Happy Gotcha Day!
On December 29, 2002, 10 years ago today, I drove 100 miles east to meet Cricket’s foster family from RatBone Rescues at a McDonald’s parking lot. She was the most beautiful little rat terrier I had ever seen. They had already gotten very attached to her and there were tears from them and whimpering from her when they passed her over to me. I had a crate in the car but left her loose in the front seat with me (this was 10 years ago). After about 10 minutes of crying and restless behavior from her, she came over and crawled into my lap as I drove and stayed there for the duration of the drive. She had thrown in her lot with me.
When I got home I took her straight to the back yard. She went to the bathroom and it was a little messy. She crept over to me and let me wipe her butt with a kleenex. In that moment she became my dog forever more. I had thrown in my lot with her.
I had picked a middle aged dog as a potential companion for my 10 year old male rattie and because I wanted to give an older dog a chance. I had been cruising the online rescue pages. I kept going back to Cricket. She looked so demure. (What a joke!) She is the only dog I have ever “shopped” for. All my other dogs, wonderful as they all are, have ended up on my doorstep without my having much of a voice in it. I thought I was picking her for Gabriel. Turns out she disliked him, as she always disliked any competitor for my attention. So Gabriel, bless his heart, didn’t really get a friend. But I did.
The vet said she was in solid middle age, about 6 or 7 years old. Although rat terriers are known to be long lived, I never imagined we could be together for 10 years! But we have.
Here is the story of our years together in pictures. If you click on one, you can click through them all in a slide show.
After looking at these together, it seems to me that it might paint a picture of a quiet, sedentary dog. That was surely not the case. I just tended to take a lot pictures when she was in bed or at least sitting still. Here is a short training video that shows neither me nor my filming skills (slightly improved since then) in a good light, but you can get an idea of her high energy.
In all the training videos I took of Summer for many years, you can hear Cricket demand barking in the background. “My turn, my turn!”
Tough pushy feisty stalwart heart dog.
For more posts about Cricket, see
- My new website: Help for Canine Cognitive Dysfunction
- Blog post: Poop in My Pocket: Life with an Old, Old Dog
- Article: Dogs and Dementia: What You Need to Know
- Blog post: Canine Cognitive Dysfunction: What it Can Look Like.
Also two other YouTube videos:
- When Premack is not the best choice
- Clara’s automatic Down
- Est-ce que votre chien veut VRAIMENT être caressé ? (Does your dog REALLY want to be petted?–the French version!)