it. Phoebe's giggles were pure music as she tried to read around Baker's butt.
Not to be outdone, Charlie joined us for his favorite treat: mashed sweet potato. He can put away a couple of tablespoons in no time at all. Chet adores it, too, and he stared longingly up at Chuckles, hoping there'd be a spill. Hard to believe Charles will turn 20 this August! He's sitting on my shoulder as I write. There are a lot of things I love about this bird, but one of the nicest is that he's toilet-trained. When he needs to go, he says UNH! and flaps his wings, and if I miss that signal, he gives me a gentle nip on the neck to tell me it's time to take him to his papers or hold him over the wastebasket. He'll hold it for over an hour if he has to. You definitely want to get him to the papers after an hour.
After dinner, I tried to read the paper, with predictable results. Chet Baker, on the job.LinkAllow me to obscure this for you.

This post is dedicated to Sue, who knitted Baker's beautiful monogrammed sweater and sometimes scolds me when I go on for too many days about all that plant and nature stuff. Baker fans get a little anxious when I stray from what they perceive as my true purpose: all things Chet, all the time. Dog bloggin'.


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