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Chet Baker is Eleven!

Saturday, December 12, 2015

 Hallelujah! Here he comes. Like Rollergirl in the Dire Straits song, I just love to watch him roll up.

Because there's always a kiss when he walks up smiling, and who doesn't need a kiss?

Pucker up, Mether! It is me, Chet Baker, with the wet nose and the big smile.

Pardon my bref. I know you will. Smooch!!

Wherever I go, he's with me. You could say we're attached.

He's the little black dot in most of my landscapes. I know you love to spot him.

If he gets too far ahead, he'll stop and look back. Click!

There's no composing a perfect shot without the inkblot. Phoebe says I need to clean my lens; there's a black dot in all my photos. 

The dog appreciates a good view as much as his Mether does. When I stop to consider, and I stop a lot, Chet stops too, and gazes side to side, taking it all in. I sometimes ask him to wait, to hold that pose while I compose the shot, but most of the time I don't need to. I've learned to turn off the shutter sound on my iPhone 6 so he won't be distracted by my aching need to capture these moments, to hold the gloss of his sleek coat as it flows over muscles still tight and hard.

Same scene, next day, more light, different cloudscape...I never tire of these landscapes, and neither does he.

 Best that he not know just how many photos I take. He might get a swelled head.

The best view, always, is the one between his pricked ears.  He sits with his back to me; I scritch him and give him a shoulder rub. We feel the sun and the warm December breeze on our skin. Those are the moments that heal. We've got a good life, a very good life indeed.
We've figured out how to live in the moment. That comes naturally to a dog, not so much to humans. 

We need to listen closer to what dogs are forever telling us.
Get outside. Smell the air. Look around. Cover ground.

We like to look at all the same things. Giant Boston terrier over there, or Angus cross?  Smells like steer. Any deer about? What about turkehs? I know, I can't chase those. But I like to listen for them scratching through the leaves.

We go all the best places at all the best times. If there's good cloud and sunset action, we go to the high ridges.

When we're tired of running roads we hike through tussocked fields, looking for deer and towhees, scratching through briars.

On this December day we pretended it was April, and it worked. Drifts of robins scudded over, giggling and fetching up in the apple tops, singing snatches of spring song. Starlings joined in with a musical muttering, a Babel of a thousand voices, each calling a different name. I definitely heard yours, and mine, and Chet's, too.

The landscapes we love best are the ones with potential. Ah, yes. We could go there, walk that ridge. Find that trail, follow it. 
We like to pop out where no one would think to look for us. We spook through the woods, over the hills, and through the hollers.

We like the way Lower Salem looks in winter when the sun pops out and lights up the buildings. You'd never know the little hamlet was there in summertime.

Covering miles with The Inkblot is my idea of fun. Watching his shadow trot along with him never fails to amuse me. 

And with each mile we run, I'm closer to who I ought to be.

Get outside. Smell the air. Look around. Cover ground.
Yes, Chet Baker, yes!

I'm thankful for this little animal, who wants to accompany me every step of the way, and leads most of it.

I couldn't do it alone.

And when we get home, the luckiest dog in the world sinks into one of his five beds

and snores and farts like a trucker as he dreams of squirtles and turkehs and burglars needing to be routed.

If I'm busy in the kitchen, he'll take a post on a chair and wait for real bedtime.

Who can trace his thoughts? He may be contemplating his own mortality. Or he may simply be waiting for the next bikkit.

Or that little bowl of milk that sometimes comes at bedtime, and is so delicious he grunts like a pig when it's offered.

To know you are loved, unequivocally, gives a soul peace.

And that's the kind of person I like to travel with. 

Here's to you, Chet Baker, eleven years old today. Long may you run.


Joy on joy and what a day. Kisses to Chet and his documentarian/aide de camp/life partner. Happy days and love! Xxoom

This post made me cry, truly. The pure love in it, and for him, is achingly beautiful, Julie. Happy birthday to Chet Baker. Long may he wander, indeed. XO

Happy birthday incomparable Chet Baker! Many loves to you, Julie, and Chet Baker and your delightful family. Thank you for sharing your beautiful blessed world, your wonderful words, and your special point of view which makes your readers more caring and inspired people!

Happy birthday, Chet! Don't let her miss a day in the hills!

"To know you are loved unequivocally, gives a soul peace.
And that's the kind of person I like to travel with."
With your permission, Julie, and of course credit given, I'd like to use this in a wedding I am officiating next Saturday.
Beautiful and Poignant!

Posted by Anonymous December 12, 2015 at 8:01 AM

Brought tears to my eyes! Happy eleventh, Bacon, and here's to many happy and blessed years ahead!

Happy Birthday Chet.

Julie, please give that best boy a squeeze and a smooch for me! Happy Birthday, Chet Baker!

Happy Birthday to Chet Baker and blessings to both of you !!

I too absolutely love this beautiful bit poetic prose !
"To know you are loved unequivocally, gives a soul peace.
And that's the kind of person I like to travel with."

Darlene Shamblin

Chet Baker... Mether tells EVERYone about your breath & your farts; and YOU still love her!... that indeed is unequivocal love! Happy Birthday puppy!

All Hail the Chet...and his Mether...what a fine pair prowling the 'scapes.


Happy birthday to Chet Baker. I can't give you any better celebratory greeting than Mether already has.

Happy Birthday Mr. Baker! I wish you could know how many people love you and take joy from your journeys with your Mether!

Sometimes Anonymous doesn't have such nice things to say. This one, well, shucks. You're more than welcome to quote me in your wedding homily. How humbling. But you're right. I wasn't just talking about dog love. I was talking about love. :) Thank you, everyone, for your sweet wishes. Heidi, if you could see Chet waltz into a public space, you'd be pretty sure he thinks EVERYONE loves him, and wants him on their furniture or lap. He's a pretty secure little guy.

Sweet Happiness.

Your post has left me with a sweet heartache. Happy Birthday, little fella.

If every person with a dog had a relationship like yours with Chet, the world would be a better place. To know him vicariously is to love him. Happy Birthday Chet Baker!

Happy Furs Day little guy! The world is better with you in it, because a world where people love animals is a good world. My favorite photo is the one where the road leads up the the Three Graces and into the clouds with the clear shadow silhouette. That's a dog on a mission.

Happy Birthday Chet (a day late)!! You definitely are loved.

I went back and read a lot of the older "Click on Me" Chet posts in honor of the Bacon's burfday. My all-time favorite is "Chet Baker Rolled!", because (1) every dog I've ever known has done that, and (2) not one has been as cooperative and contrite as Chet was afterward. Whatta guy! Happy burfday, Bacon!!

He still cuts a fine figure. What a wonderful guy he is, and what a rich life he has. Your mutual love is well-deserved.

Your stories and photos make me smile!

Posted by Anonymous December 17, 2015 at 3:27 PM
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