The Day I Met Chester.

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This story is now published as part of the anthology ‘Loyal and True’.

He was proud of his ancestry, or at least his owners were.

It seems that he was in a direct line from Pavlov’s dog, the famous one who used to drool all over the place whenever the professor would sound his bell.

Now, when I say Pavlov you must not misunderstand, as I don’t mean Alexei Pavlov, the Russian mathematician who specialises in nonlinear output regulation theory, and not even Ilya Pavlov the Bulgarian businessman. I’m talking about Ivan Petrovich Pavlov, the bloke who won the Nobel Prize in 1904 for his work on the digestive system.

But I can see how easily you could make that mistake.

Popular wisdom has it that the dog used in the experiment was just a mutt, but nothing could be further from the truth.

Boris was a pure bred Russian Pavolich, a noble breed with a long heritage.

Chester was very lucky to be here at all for it seems that the professor was very handy with the knife, and Boris was one of the few dogs that survived Pavlov’s experiments.

My friends and I had had enough.

We had tried for years to stop it from happening, but no one wanted to listen. We did it by the book for a very long time. But over time even water will wear away a rock, and as young people we did not have the patience of a rock.

George and Harry came up with the plan.

It was going to be risky.

We all had a lot to lose if we got caught. But that didn’t seem to matter any more.

We just wanted it to stop.

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It was our job to watch out for the guards while the girls unlocked the cages. We knew that it had to go quickly or we were in deep trouble. George was supposed to be a whiz with alarms, but I guess he missed one. I didn’t see the big guy come up behind me. But I did feel him. He grabbed me just as a stampeding herd of previously caged dogs came rushing by.

My friends had their own problems so I knew that I was going to have to get free on my own. It was not going to be easy; this bloke knew his business and he had me cold.

As it often does in these situations, time seemed to slow down. I could see my friends heading for the exits, and I could see the dogs doing the same thing.

Harry looked back and saw that I was in trouble. I screamed at him to keep going. He seemed to stand there for the longest time. I could tell that he was thinking about coming back, but that was the last thing I wanted, we all knew the risks, and we all vowed to keep going if anything went wrong.

Harry went against our ‘every man for him self’ rule, and turned to come back, but Chester beat him to it.

Chester had been heading for the exit with all the others when he must have heard me call out. Maybe he thought it was a game, I guess I will never really know. He turned and slid along the polished floor for several metres before he got his feet under him again, then he got up a bit of speed and launched his considerable bulk at the two struggling humans.

All three of us went flying in three different directions! I felt as if I’d been hit by a small elephant.

The guard got the worst of it though.

Chester didn’t hang around to see how I was getting on. He headed for the exit again. Maybe he thought that that was all there was to this game.

I didn’t hang around either. I figured that I had only a few seconds before the guard remembered what day it was, so I had it on my toes, as the English might say.

I used to see Chester quite a bit after that. One of my neighbours adopted him. As with all dogs, he was extremely happy to be alive, and he cherished every moment of every day.

I could learn a lot from Chester.

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This is one in a series of stories that I am writing to continue the ‘George and Harry’ tradition. A long time ago, when my sons were young I would sometimes make up bedtime stories and often they would feature two characters; George and Harry. Sometimes they would be human and sometimes they would be animals and in that beautiful way that children have, it did not seem to matter. 

At the time I did not write any of the stories down but now that my eldest son has a young family I thought that I would continue the tradition and put together a few stories for the time when they are old enough for me to send them along (they live a long way away).

I wrote this story a few years back and I found it again the other day. It probably needs a third act but for the moment here it is.

P.S. The George and Harry saga actually surfaced in real life. We had chickens when we first moved into this house but they were attacked one night when I forgot to close the gate. We rescued a few fertilised eggs and the boys borrowed an incubator. Only two eggs hatched out and naturally they named them George and Harry even though they were hens not roosters; again it did not seem to matter.

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36 thoughts on “The Day I Met Chester.

  1. Pingback: The Day I met Chester | Understanding Your Dog

  2. I’ll bet finding these brought up some great memories….I like it the way it is and I’m sure I’d like it with a third act as well. The way it ends now leaves one wondering what ever happened to all of the characters…….if you added a third part maybe you could go back to before this all happened, and the events leading up to it? Just an idea! I’m so glad you found my blog and look forward to reading more of your work! 😀

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    • Thank you so much for the comment. I’m glad you enjoyed it. It has given a bit of a boost to get back into fiction again (it does not come naturally to me). My granddaughter is nearly four so it would be a good time to build a collection of ‘George and Harry’ stories for her and her brother. Thanks again, keep up the good work.
      Terry

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  3. That would be ‘lightening striking twice’……………. why not. Some ‘people’ do that, don’t they. They keep popping up in your life just when you need them, so why not Chester?
    Thanks for the inspiration.
    Regards,
    Terry

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  4. My boyhood dog was of an indeterminate mix, medium to long-haired, black, and about middle-sized. He went one step better than ‘everywhere I went’ for on all winter nights he slept under the blanket with me on my roll-away bed behind the heating stove. That’s right about ‘blanket’, not a slip for ‘sheets’. When he had to go out in the dark for the usual reason–this was in the Upper Michigan west of Keweenah Point, just north of Bergland on 80 snow-hidden acres in the 1930s–and because he wanted to answer the coyote pack on moonlight nights, I would rise, pad with him out across the linoleumed floor of dining room, the bird’s-eye maple of the kitchen floor, last on the walkway of the woodshed to open the double-thick door, then stand waiting his return with my head at the crack until he sounded his scratch.
    Smoky challenged every dog, person, and vehicle that dared to pass our farm on M64 running south to town, north to Ontonagon via White Pine on Lake Superior. One day, whether accidentally or because the driver was that way about being worried by dogs, he was knocked over and lay on the snow. I’d been trying to call him off, so I saw the tumble and sprawl, and when I got out on M64 he was trying to come to me as best he could, forelegs working only.
    I picked him and for he next few weeks he was a bed patient in one of the now-empty straw of a calf stall.
    Then one spring day I was halfway up the snow slope outside the barn door when I started the ‘C’Mon’ whistle and he came half-dragging up the foot-scarred manure-colored snow bank and by the time we went by the wire clothes lines by the house he was up on all fours!
    There’s a lot more but some day it’ll all be in my own site!

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      • G’day terry, Lovely to meet you!

        I have some rather beautiful dog stories myself, perhaps one day I will write them down. My bestie is blind and has a guide do called Flame… Although a guide dog.. certainly not perfect (still a dog) and this one time.. out and about.. there was a hot dog (from wendys) and Flame was … well in the vicinity and you can guess the rest..

        Suprised face on Cameron, and very satisfied looking flame. The ‘Great inhaler’… lol

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  5. Pingback: The Day I Met Chester | The Community Storyboard

  6. Hi, I came across your story on The Community Storyboard. It’s a great story as is; that is, I don’t think it needs a third act. I did feel the transition (where you go from talking about Chester to “My friends and I had had enough”) was a bit abrupt. I went back up to the beginning to see if I had missed something. But once my mind made the transition to the dog rescue, the writing was well-paced and gripping. And I am so glad it had a happy ending. I’m one of those people who can’t stand to see, hear, or read about animals being harmed. I can’t even stand when they hurt each other, like on nature programs. By the way, I’m a cat person, but I think your blog is awesome. Woof!

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    • I am so very pleased that you dropped by and had a read.
      Now I know how you found my story!
      I didn’t know that they had posted my story (I’d forgotten that I submitted it)
      The best part of your comments was your suggestion re the transition.
      I wrote this piece a few years ago and ‘rediscovered’ it when I decided to start this blog. I didn’t touch it, I just posted it as a bit of a time capsule.
      At the time I was doing YouTube videos and it was meant as a possible script for a vid.
      It was only the second piece of fiction I had written.
      I have been going on a bit lately about not believing that I could write fiction [I think people are a bit sick of hearing me say it] believing that non fiction was my ‘thing’.
      Just lately the fiction stories have been coming thick and fast and I’m having a lot of fun writing them but ‘Chester’ still has a place in my heart and for all it’s faults, it remains my favourite.

      I do still run the risk of jaring my readers with transitions because I like short sharp stories and this puts a bit of pressure on my readers to keep up and fill in the blanks. Hopefully, as I gain experience, I will be able to do this without jolting my readers out of the stories.

      You are forgiven for being a cat person, and woof right back at you.
      Terry

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