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.
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.
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.
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.