RSS Feed

The Puppy Kiss of Life

Lonely baby Cricket

Lonely baby Cricket

 

Before Butterfly came home, the closest thing Cricket had to a sister was her human cousin, Tamar. Cricket and her cousin were a lot alike, with their long skinny legs, mischievous eyes, and tendency to scream, very very loud.

Tamar was two and a half years old when Cricket arrived and she wasn’t sure about those teeth, and the fast paw movements, and the way Cricket could jump up on a couch or a bed and seemingly appear out of nowhere. And Cricket was too enthusiastic. Too bossy.

"Play with me!"

“Play with me!”

Tamar ran into her brothers’ room and grabbed onto me for dear life when Cricket followed her down the hall. I was reading to the boys, five and eight at the time, and Tamar zoomed in and climbed on my lap and curled into a ball, genuinely afraid. Cricket tried to come over and make friends, but with her pink tongue hanging out, her intentions were misconstrued.

Have tongue will travel

Have tongue will travel

By the next visit, Tamar had a pink toy gun and was fascinated with shooting at people. Her brothers were fixated on computer games with serious firepower, and so was her father (my brother), and therefore, so was she. And being her aunt, I was a prime target. She loved the shooting, but even more than that she loved to do her own death scenes, falling dramatically to the floor after a drunken stumble down the hallway. Cricket was off playing with the boys at first, but when she heard the loud thump of a body hitting the floor, she ran down the hallway to help. Tamar scrambled to her feet and raised the pink water gun and screamed, “fweeze puppy!” in a very serious voice.

"Why is the door closed?"

“Why is the door closed?”

            Cricket didn’t follow orders. She ran towards her human cousin with her tongue hanging out, intent on licking the pain away. My niece ran into her bedroom and slammed the door.

            It didn’t take long for isolation to get boring, though, and the gun slinger came out of her room and tracked me down again. I was in the kitchen, baking cupcakes with the boys, and, in order to save time, and eggs, I gave in; I did a long, slow death scene at the kitchen counter and fell to the floor. But when I tried to get up, Tamar laughed and shook her head and said, “No, you can’t move. You’re dead.” I thought for a second, and then called for Cricket to give me the Puppy Kiss of Life, to bring me back from the brink, so I could finish making the cupcakes.

Cricket rushed over to lick my face and I surged back to life.

My niece loved it. She insisted on replays, with various family members nearing death, and Cricket rushing in to save them.

When it was my oldest nephew’s turn, he did a very convincing imitation of death, after a very convincing shoot out with his younger bother. He was sprawled on the floor, limp and seemingly dead, and his little sister was horrified. She called for Cricket to hurry, “You gotta save BB!” Cricket obliged with the puppy kiss of life and my nephew rose from the dead with a flourish. Tamar jumped up and down and screamed, “I saved BB! I saved BB!”

She was so proud.

After that, she held Cricket’s leash and called her “my puppy” for the rest of the visit. She still demands Cricket’s leash, while her younger brother hogs Butterfly, but she doesn’t love it when Cricket tries to lick her toes. You can’t have everything.

"I wouldn't have hurt her, Mommy. I only like to bite you."

“I wouldn’t have hurt her, Mommy. I only like to bite you.”

Advertisements

About rachelmankowitz

I am a fiction writer, a writing coach, and an obsessive chronicler of my dogs' lives.

79 responses »

  1. Loved the story. So sweet! Kids and puppies…sigh.

    Reply
  2. Really cute pictures

    Reply
  3. So so cute and sweet. Held me spell-bound while I held my sides!

    Reply
  4. So cute! Cricket looks so disappointed at the closed door.

    Reply
  5. Such an adorable story. Nothing is more restorative than a puppy kiss of life.

    Reply
  6. Your comparison of Tamar to Cricket is humorous. Who’d have thought?

    Reply
  7. There is nothing sweeter than kids and puppies. I really like how you describe your niece with the dogs. A puppy kiss heals all wounds, imaginary and real. Enjoy your holidays.

    Reply
  8. If someone shot Cricket dead, there’d be nobody to undo the damage. Cricket was indispensable.

    Reply
    • Thank God, no one chose Cricket as a target. I think they knew instinctively that she would not perform a satisfying death scene. But I’d like to believe that one of her cousins would have plucked up the nerve to give the cousin-kiss-of-life to my puppy girl if need be.

      Reply
  9. And I guess that’s why seasoned actors say that should never star with children and animals.

    Reply
  10. What a cute story! Puppy kisses are the best medicine.

    Reply
  11. With you all the way Rachel. Cricket is such a cutie and what a wonderful way for Tamar to find that dogs are friends with 4 legs not 2.

    Reply
  12. hahaha… I love this…puppy kisses!

    Reply
  13. They are so adorable. Your puppy stories always cheer me up!

    Reply
  14. You have an absolutely delightful imagination! What a children’s book this would be, Cricket’s Kiss of Life! 🙂

    Reply
  15. Ohoh, what a sweet story!

    Reply
  16. Your quick thinking and falling “dead” on the floor saved the situation!

    Reply
  17. Another great post Rachel. Keep them coming….. 🙂

    Reply
  18. This is such a cute little story, Rachel. I love the name Tamar – one of my favorite names. Best – Shanna PS Happy Hanukkah.

    Reply
  19. Too cute, I’ve come back from the dead many times from my dog’s licks.

    Reply
  20. Rachel, love your chronicles of best-friend moments with their favorite VIPs. Hope you and yours have a season full of much joy.

    Reply
  21. I have to look up that hat plaid in my Tartan book. Got a little Scottish blood going there I see.
    At least a wee bit me thinks.

    Reply
  22. Cricket is such an expressive and absolutely adorable pup. Love the pics.

    Reply
  23. What a wonderful story! Makes me feel all warm and tingly inside. Thanks for sharing.

    Reply
  24. There is nothing move loving than A Puppy Kiss of Life! I loved this story 🙂

    Reply
  25. Children and dogs are the perfect combo!!!! Thank you for sharing such a cute story…Happy day to you!!!!

    Reply
  26. i so love ALL your doggy blogs! It renews my faith in humans and pets. After all i’ve seen in my own country, India, i am so happy animals are valued in this world. :-). I have 3 dogs, dalmatian, boxer and a terrier cross. The Dalmatian and the terrier cross are abandoned dogs from the shelter. I so love all these four-legged beings, the Lord made!

    Reply
    • I’m so glad! I think we create the world with our words and how we treat each other, and talk about each other. My dogs prefer to live in a world with soft beds and chicken treats and magical adventures, and it’s my job to create that for them.

      Reply
  27. Rachael, I must applaud your creative handling of Tamar’s fear of Cricket; its a perfect ‘win-win’!! You managed to ally her fears of Cricket while keeping Cricket engaged and playing. We need more dog owners like you willing to take the time, and use their creativity, to help others who have not yet learned of the joy and wonder of canine companionship. I’ve never seen a child that didn’t instinctively feel love for a well behaved dog. My Anana is big for a Mal at 124 pounds but she’s all teddy bear. When living in SE Michigan and volunteering at an assisted living facility we regularly took residents to an outdoor ‘concert in the park’; the affair was really for children but the residents loved being able to watch and interact with the kids. As Anana was accepted as a ‘visiting therapy dog’ I sometimes brought her along if it wasn’t too hot. Every time I did the kids would lock onto her but were very careful and cautious. They would always ask if they could pet Anana and I’d tell them ‘Sure!’ as Anana loves attention from humans (part of the the Mal genes). I could see their Moms were initially a bit concerned but once they watched how gentle Anana was with children they didn’t worry. Anana would often have 10 to 15 kids clustered around her scratching and petting her. I soon realized if I allowed one of the residents to hold Anana’s lead the kids would come to see her and then end up interacting with the residents. This was a ‘win-win’ situation not unlike yours as Anana showed children that big dogs were not frightening if you saw their tails wagging and approached them with caution and the residents had a chance to talk to the kids. Thanks for sharing your experiences and insight!

    Reply
  28. can’t get any cuter than this….
    you should start combining fashion designing and puppies.. just visualizing 😀

    Reply
  29. Oh Lord, I just loved this post!! You made my day. Reposting!

    Reply
  30. “I am a fiction writer, a writing coach, and an obsessive chronicler of my dogs’ lives.”

    You are also a loving person. It shows in how you write about your dogs.

    Reply
  31. Christopher O'Connor

    Reblogged this on aussiedogblog.com and commented:
    Just a cute story about what has to be a great team effort between humans and animals. Wonderful story.

    Reply
  32. What a delightful story and photos! Thanks for visiting my blog and liking “Cameron’s Look of Love”.

    Reply
  33. Your babies are so cute and so sweet:)

    Reply
  34. I love this story.
    Lillian

    Reply
  35. Just tweeted this and three other of your lovely posts. Best wishes to you. 🙂

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: