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Reading the Dog Newspaper

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

This is a video of Chet Baker reading the dog newspaper. He’s sifting all the scents and sounds of a moist cool August morning in 2013. I call what he's doing Bunny Nosin’. I wish I could smell everything he smells, hear everything he hears. I have not a tiny fraction of the vomeronasal scent receptors he does, so I never will. But I can get an inkling what he perceives by watching him. I love to see him plunging through grass, following his nose, taking sharp turns as his vaporous, invisible quarry turns.

I can only watch him bunnynose for so long without moving in for a little caress. If this dog knows one thing, he knows he’s cherished. I often wonder what it would be like to be the vessel for that kind of love. Where everything you did was OK, where nothing you did could offend or hurt the person who loves you. Where it’s all just pure love, untainted by resentment or jealousy or regret. Maybe dogs get and give that kind of love because they live from moment to moment. They don’t speak. They sign up to be your one true love and they give it all they’ve got until death doth part you. People make a lot of noise about doing that, but our attention spans, I think, are considerably shorter than dogs’. Maybe we could stay on task better if we only had twelve years to get it right.

It’s bittersweet, knowing that Chet, right now, is just my age in dog years. If dog years mean anything. And that come December he’ll be 63, and December 2014 he’ll turn 70. How can that be? Then again how can I, the eternal eight-year-old, be 55? None of it makes sense to me. Life just rolls on and the years toll on and I’ve no choice but to accept it all. And to love the stuffing out of this little black dog while he’s here.

From a hotel room high over Denver...JZ


With a tear in my eye I had to read over his shoulder 3 times to absorb the eloquent reflections you wrote about Chet and life.....

What great expression! but he looks as serious reading the morning newspaper as I do :-(
Need to get him over to the comics section and 'Garfield' perhaps...

Thank you for sharing such a sweet & touching post about Chet, his nose, and the love of his Mether and the love for his Mether. Chet, you are really a magnificent creature! Hugs to you!!

I have often wished I could sniff the world as carefully and closely as our furry companions. What they know and sense would blow our minds. I wonder if our ancestors had better smell sensors. I think we made trade-offs a long time ago.

Your words always move me. And that's why I am coming to hear you speak in Denver tonight! :-)

This an excellent interpretive writing Julie.

Posted by Susie Ruby August 27, 2013 at 5:36 PM

Lovely and moving words, Julie. I know I -- and the rest of humanity as well -- fall short of the perfect love and beingness that is the province of the average dog. Perhaps it is no coincidence that "dog" is "god" spelled backwards. We would do well to emulate our beloved pets in this manner.

A little homesick maybe? I'll be missing my pups as I travel this weekend too. They make it all worthwhile to come home. Thank you for coming to Denver though. Wonderful to meet you. Wonderful presentation. My back yard already looks different to me!!

Posted by Anonymous August 28, 2013 at 11:23 AM

Great post. Great video. How could you not love a dog?

I will never be able to watch a dog do that again without regarding it as reading the dog newspaper. That's absolutely fabulous.

I love how he squints every now and then, as if he's trying to figure out where he smelled that before."Ah yes, I remember it well."

I started the Chet video, then enlarged and called my dog, Ziva, to watch. While she couldn't smell anything, she watched avidly as Chet's nose wiggled. And Ziva sniffed, trying to catch whatever scent Chet had caught.
Then as you petted Chet, I petted Ziva.
tiny consolation: the dogyears counting slows somewhat later in their lives
Hurts just the same, I know
What beautiful writing!
Thanks , Harma

Posted by Anonymous August 29, 2013 at 1:26 PM
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