The Chester-test

I’ve been thinking about experimentation and “proofs” lately and I’m reminded about my Cairn terrier, Chester. Chester has a warped sense-of-humor, and he has a behavior that is 100% reliable and reproducible.

People approach Chester and say something like “What a cute doggie”, and Chester rolls-over on his back, begging to be picked-up. Right when you get him chest-high, Chester cuts-loose with a stream of urine and soaks you. For some reason, he enjoy’s people’s reaction to his trick.

This empirical experiment is 100% reproducible (Chester is great fun at cocktail parties), and he has never failed once. So, does this prove anything?

Can I conclude from by experiment that all Cairn terriers do this? No. Can I conclude anything at all? Yes.

I can derive the rule-of-thumb that “It may not be a good idea to pick-up a male dog, lying on his back”. This rule-of-thumb is not always true, of course, but it IS VALID, and it has kept me dry on many occasions.

At the horse show

I’m at a horse show in the Shenandoah Valley and I’m dying to start riding again, but I don’t always trust the horses.

Dude is only getting-started under saddle, and a few months ago my daughter challenged me to ride him. He was wearing a western saddle (far easier to stay-in than those English saddles), so I said that I’d give it a try.

I put my foot in the stirrup, and as I swung by leg over, my heel scratched his rump, and he took-off at a full gallop. I’m standing up, both hands on the saddle horn and one foot in the stirrup as Dude accelerates. When he made a turn I fell, and let me tell you it was no pleasant. I was passing blood for 2 weeks afterward, and the old adage “The bigger they are, the harder they fall” is true. I’m still leery of riding him . . .

What is it with dogs?

Sometime I feel like I live in a petting zoo.

I now have 55 horses, three dogs, three cats, countless chickens, and sundry wildlife (“chuck” the woodchuck) who call my place home. . . .

We just got a new dog, noel, and she has become quite a handfull.


We have a 20 year-old cat (Whitney) in the house, and Noel has decided that the litter box is way too disgusting and she has been cleaning it out on a regular basis, placing “presents” all over the house.

In case you don;t have cats, when rolled in litter, cat turds look remarkably similar to those “Sno Caps” candies. . .

Yeesh. . . .

Anyway, we had to move the litter box up-high to keep Noel out, but I now have a stinkin litter box on a table . . .

Somebody shot our cat. . . .

Oh brother.

I just got back from out-of-town to find out that “tiger”, one of our barn cats was found all shot-up, half-dead in the back pasture.

Tiger had both her ears pierced by buckshot and her left rear leg was completely shattered. I suspect that a neighbor caught her raiding their chicken coup and blaster her ass.

Penny found her and rushed her to the vet for emergency care, and Tiger is now one of the most expensive barn cats in Franklin County

Now, I’ve never care for Tiger, ever since I heard a scream in the barn a few months back.

I went to investigate and found a cute bunny (like “Thumper” in Bambi), screaming bloody murder. Tiger was nonchalantly munching on Thumper’s entrails, ripping-out hot bloody sections of fresh bunny chitlins.

You see, Tiger is a big-time hunter, and Thumper was way too big for her to break the neck, like she has done with thousands of mice and rats.

It was over 5 minutes before “the silence of the bunny” started, and Tiger could enjoy her hot meal in peace. (BTW, she always leaves the fur, and Penny hates having to scrape-up bunny parts every day).

Anyway, Tiger is now a our house-guest, clomping-around with a hard cast on my hardwood floor like something out of a Poe story (ka-thump, ka-thump). She has so much buckshot in her that she is magnetic (really, I not making this up), and the x-rays show look like the stars on a summer night, with hundreds of white dots on a pitch-black background.

We moved her into the Sun-room because she cannot jump-up high to get the litter box (the dogs were raiding her litter box for hot treats). Tiger is well, and bunny’s all-around Franklin County are happy that she is imprisoned for awhile. . . .