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Chet Baker, Attack Terrier

Thursday, November 18, 2010

 It is a beautiful October Sunday. I have come to Dean's Fork to enjoy the leaves before the autumn storms take them all away. Already it is weathering up; there's a high haze in the sky. As Peter Kagan said, that's all right for autumn, but if I were in New England, I wouldn't take a boat out on the Sound with a sky like that. The wind is turning and the weather is coming.

Chet Baker trots before me as I walk and walk, feeling my old dogs, tension and unhappiness, slowly recede in the distance. I've parked at the bottom of the road and plan to walk a few miles to the top, where Bill will meet me. He comes down the road, sees us before we see him. We've each brought along a walkie-talkie but I have characteristically forgotten to turn mine on.

Chet Baker stops dead when he spots Bill. There is not supposed to be anyone else on this little-used track.

He studies the approaching form. Bill crouches slightly, assuming a menacing stance.

 Who is this person, coming on like this? I have someone behind me to protect.

Chet drops into stalk mode.

 The hair on Chet's spine stands up like velvet rubbed wrong. Bill stops and stares aggressively.

All right then. If you are here to hurt my Mether, you will have a fight on your hands, Mister. I do not recognize you. You look like Daddeh, but you do not act like him. It's on.

Chet Baker pours on the speed and closes the distance between himself and the intruder, growling low.

 Bill runs to meet him, growling back.

 The hair on Chet's back stands up in relief. He snarls and holds his ground as the angry, scary man comes on. He is small, but he is nobody's pushover.

Chet snarls and bounces up and down. He is standing as tall on his legs as he possibly can, all 26 pounds of him. This bad man is not going to get past him. He'll have to kill him first.



Daddeh! You fooled me good! Oh I am so relieved it is YOU! (see the tongue coming out in submission?)

Chet Baker, look at your back hair! It's standing straight up! You ferocious guard dog! (and now the Boston terrier smile spreads across his face).

Daddeh Daddeh Daddeh!!


Oh, boy. I am so embarrassed. He really had me going. He thinks it is funny and I think it is awful that he did that. I thought he was going to hurt Mether.

Hm hm hm.  What to tell Mether? I nearly attacked Daddeh. Hm hm. But he had it coming to him, didn't he? Hm.

hm hm hm.

METHER! Did you see what Daddeh did?? He is a big goofball!

No one will ever hurt you with me, Chet Baker, by your side. Now if I can just get my back hair to lay back down...

I had always wondered what Chet might do if we met someone with bad intentions on our many wanderings. Now I know. With every passing year, he is more useful, more additive, infinitely more precious to us. He is a gift, an amazement.

But he's nothing more than a good dog. And a good dog is all that: a gift.


Looks to me like someone was trying to bring you lunch to help cheer you up. Hope you're well, Julie Zickefoose. Thank you for your blog and your sharing.

Hey Chet, don't you know that EVERY all-American family has to have at least one goofball in it -- it's some sort of a law!

Oh Chet, you are mighty, courageous and bold!!! You are your Mether's hero! Good boy! :)

You ARE a good boy Chet. I do hope my Mingus would protect me like that! But it is RATHER embarrassing to be tricked like that and I think Daddeh should feel a little shamefaced about making you look the goofball and all.

I just chuckled and chuckled!! I have never met Chet Baker but I know he is the grandest dog ever!!

Good dog Chet, Mether is so proud, and all of us who read Mether's blog are proud also.
Julie, this is one of the best, just wish there was sound with it. Would love to have been there!!!

You go, Chet. Attack whomever you must, in order to protect Mether. It would serve Daddeh right, for fooling you.
(As I write this, my dog Ziva, is protecting me from the fireplace broom. It does look rather nasty!)

Amazing to see that wolf spirit lurking in that furball! Am just now reading Call of the Wild and White Fang, and loving what I am learning to see in my dog, too, a Shiba Inu. Thanks to folks like you and London who remind us to look deeper and savor all life's stories. Leslie Y.

Posted by Anonymous November 19, 2010 at 4:39 PM

Chet Baker is adorable.

Baker, bite his socks!
That'll learn him.

Thank you for the reference to Peter Kagan-- brought bac the days of listening To KYSO radio in Yellow Springs back into late 70's- early 80's. Had to get out all my Gordon Bok cassettes and revisit a lovely time of my life. Thanks again. PS love the Chet Baker posts too! Linda, now in Texas

Posted by Anonymous March 20, 2012 at 1:33 PM

Oh, dear should have retread that post---it was WYSO radio !!!! Linda in Texas.

Posted by Anonymous March 20, 2012 at 2:11 PM

sorry, I do not find this kind of thing amusing, at all.

It's beyond any kind of cute teasing play.. it's mentally abusive to the dog. Where is the humor in frightening a dog and almost provoking him to bite?

And if one day Chet does bite someone.. will you forgive him, as he will so justly deserve? Or will you decide he's "dangerous"

Emily: Really?

I was, and am, thankful to see a side of Chet that I'd never seen before, this dog who seems liable to lick any intruder to death, suddenly showing the courage of a lion and the guts to run up and challenge someone acting aggressive. It made me feel a lot better about living in the middle of nowhere, alone most of the time. Think about that for a moment. This incident, which we've never repeated, by the way, showed that Chet is much more than just a pampered smooch pooch. He perceives that he has a job in protecting me. I think that's worth a little role-playing to find out. And I think a dog who perceives that he has a job has a richer, fuller life than one that's coddled and pampered.

Had Chet bitten Bill, neither of us would have batted an eye, and he certainly wouldn't have been punished for it. Come on! If Chet Baker is "mentally abused," he wears it very well.

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