Cricket

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Meet Cricket, aka luvbug aka our little tubalove. Such a long and sad rescue story, but a little black and silver puppy named Ykelenstam's Cricket, who we sold more than 7 years ago to a woman in Alberta, well we got a call early June 2011 about somebody that had possession of her (not the original owner we sold her to) that could no longer keep her. They were amidst a personal medical emergency, and the dog had to go NOW, they did not want to be forced to take her to the pound out of necessity as they had run out of options, and they wondered if we could help somehow. So I of course said hold on now, of course we will just take her back, we do not want any pup of ours going to the pound, or going anywhere that we would not approve of. So here I was running around with my head cut off to do what I could, making plans, figuring out how to get her back safely and quickly, sending them money by Interac email transfer, to buy an airline approved kennel, and then convincing Air Canada to let me book the flight in reverse, me book it from Calgary Alberta to me, and me pay for it on my credit card when she was dropped off at the airport, so I did not have to send more money to a stranger in Alberta who I only know from a few emails and phone calls.

So I got that all arranged and Cricket arrived at 1:00 a.m. on Tuesday June 14th, what a mess she was poor thing, she had not been groomed for quite some time, so we stayed up and it took both Barry and myself (with two pairs of clippers at the same time), well over an hour just to shear off the long thick coat and clean her up, before we could put her to bed at almost 2:30 a.m.. Then to add to it, she is morbidly unhealthily obese, should be about 15-16 pounds and was almost 21 when she arrived.

Cricket is so similar in looks to my heart dog Xaria, and they are totally unrelated at all. Crickets physical conformation and personality is identical to her sire Apollo, the near perfect male we brought up from Ohio about 10 years ago, we had him from 8 weeks to about 3 years of age. He was a near perfect dog, in both conformation and temperament and very healthy, other than as a stud dog he produced really badly aligned bites in every litter when bred to to 3 different girls. Three chances, three strikes and you're out. So we had him neutered and placed him in a wonderful pet home. Some folks thought we were nuts to not keep breeding him, he was such an amazing dog. Teeth may not be important to some, and it did not affect those pups of his who were all spayed and neutered pets, but overshot bites are genetic and we do not knowingly breed genetic problems. Period. So we never kept anything that was sired by him for those reasons and we always felt bad because he was SO wonderful. The life of an ethical and responsible breeder can be VERY hard.

7 year old Cricket arrived at 1:00 a.m. Tuesday June 14th, from a 14 hour trip that left Alberta Monday morning, that involved switching planes in Toronto. By Tuesday afternoon I had her at our vet for complete physical workup, bloodwork, urinalysis, ultrasound, the works, where our suspicions were confirmed. Cricket's recent owner (single mom) had a badly broken ankle and had already been through one surgery and been bedridden for over a month, and was due to go for a second surgery that next week which is why she was so desperate to find somewhere for Cricket to go. I had asked why there was no friend or relative that could care for Cricket short term, but apparently there are other health issues involved and she did not feel that she was going to be capable of caring for Cricket properly, so yes she did the right thing and I thank heavens that she called us first. Even her son was living with her mother because she could not care for him. So Cricket was by that time going potty all over her house because the owner could not get out of bed to let her out. Neighbors came over a couple of times a day to help and walked her when they could, but it just was not enough. So the poor dog was holding on and holding on as long as she could until she just could not anymore. So you can guess what happened next. The owner never realized, but after hearing the story I suspected right away. Poor Cricket had a severe bladder infection from bacteria buildup, from hanging on so long over and over, which was confirmed for me by my vet from the tests and the official lab results shortly after she arrived. So she is on antibiotics for at least a month. Then, on top of it all, the ultrasound revealed that she has bladder stones. So if caused by the infection and bacteria which vets said it could be, they may go away, if not, she might need surgery to remove them. Another potential $800-$1000. And her liver enzymes were a bit off, not very bad but not normal. So they are hoping that it was all the physical and emotional stress of the infection, plane trip, etc and that a recheck in a month will hopefully find that to be back to normal. So within 18 hours of her arrival, for flight and vet, we were in for over $600 so far on this unexpected girl. Then to buy the very best diet food for her, another $50.

Ok so this is the very sweetest dog you could ever meet. Through all of this, all she does is wag her whole fat behind all over creation every time you say her name, she is a huge kisser, and a total lovebug. She loved us at first sight, she loved everyone at the vet even after all the poking and prodding and needle sticking to collect blood and urine samples, she loved the cat on the floor at the petstore when we got her diet food (Innova), she loves kids on walks at the park, she loves the car, she loves us, she loves life, man this dog is wiggle love on four legs. Oh yes, forgot to say that the original owner also had her debarked. Wow. The original owner basically abandoned her, just handed her over to what was basically a stranger because she supposedly did not want her anymore, and never bothered to inform me of any of this, so Cricket ended up with this new person from about 5 1/2 to 7 years of age. So Cricket looks out the window sometimes and *barks*, not a peep of a sound comes out, it is very sad. She had a bit of a confusing time adjusting with our crew because all she does is huff and puff, no whining, no barking, no nothing. That passed quickly and they are used to her now and she is THE most playful friendly 7 year old dog I have ever seen, with the very best doggy behaviour body cues I have ever seen.

And that is not all to the story folks. Her original owner apparently kept her locked up most of the time while she worked, when I was told that she was a stay at home mom. That was supposed to be one of the reasons the original owner just gave Cricket away, to her husband's brother's new girlfirend, basically a complete stranger, is that they had no time for her, after having her for about 5 years. And we as the breeder were never informed. Suffice it to say that over the past 8+ years that we have lived and learned and rewritten our sales contract multiple times, just to prevent things such as cases like this from ever happening. We only found ALL this out about Cricket in early June!!!! So I guess despite what Cricket has been through in 7+ years, her temperament and personality speaks for itself, and we are so glad that this poor pup turned out so well despite multiple homes and debarking and this whole ordeal at age 7.

So, now to the hard part. I knew that we were going to get attached to this girl very quickly. Several reasons. First, Cricket is Gaci's full litter sister. Gaci of course belongs to our daughter Kim. Kim has of course met Cricket, and her first words were that Gaci got all the defunct hidden quirky genes and Cricket got all the sweetie pie genes, lol. Poor Gaci, she is such a love to those that she trusts which is very few, she is her own unique self. You just never know what the genetics pot will throw at you! Along with their wonderful sire Apollo, their mama Moxi who was very much a people lover. Moxie was tragically lost during the c-section that delivered the last two thirds of that litter. That whole night is like a blur to us that we will never forget, and it shook us very badly, we almost quit breeding after that but many wonderful people helped convince us otherwise. Cricket has her mama Moxie's round soft eyes, that roll the whites at you sheepishly, the same very last look that I got from Moxie before her c-section surgery, the very last time that I saw her alive.....it still tears me up to think about it. And now I look at those very eyes in Cricket's every day, it is heartbreaking but also goes back to such wonderful memories also of her mom. So anyhow, I knew this was going to happen, add up the whole story, the history behind this poor girl, to the wonderful creature that she has turned out to be, and I knew that we would fall for her. Hook line and sinker. And we had said going in when making arrangements to rescue her, that we would not keep her, we would do whatever was necessary for her, we would do everything in our power to rescue her and ensure that she is as healthy as she can be. We already knew of a perfect home that we were confident would love to take her, they already have 3 dogs of ours and were waiting for another older retired girl. So I called them that Tuesday, Cricket had only been here a few hours, and I told them her story, and they said they would be thrilled to have her, even knowing that she may need surgery at some point for those bladder stones. So they were quite excited about getting her, but decided that they would wait until their planned vacation to come get her which was not for almost two weeks.

And we were not happy about the situation at all. We are getting more and more attached, she had been shuffled around so much in her life with so many changes to her routines, and her history and her eyes just haunted me. I sometimes cried that first week when I looked at her, just to think that we planned to give her up. I went from overdosing her with affection to make up for her situation, to trying to avoid paying too much attention to her to try and not get any more attached. We were on the verge of changing our minds, of telling the folks that we just could not part with her, that we would give them a different retired girl later as we had planned all along. We knew they would be disappointed for sure, though they had not even met her. And I hated to change my mind after offering her to them, to do that to them, but we just didn't know if we or she could deal well with her leaving us at that point. This was SO so hard and is what we were dealing with all that first week, trying to distract ourselves from it, but time was passing. I can usually count on the logical level headed husband to help me see the way things should be, but he looked at me every evening, with her sleeping on his chest as we sit on the couch for a few treasured quiet moments, and he asked me how we were ever going to be able to give her up. Man it just tore us up. There were pros and cons on both sides to her staying with us or going with them. The only deterrent to letting them have her (besides us hating to part with her) was that they both work full time. She had been very very clingy since she arrived, never ever more than a few inches from my or my husband's side. I wonder if separation anxiety might become a problem if she was shifted to yet another home, where nobody is home all day for 5 days a week. I do not know how she would react to that, even her last home for the last couple of years, the mom was a stay at home mom on disability for other issues.

Cricket has not had a single potty accident since being here but that change of home and change of everyday routine may upset her both physically and mentally. Or, she might be perfectly fine. I kept second guessing myself and what would potentially be best for HER. We have quite a crew of dogs now, they all get the best of everything but every extra dog is a moment less attention for each, that they must share. We surely did not *need* another senior dog with potential health issues, when someone was willing and ready to take her on, we planned to keep one more pup from the summers litters, we already have several old retired gals that we just could not part with, this was so so hard.

Well at least for the time being, most logic went out the window mid week the second week in, and out of genuine concern for Cricket's welfare, our hearts took over! For several reasons and even for some selfish reasons too, we decided that we were just not comfortable with her leaving us at that time. I called the expectant family to discuss it, not to tell them they could not have her, but to discuss the situation. We, Barry, myself and Cricket, wanted and needed more time to make such a big decision. I even went so far as to explain my reasoning. I did not say they could not have her, I said we were still not feeling comfortable with the situation, we did not feel that we knew Cricket well enough to make such a big decision yet about her future, and we felt that she and we needed more time to see how she adjusts. We needed to see if she will get more independent with time, or is she just a needy soul. I said that all we could commit to right then was a maybe, after some more time passes and we see what she is like after another couple of weeks at least, but that we HAD decided that they could not take her home that next Saturday as they had hoped. I explained that so far she had been very clingy with us and I was worried about causing her any more stress after all she has been through, by moving her into a home where her new owners both work full time, and she had lived in homes for at least the past 2 to 2.5 years where there was somebody home like 90% of the time if not more. That would be a drastic lifestyle change for her that we are not sure that she could or should have to deal with, at this point in her life at over 7 years of age. She deserves the very best that life can offer her.

So, in a nutshell, I was shocked and extremely disappointed at their reaction. It was *if we can't have her now we don't want her at all and for that matter, take us off your list of homes waiting for any more retired adults*. All I could say and all I did say to her on the phone was WOW, seriously, is that for real? They are wonderful people, we have known them now for many years casually, as owners of 4 of our dogs, two males they bought from us about a year apart as puppies, and two retired female adults they took home a few years after the boys, (the older adult had recently passed away). I know they are very disappointed and I TOTALLY understand that and said so repeatedly. But the fact remains that they were not willing to even think it over and give Cricket and us a little more time to know her personality and to be more sure that it might be a good fit for both her and for them, before we just handed her over. Well that truly stunned me. I was speechless for a few moments on the phone, before I said yet again that I was sorry that we felt we could not let her go yet and I knew they were disappointed, and I would disregard that remark if they calmed down and rethought it all through and got back to me at a later time, where such a major decision was not being made in the heat of the moment. But they would not, at that time, even consider it. So I simply told them if that was the way they truly feel then I already knew I had made the very best decision for Cricket. They came across with a *my way or the highway* approach so we took the highway. It is a shame, they are very nice people and great dog owners, but we still truly feel that it was the only decision we could make, given that they wanted to take Cricket home in a few days time.

So whether this is temporary until her *perfect* forever home comes along, or whether it is forever, time will tell, we are certainly no longer in any rush to make any big decisions. All I know is that after that phone call that night, Barry was so shocked about the results and reactions of that phone call, got up to go to bed, and he called Cricket's name, and she very happily trotted up to bed with him, as I checked windows and doors and turned out the lights for bedtime. Until that night, we had not taken her to bed with us. We had been crating her at night in a very large portable kennel with nice soft blankies, so as not to get any more attached to her. So that night, for the first time, she slept between us, curled up under Barry's arm against his chest, and she never moved an inch all night long. It has been the same every night since. So for now, welcome home Cricket, our little tubalove luvbug!

Update July 31/11: Cricket required and has had the surgery almost two weeks ago, to remove the bladder stones, and she has recuperated wonderfully, and no matter what comes her way she just loves her way through it. We are happy and proud to say that she is down to 17 pounds 15 ounces, with about another pound or two to go, having started out at 21 and a half pounds just a month and a half ago!

Update October 2013: Well we never thought the day would come, but after much thought and discussion, we came to a decision of what we felt was best for Cricket. When the *perfect* family came along and chose to take home a puppy, they also fell in love with Cricket, so after a long visit to see how everyone felt, clearly Cricket was very much loving this family so we allowed her to go home with them, with the agreement that if she were not happy she could always come home to us. Well, sometimes fate just it what it is, and as much as we loved her and she loved us, I am sure she dreamily happy now in her new home where she and her little *sister* who we called Ditto and they now call Magic (who went home with her the same day), are two very spoiled and very loved girls!

To see a few pictures of me as a puppy on my adopted puppy page, Click here




First Day.jpg



Cricket And Xaria.jpg



Beach 2011.jpg



A Wave.jpg



Cricket.jpg



Jumping.jpg



Daddy Love.jpg



Daddy Sleeping.jpg



Daddy Warmer.jpg



8.75 Years.jpg



Cricket Travelling.jpg



Cricket 9 yrs.jpg



snoozin 9.5 yrs.jpg



Cricket and Ditto (renamed Magic).jpg



Oct 11 2013.jpg



Cricket new home Oct 2013.jpg






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