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Chet Baker in Mother Earth News!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Chet Baker is famous! Well, he already was with you, dear readers. But thanks to the magic of the Google Image Search, he graces the pages of the current issue of Mother Earth News. Here's the link to the article on dogs and snakes.

A couple of sharp-eyed friends have already recognized him as they page through M.E.N., and asked if that could really be Chet in a national magazine! Well, yes it is!

As you might imagine, I was less than thrilled, upon receiving my complimentary copy, to discover that Chet's illustrating a piece about finding a dog to kill snakes.  I thought the writer, Jan Dohner, handled the reader's question quite well.

"I'm terrified of snakes, and I'd like a dog that would kill them. Could you recommend a breed?"

Dohner led off with a few paragraphs about how the vast majority of snakes are harmless and beneficial, but finally recommended Jack Russell terriers, among other breeds. Sigh.

That question, and the attitude about nature, snakes (and dogs!) that it reveals, gets a huge arrrrgh from me. Good thing I wasn't answering the question, or I'd have recommended

1. psychotherapy  and

2. a mongoose.

They're having a sale down at Mongooses-R-Us. Head on down and pick you one up. They come in yellow, slender, long-nosed, banded...real purty, if you don't mind the goat eyes.

Or there's the Honey Badger. Honey badgers don't care.
It is the most fearless animal in the whole animal kingdom.  And if you have never seen Randall's take on the honey badger, click the link above, and know that this video makes my day.

lifted from, and I'm sure they lifted it from National Geographic Wild...I rarely lift, but this is such an awesome photo of what I'm sure makes an awesome pet for people who fear snakes, I couldn't help myself.

But hey, I'm just the photographer here. All I knew at the time was that they needed a photo of a terrier with a snake, and they liked the one of mine they'd found. I sent Mother Earth News some photos I considered better lit and focused, but they went with their original choice (the top photo) which I guess is the most dramatic. Plus, Chet Baker looks capable of darting in for a kill. Which, as you'll see, he is so...not.

 This poor black rat snake was trying to find a place to lay her eggs, and Chet waylaid her on her way across the lawn. He was very curious and wanted to smell her. I think that killing her was very far from his mind, and that would never happen on Indigo Hill anyway. As Floridacracker says, "We don't just observe nature; we participate!"

 My personal favorite of the series is the photo below. Chet Baker looks kind and thoughtful, which of course he is. And the sun's in our favor. And there are roses. Horizon's a little skewy.

 We let her go on her way, after this priceless opportunity to document a gentle dog's curiosity about another full citizen of our nature sanctuary.

 Imagine having a dog just so you can sicc it on snakes. Go kill that copperhead for me! Try not to get bitten, OK? Because it would be a drag if you got killed. Then I would have to go buy another dog to kill my snakes.

So, to answer the original question, "I'm terrified of snakes, and I want a dog that will kill them. Could you recommend a breed?"

"Not a Boston terrier. And certainly not Chet Baker."

His true nature ( a complete lack of intrepidity)  is revealed in Snakeskin Surprise.  Weenieriffic. Just exactly how I want him.

For more adorable Chet/snake encounters, see Chet Baker, Snaker and Chet and the Rat Snake. The first post has him meeting with his first snake ever: a five-foot black rat! Wow. What a nice snake that was, just sliding through the piney woods. And he is such a puppeh in those pictures! Not even two.

Time flies when you have a great dog.


Aw, two Chet posts in a row! Lookit at all those great poses, all ending with a great big Grin. Coming back to read the links later, cause now I have to go find a few migrants if any stopped last night.
Congrats on making 'the news' Chet Baker, and Julie, thanks for your respectful views on the snakes.
Kathy in Delray Beach

Posted by Anonymous September 4, 2011 at 4:41 AM

I just laughed myself into a full body sweat, that Honey Badger clip is the funniest thing I've seen in a long, long time! Thank you for sharing it!

By the way, although I do enjoy some of the articles in Mother Earth News, that's definitely not the first time I've seen them give advice contradictory to what you'd expect from such a publication. I'm disappointed they actually made a recommendation, as opposed to using it as a teaching moment to explain why snakes are beneficial and why killing nuisance creatures is wrong.

There are folks in this world who think the only good snake is a dead one. I used to be of that thinking but have since come around to let them be. Since in the part of the country there are some very bad snakes. Look at the head and the eyes. Bad ones...dead...innocent rat king snakes and all others with oval/round eyes I tell them to go in another direction and stay out of my way. I seldom see snakes on my hill but I know they are there and eat a lot of garden pests. I think its the startle factor that gets most people afraid of them.

I sort of like the skewed horizon--after all, it's Indigo HILL, right? Who'd know how hilly that place might be.
At least Chet's appearance in MEN wasn't about hyperactive pets. We must be thankful for small favors.

So, I hope YOU write to MEN and set the record straight...about Chet B, and about not killing snakes, and about mongeese (is that the plural) and about honey badgers.
I eschewed watching that video again--for, I knew if I did, I would have that "honey badger don't care..." voice in my head all day.

I so enjoyed that article, Julie! Chet is adorable, and it makes me miss my yellow dog, Jack, who went to "the rainbow bridge" after fiteen short years. I share Chet's curiosity of the black rat snake, and felt blessed when we saw one in our yard this spring!

Yeahhhh for Chet Baker!!

"Honey badgers don't care."

Chicken! ;-)>

This comment has been removed by the author.

Webb, this is a family blog. If they want the raunchy stuff, they've gotta click the link. Of course, I love the raunchy stuff...Randall kills me.

Julie Stone, laughing yourself into a full body sweat is what it's all about. Thanks for making my day.

Donna, a little honey badger helps me through every day. We could all do with being a little more bad-ss.
Well, most of us...

Chet sure looks adorable on his pics! I say a job well done for him for bugging off that snake!

Poor Chet Baker! Models never get to offer their offer their real opinions about the things they advertise! (But maybe being famous makes up for it...)

Just lovely. Yes to snakes. Black rats are really fabulous, even when your rescue pup discovers a 5 footer under your couch while a terrified of snake friend visits. What could have been sad was one of the best days of my life due to a commitment to save a black rat! Xxoom

Posted by Anonymous September 4, 2011 at 6:44 PM

Can I just state, for the record, that mongooses do NOT make good pets, regardless of their snake-killing proclivities. And the amount of property damage that a tamed honey badger can wreak is quite extraordinary!
I know you didn't intend for your recommendations to be taken literally, but in many countries people do capture these critters expressly for this purpose.
The Mongoose Liberation Front.

@Lynda: Of course, of course, and thank you for mongoosing in. My train of thought went: Anybody who wants to kill snakes because they're afraid of them *deserves* a mongoose or, better yet, a honey badger in their house! Completely in jest.

@tehaspe, who has left a trail of spamturds in my comments section, please smear honey on your face and go lie out in honey badger habitat with a king cobra in your pants.

I can't believe she actually recommended a dog. That mag's certainly gone downhill since the days of my youth.

And siccin' a jack on a rattler is a bad, bad idea.

*shakes head*

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