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Worthless Dog

Thursday, October 6, 2011

You might think that, Chet Baker being a pretty smart example of a pretty smart breed, I could train him to find and fetch pawpaws for me. Well, I am here to tell you that I have tried, to no avail.

I would love to say this is a photo of Chet looking for pawpaws, but he is looking for a squirtle.

Chet Baker! Get the pawpaw! Fetch the pawpaw! Bring it to Mether!

You are kidding, right? I have things to do, rodents to meet.

I saw a pawpaw tree leaning over a wide, deep creek (pawpaws love bottomland). It was loaded with big fruits, but as luck would have it, I knew they'd roll right down the steep, slippery, muddy bank and go right into the creek. So I called Chet Baker to my side and shook the tree. 

Six big pawpaws thudded to the ground and began to roll. Get the pawpaw, Chet Baker! Fetch it!

And I was astonished when he skibbled right down that bank and to the shore and catpawed a pawpaw to him, bobbed a couple of times and came up with it in his jaws!

GOOD BOY!! OK, bring it Mether! Come on Chet! Bring me the pawpaw!

And after a couple of false starts he picked it up and carried it up the slope! It was like an episode of Lassie. It was amazing.

He bounded up the slope and stopped about 15 feet away and put the pawpaw down.

And he buried it.

He took that big beautiful pawpaw and covered it with leaves and there was nothing I could do about it. No amount of coaxing, yelling, encouraging or dissolving in helpless laughter could change his plan for the pawpaw. The slope was so severe and so slick I could barely move, much less get over to rescue the pawpaw. For awhile I thought I might not get back up to the level part, it was that slick and that steep. I was on all fours, 16 pounds of pawpaws in my backpack, crawling around like a hurt spider, slipping two feet back for every foot I got up. And my dog was burying a pawpaw just out of reach.

With a final push of his nose, he dislodged the pawpaw and it rolled back down the slope into the creek. I saw my chance. 

"Come ON, Baker! Bring it to me! Come on! Good Boy! Bring it to Mether!"

He waded in, grabbed it again, carried it back up the slope near me and dropped it again and it rolled back down into the creek. Together, we sat and watched it bob off  toward McConnellsville. Chet silent, me laughing like a loon, us all alone there in the woods over the deep creek.

I thanked the Lord I wasn't sprawled on the ground with my leg in a bear trap and the trap key just inches out of my reach with only Chet Baker there to help me.

Lassie he is not.

We made our way back to the parking lot where we'd left the car and Chet indicated that he would like to case the school and see if there was anyone inside who needed their face washed.

No, Bacon, there's nobody there and they probably wouldn't let you in if there were. I'm sorry. Come on, let's head home.

You could have opened that door for me. I like schools and chirren. Sometimes you really let me down, too. I have tried to train you to let me in everywhere there is a door and you have failed to learn it.

 Back in the car I kissed him, hugged him and told him that he was simple, the most utterly worthless dog the world had ever known. 

 I notice you are saying those awful words in a very loving tone, Mether. Here is what you do not understand. When you have a food that is smelly, and the pawpaw was VERY smelly, you have to bury it immediately. You do not bring it to anyone. You bury it and then nobody else can find it and then what you do is you come back and get it later.  Why you do not understand such a simple thing I do not know, but I was doing you a big favor, burying that smelly fruit for you to get later.

We made our way home through the countryside we love so much, and that darn dog ruined my best picture with his little punkin head, a blocky little cartoon head full of strange ideas and unrealized abilities.



I reeeally love that last photo. You could put a bazillion different thought bubbles beside his punkin head.

Ruined? It's perfect, right down to the reflection of him in the side mirror.

Smelly pawpaws: $10; deep creek, slippery slope: $50; Worthless dog:

I totally enjoyed your little pawpaw adventure. Thanks so very much for sharing it today!

great post and agree completely with a thought bubble above the last photo

The most loved worthless creature I know. Julie, your love for him makes me and laugh and cry!

Delightful post!

Damn. Why am I always laughing and CRYING when I read your blog?

Oh, Chet--you go, dog.
Reminds me of that wonderful old New Yorker cartoon:
frame 1--man has fallen in river, yells to dog on the bank "Lassie, get help!"
frame 2--Lassie on couch in psychiatrist's office.

Worthless dogs are the best!
And being cute always helps too.
Love ya Chet Baker!

I agree, Chet's blocky head and bat ears make that picture. One of my fave shots ever is my wiener boys standing together at car window, watching exciting things go by.

And I think we could have a lot of fun writing thought bubbles for his head.

Chet Baker, I love you.

Miss Weezy in Texas

Posted by Anonymous October 6, 2011 at 7:56 AM

I am still laughing! Worthless at bringing back paw paws but cute and loveable he is!

So... The Chet book is next on your list, right? Loved this post!

Posted by Diane Borders October 6, 2011 at 8:52 AM

Absolutely loved your post! A great Adult's Inner Child story!! Thanks!

I think Chet was confused by the name of this fruit.

Said fruit goes by the name "Pawpaw".

What does a dog do with his "pawpaws"? Why he digs with them of course.

I believe Chet merely interpreted your calls to fetch the "pawpaws" as a command to use his "pawpaws" to dig a fine hole and plant this fruit, resulting in new trees and more fruit.

Give a dog a pawpaw, eat for a day.
Teach a dog to plant pawpaws, eat for a lifetime.

When the impulse to hide something takes over a dog, it seems no training can stop the compulsion. Our spaniel is normally dutiful enough, but come that temptation all bets are off. Reassuring that even the superb Chet should then falter.


Posted by Anonymous October 6, 2011 at 2:27 PM

well, this post certainly gave me (paw)paws for thought... (ba-da-binggg)

Worthless dogs of the world, Unite!
We all know and love the little beasties, they are such outside the box thinkers sometimes.

How can a Boston Terrier be worthless?
That's an oxymoron!!!!!

I cannot stop laughing!!

Aww Chet, your a good dog. I'm laughing at this post and Floridacrackers comment! Very Funny

Smelly? And he didn't roll in it?
That's a good doggie.

The next to last photo of Chet smiling quietly to himself at a job well done is priceless. "I have saved Mether from the stinky pawpaw."

Chet Baker is and has always been the Star of this show and don't y'all forget it! He is hilarious!

Leslie Y.

Posted by Anonymous October 7, 2011 at 2:41 PM

Pretty wonderful post. You get dogthink completely.

Thanks for the laughs, Mether and Doggeh are such an adorable pair. Doggeh has very definite ideas of what to do with paw paws, which he thinks are smelly. He is sure a sketch, always so cute and wanting to go in the school, he loves chilren so much, but mether thinkg it's time to go home. karol

Posted by Anonymous October 8, 2011 at 5:58 AM

Oh, you are so much fun!! I love to visit with you and read about your adventures.

Oh, I think he was sitting in the car thinking about the squirtle that got away.

Posted by Anonymous October 8, 2011 at 8:37 PM


Hilarious! Chet Baker, like most American gentlemen, is his own man. Here's to an independent spirit.

Posted by Anonymous April 27, 2013 at 6:38 AM

Great read and visuals! Even from 2011. Good stories never get old. So glad Mr. Chet Baker makes you laugh. And maybe vice versa!

and there he is in the rear-view mirror, too! that chet!

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