Wednesday, October 21, 2009
As the hamsters go about their hammy bidness, Chet Baker watches and salivates.
Mmm, meals on wheels.
The first two days we had them, he did almost nothing else but stare into the hammy tank. It got so bad I had to put them in a bedroom so I could have my boydog back. Now, he’s attuned to their schedule, and only bothers to watch them when they’re active, although he does check on them throughout the day, as a diligent terrier will.
Nobody watches anything like Chet Baker watches those hamsters. Their every move is fascinating to him. He loves it when they run on the wheel. HEY UR DOIN IT RONG
He loves it when they pop out of their little Kleenex box house or their toilet paper tube. He really loves it when they eat. Mmm, cornbread.
Chet is hell on chipmunks. In fact, having these hamsters around to fantasize about has increased his hunting acumen by about 300%. Since the hamsters came, Chet runs off excess energy and hunting desire by making dozens of laps around the house each day. He’s in terrific shape, since he runs at warp speed, zigging and zagging. The chipmunks are on red alert all the time. The deer are looking over their shoulders. The rabbits only come out at night.
So what could I have been thinking, bringing two small defenseless baby rodents into the same house with the lean, mean hunting machine that is Chet Baker? Well, I was thinking it would all work out. The eternal optimist, with an asterisk**
**ready to make it all work out.
There have been two incidents in which Chet forgot that these are not doggie hors d’ouvres, but cherished family pets. The first was when I heard a shoving sound and found Chet pushing the hamster tank with his paws until it teetered on the edge of its little table. Ai yi yi. A couple more lunges and it would have tipped over and …
He got a spanking, a big spanking for that. No lunging at the hammy tank, Chet BAKER.
The second incident was the very next day when Phoebe walked into the living room, hammy cupped in hand right under her chin, and Chet Baker leapt straight up in the air and nipped her finger in attempting to make the hammy his own. A startled yelp from Phee brought me around the corner like a mama bear. That was an even bigger spanking for Chet, one he has not forgotten.
It’s important that Chet understand that infractions will be severely punished, without exception. And after that second spanking, he got it. Now, when the kids are cuddling their pets, he pointedly walks out of the room. For the first two evenings, he walked into the kitchen, jumped up on a hard wooden chair, and curled up in its seat, as if he were giving himself a doggeh time out, removing himself from temptation. It was beyond adorable, rolling eyes and all. Of course, he got lots of extra kisses and bits of cheese for coming up with that idea all by himself.
He’s settled down very well. That’s not to say we’d ever let the hammies out of their cage out of our sight for a half second. The rule is, they have to be in their cage or in your hand if Chet is in the house. We shall see how it all works out. It is a severe test of a terrier’s trainability, to be sure. I am waiting for your essence...
It is a character building experience. But if Chet Baker has anything, he has abundant character. With the help of a couple of spankings, he is the Perfect American Gentleman.