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A Dog's Birthday

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

 Musing tonight on Pet Value. Chet Baker is sitting at my feet, watching a rabbit under the feeders. He's stuck to me like glue today, occasionally launching himself up into my lap for a seriously good cuddle. How did he know I needed that? He just did, that's all.

I really had to have a dog like Chet to appreciate true Pet Value. An interactive dog. The kind of dog you can bake a cake for. Who gets it, and behaves perfectly appropriately.

Phoebe baked the cake, and she was feeling experimental, so she mixed blue and red food coloring and got a perfect Eighties mauve in the almond buttercream frosting. You know, the kind of mauve that is paired with gray and teal in older motels. Gag.  If you haven't already gathered by the peeks into our house that this blog affords, color is Very Important to us here on Indigo Hill. Yes, even the name of the place is a color.

Despite appearances, the cake was absolutely delicious. And it was also for Wendy, a December baby, and vocalist/keyboardist/arranger in The Raincrows, our new acousticky band. Both she and Chet Baker are Sagittarians. I get along very well with Sagittarians, even if I cannot spell it to save my life.

Miss Wendy, will you help me blow out the candles on our cake? My lips are not very cooperative.

I purely love this photo.  
He showered her with kisses, of course, for helping him get his birthday wish.

Which was a Gummy Bone. We wrapped it in brown paper and put it on the table, and Chet took over from there. He catpawed it but couldn't pull it close enough to him to pick it up.

A Boston terrier's reaction to nearly everything: Lick it. Oooh, I want that little present soooo badly!

Finally, Chet climbed up on the table (where you can see the last snowstorm that covered the midsection of the country on Intellicast radar!) and claimed the prize for his own.

I used to buy Chet the hard white Nylabones until KatDoc warned us that they can cause shear fractures of teeth. Nobody needs a split tooth! So now he gets the rubbery ones. And his crounching is much quieter.

I didn't realize until I got this photo up on the screen that there is a rather strange image on our TV of a chimp doing something to a child; being told to act solicitous, I suppose. Eek. I'm thinking Travis...I love this photo for that, for the live rosemary topiary Christmas tree, newly lit and decorated; for Chet's wonderful hands. And all the colors.

And I love this photo, of a sweet boy (growing up so fast!) and his  beloved dog. Our lives are so much richer for having three boys in the family. Please note tool-using behavior in a canid; Chet uses the couch cushions as a kind of vise for his big chewbones. So we must redefine tool-using, or redefine man,* or simply accept that this sleek little animal is much, much more than just a dog.

*a rawther obscure reference to Louis S. B. Leakey's reaction to Jane Goodall's revelation that she had documented tool-using in wild chimpanzees.


I wish I could have been there... This story made me think I was. What fun! HaPpY BiRThdAY Chet!!!

One of those posts that I hate scrolling down through because I know that means it will end!

D'awww, thanks for posting photos! Chet is much better behaved for his birthday than our dogs ever were (you mean he didn't try to lick the cake??) Lucky Chet (and Phoebe and Liam and Charlie and the rest) to grow up in a house filled with such love!

P.S. Of course people get along great with Sagittarians (Sagittarii?)...we're the only sign that's half-human, half-animal. This is pretty much the exact qualification you want in a friend, whether they be human or canine themselves :)

I love your expressions of color--from the shades of blue that might cross a sky to the tones within a wheat field. And, yes, Eighties mauve.
I think that you as a watercolor artist have an advantage in such a rich palette to choose from, names, descriptors I'd never think of, but understand perfectly.
Weave them into your stories.
I can almost see them as you speak.

It's a dog's life at Indigo Hill.

What wonderful pictures! I'm sure the cake was divine.
It seems your children grow faster than usual..I could swear they are inches taller on each blog post they are in! It makes me both excited for them and sad for you, as they are well on their way to 'independent living'! (My children have been gone long enough for me to start missing them!...20 years!).....Any how, HAPPY BIRTHDAY to Chet. Give him a kiss for me. And start checking out some universities he can attend!

The highlight of this post for me was Leaky's quote that grabbed hold of my mind when I first read it in the seventies and has never let go as we continually redefine our definition of ourselves in response to what we know about what is not ourselves.

I love this post. Happy birthday Chet Baker!

What a wonderfully warm and delightful event - such love. Thanks for introducing me to Mr. Baker (and Wendy, Phoebe and Chet's boy) - and for capturing the special moments to share.

We all could use a birthday like that. What Bill said... "It's a dog's life on Indigo Hill." A good life!

Every dog should have a home and every home should have a dog. Preferably a Boston Terrier. There is no other breed for me.

What a lovely story! Looks like you all had a great day! Happy Birthday Chet!!

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