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The Truth About Cats and Dogs

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

is that they're both wonderful in their own ways. Is that we need to manage them responsibly and treat them with abundant love and unfailing respect. Is that, once we allow them into our hearts, they become much more than animals occupying a space in our homes, leaving hairs on our sweaters.

"My little dog, the heartbeat at my feet." Edith Wharton

It seems a meet time, now that we have celebrated cats, to celebrate Chet Baker. We have celebrated Liam; now it's lissome Phoebe's turn.

When, in the early winter of 2004, I was thinking about what kind of dog we might get--a deliciously luxurious thing, that, to muse about just what kind of dog one might want--I remembered a fawn-colored pug I'd seen, being walked on a leash by three little girls at The Chautauqua Institution's Bestor Plaza. This pug was such an appealing little package of a dog, so clean and sweet and dear with his girls, that I thought, "I could have a dog like that. He'd be no trouble at all. I would like to see Phoebe and Liam with a dog like that."

I thought about it some more, looked at pictures both of pugs and of French bulldogs, drooled, looked up lists of their potential hereditary malformations and problems, finally made myself stop, and decided that, being active hikers and a bit rough-and-tumble, we needed something with a bit more muzzle, a bit more body and leg than a pug or a Frenchie. A dog who could breathe well enough to run with us, who was agile and sturdy and inclined to be sound. A dog who not only had brains and a sense of humor, but a dog who could wrestle, too. I remembered a vague and distant childhood memory of a neighbor's Boston terrier, Patsy, near our home in Kansas City, Kansas. I couldn't have been more than three, but I remember playing with Patsy Ebenstein. And so I Googled images of Boston terriers, found Chet's breeder, Jane Streett, and the rest is doggeh history. Flash forward almost four years...I think we got what we wanted.

Phoebe made a globe, a slightly oblong one, by pasting papier mache over a balloon and painting the continents on it. I'm glad kids still do stuff like that in 7th grade, odd as it seems. You never know when you might be called upon to make a papier mache globe in your post-elementary life.

Chet thought Phoebe's World looked like a lovely dog toy. Or at the very least, a superb opportunity for the Boston terrier's favorite game: Keep-Away.
All you have to do to pique Baker's interest in an item is to hold it over your head and make eye contact with him. It doesn't matter what it is--a bone, a ball, a Webkinz, an olive, an oak leaf. You just have to make him think you don't want him to have it.

It's ON.

They streak through the evening gloam, Phoebe screaming her special wiggly Chet scream.

The Good Fairy is in real danger of losing her homemade globe. The fate of the World hangs in the balance.

The dark forces of Evil are gaining.

Can the Good Fairy save the World? Run, Forrest! Run!

The Good Fairy stumbles, and the Evil One seizes his chance.

Ooooooh, Nooooooooooo!

Kiss your World good-bye, little Fairy! It is moments from destruction!
Mwooo Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha!

The ripping part. The best part.

The Good Fairy stands by helplessly. Only The Voice of Darth Vader can save the World now. Darth is happy to report that, but for a gaping hole somewhere near Antarctica, the World is mostly intact.


You need a cat ... to crawl inside the hole that Chet made in the globe that Phoebe made.

Do you ever paint those beautiful, athletic, thoughtful children? These shots remind me of a vintage ballet lesson book I have - a keepsake to remind me I once could pirouette on pointe. Breathtaking girl.

I could not agree more about the pleasure of for that future pup. When we first started 'browsing' breeds online I had just read The Dogs of Babel by Carolyn Parkhurst. I was so entranced by her writing about the human-dog relationship that I thought, "we must get a Rhodesian Ridgeback"! It satisfies my husband's wish for a hunting dog and my momentary fascination with this book I'm reading. The dog in Dogs of Babel was a RR, but as they were bred to hunt lions, we're not so sure about my instintcs there. We're a little short on lions in NH these days.

Friends brought their lab/pointer mix to meet us this past weekend and we all fell in love a little bit...quite a combo!

I have some pics on my flickr of Augie Dog jumping like that for a tennis ball. Very athletic and bouncy dogs they are :)

Oh No--the Ozone hole really collapsed and Antarctica was damaged.
I knew it--I knew Al Gore was right!
Love all the pics--especially when Chet Baker lays his ears flat and takes off.

glad I wasn't drinking coffee while reading this... I woulda snorted all over the keyboard! What a wholly self-satisfied-looking pooch that is, and interesting to hear about the methodical process that led to his selection.

lovely, just lovely!

"The fate of the World hangs in the balance." ~snort!

Phoebe is a blooming model with those long limbs, moving so gracefully. (Envious here)

Sir Chet Baker doesn't notice her beauty at the moment. It's all silly and serious business with this breed of dog. Hold an olive over your head and there is GAME.

Laughing out loud at my favorite breed... My God, I love them. It's a good night now :o)

So THAT is why the world wobbled today!

Phew. I feel better knowing.

and I miss Phee, too! These are great posts! Thanks Jules.

Awww. Daddeh checks in. We miss you, too, Panama Jack.

Bev, (Waaak! Love your comment!) the next time you feel like there is a giant kozmic Boston terrier tearing the bottom out of the world, maybe there IS. Maybe we are just Whos, down here in Whoville, shouting out and hoping to be heard.

Wow, cat, Liam, Phoebe, and Chet Baker fixes in three easy posts (well, at least, easy to read)! Just what the doctor ordered in the midst of and after the Big Sit.

LOL Julie! How fun!

Being a dog/cat/bird lover, I thoroughly enjoyed the last few posts also. I have two (indoor-only) cats and a dog. All three were picked up off the streets as strays. I guess the only thing that surprises me a little is the fact that you got your dog from a breeder, Julie. I'm sure Chet's breeder was a respectable one, but as in tune with nature as you are, I would have pegged you more as a mixed-breed person, or a rescue dog person. Have you given any thought to getting your next dog from a rescue group? There are lots of great dogs out there who desperately need homes - even some pure-bred Boston Terriers.

Look at the air that little guy gets! Amazing!

What wonderful posts these have been the past few days. I'm a dog lover and a cat lover, although my scale tips a little bit more toward the cat side. Both Liam and Phoebe seem to have a wonderful way with animals, and I think it's great that you considered what kind of dog you would like to have around your kids, not just yourself. I just did a little photo posting of our doggehs over on my site recently. Even though the animals can't speak our language, their body language and facial expressions are worth a thousand words.

And yet again, you spread that which is called Boston Love across the InterWebs.

People, you MUST go see Heather's photography at

Absolutely ravishing. Gorgeous doggehs, as well.

What a fun story and I loved those pictures of Chet and Phoebe! Thanks for the giggles.

Aww, thanks for the shout-out Julie.

We were camping/hiking in western PA this weekend, and we saw a Boston while out on the trail. It made me think of Chet Baker, and made me miss my own puppehs!

See you at the RTPI

Over two years later, I'm back! Needed a Chet fix t'nite.

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