No one, and I mean NO ONE, would have ever thought that a dog would be living in my home. I never had a dog while growing up. I did have a duck named Herbie and a parakeet named Suzy, and, when my kids were little, we had seven hamsters named Bashful, Doc, Dopey, Grumpy, Happy, Sleepy, and Sneezy. (Yep, the Seven Dwarfs!)
When my daughter was little, I almost adopted a puppy from the Humane Society. But I came to my senses when I realized I would be caring for two toddlers who would both wake up too early in the morning.
When my father-in-law got a pup (which he named “Pepper”), I became convinced I’d never have a dog. My father-in-law loved and totally spoiled his dog, and his very spoiled dog loved me. You’d think that would be nice, but it was a nightmare. Pepper would greet me with joyous jumps–more like attacks, I thought. He’d sit near me and pant his foul breath through his dog smile. (That’s a smile I could have lived without.) And Pepper would lick my ankles. My father-in-law called them “kisses.” “Slobberings” was more accurate, and they were disgusting. My feeling about dogs was no secret to any member of my family–who almost all have dogs. So when I announced that I’d just adopted a little dog, no one believed me.
I guess that my burning desire to get a dog came from my spending time with my son, Jared’s, dog, Chama. Chama is a gem. She never attacked or licked me, and she never breathed on me. She is gentle and obedient and loving. I bonded with her. Each summer when we visited Jared and his wife, Emily, I’d get my Chama fix. Then … the pandemic hit. What was I to do?
In April, I threw out the idea to David, my husband, about getting a dog. He said, “Sure,” but I knew he didn’t think I was serious. I was! I spent hours searching. I studied the breeds. Which would be a good fit for us? Not too big. Not too small. Not yappy, but not too quiet either. A shedder? A drooler? Hyperactive? Nope! Nope! And nope! I searched and searched. I saw thousands of photos of dogs–all wanting a home, but none was right for me. Not one! Then one day my friend and I visited several shelters. Surely there was a dog I could love. But no! Not one! I was discouraged. That Sunday morning, I drove to Pet Smart where Chance Crisis Shelter had two dogs that they were trying to rehome.
I showed Chama’s picture to the shelter manager–desperately searching for Chama’s clone. She showed Cricket’s less-than-appealing profile to me. Her photo wasn’t attractive, and she was 13 years old. Struck out again! I thought. Then I noticed a puff of fur with big dreamy eyes padding across the floor towards me. It took only a look to know that I was in love with her. I took her for a walk around the store. I petted her. I gazed into her eyes, and she gazed back. I called David who was wary about her age. Well, so was I, but I didn’t care. I knew that this dog had to come home with me as my forever-friend. And she did!
Cricket is perfect for me. David loves her too and is happy I found her. All Cricket wants is love, and I have plenty to give to her. How can you NOT love that sweet, little face? Cricket-Love at First Sight
I am the author of Prisoners without Bars: A Caregiver's Tale. It's the true story of how my husband almost left me--three times.