10 Years with Cricket


Cricket in 2009

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

Also two other YouTube videos:

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About eileenanddogs

Passionate amateur dog trainer, writer, and learning theory geek. Eileen Anderson on Google+
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14 Responses to 10 Years with Cricket

  1. Lynn Shrove says:

    Happy Gotcha Day to You just doesn’t fit into the traditional birthday melody, so we must find another that will do justice to this equally important anniversary! Isn’t it funny how life has begun leading your blog, Eileen? I’m finding the posts that I am enjoying the most are the unplanned ones! Have a special day with your special girl.

    • Thank you so much, Lynn. I’m surprised about the effects on my life (and the dogs’ lives, gosh!) of having a blog, as well. We are sure having fun. Cricket is getting some (carefully chosen to prevent stomach upset) special treats today!

  2. Lisa Mallory says:

    The pictures made me so happy to look at I cried 🙂

  3. Congratulations! Happy, happy Gotcha Day to you and Cricket! 10 years is an impressive anniversary.
    Question: What is that purple thing attached to her collar?

    • It’s a tag holder. Brand name is Quiet Spot. It’s designed to keep the tags from jingling, which is very handy for movies if one keeps collars on their dogs. But I put it on Cricket’s collar because one time she managed to get a nail caught in one of the little ring connectors (she has three tags). Even after I switched to S hooks there was still the ring on the collar itself, so I wrapped it all up in the tag holder.

  4. Marjorie says:

    Wishing you all well as you celebrate your special anniversary with Cricket. It’s amazing how time passes and before you know it you have a grey muzzel and soft eyes staring up at you. Not hard to tell that a lot of love has passed between the two of you through the years. I love the 2nd pic of the day you brought her home. Now there is a dog with her feet planted firmly in the world and a look about her as if she has just realized that she has met her destiny and is acutely aware of how fortunate she is. To me she looks as if she is sporting a wry smile and saying “yes, this will do…this will do just fine.”

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  9. Laura says:

    What a perfect tribute. Thank you. That last sentence, “Tough pushy feisty stalwart heart dog” has me crying like an 8 year old girl.

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