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Cricket’s Anxiety Disorder

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Cricket’s anxiety has increased tenfold since Miss Butterfly died this summer. It’s been five years since we’ve seen Cricket quite this clingy and over the top; not that she was calm and pleasant during Butterfly’s tenure, but she was at least demonstrably better. She’s at a level ten now (or an eleven, really), but for a few years she managed to get down to a seven, or even a six on occasion, with Miss B’s help. Now, Cricket is bullying her Grandma more than ever: physically pushing Grandma around, instead of just moping, and leaning on her, and making puppy dog eyes. If Grandma dares to eat something, Cricket will sit in front of her and yell – “Where’s mine!” – endlessly, until she gets her share. She doesn’t do this with me, partly because she knows I’m a harder nut to crack, but also because I know how to deploy “the look,” persistently, until she loses hope and hides under her couch in frustration. But giving that look wears me out, and the effect is only temporary.

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“Harrumph.”

 

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Cricket has her own version of “the look.”

 

The fact is, Miss Butterfly was the best medicine for all of us. She brought happiness and peace with her everywhere she went. Cricket was pretty sure Butterfly radiated calm from her butt, and therefore sniffed it regularly. Butterfly could even get in Cricket’s face, in a non-threatening way, and interrupt a tantrum.

butterfly front feet on floor copy

It seems obvious that my only option, for the sake of Cricket’s sanity, and Mom’s, is to go out and look for another dog, someone mature and generous and compassionate, to act as Cricket’s therapy dog when needed, and her friend the rest of the time. But I’m not ready. When I try to think about finding a replacement for Miss B, I fall apart. I know I‘m being selfish. I feel cruel leaving Cricket in her current state, just because I’m not ready to let go of Butterfly, and the illusion that she could come back, somehow.

butterfly hair askew

In the near future, we will be pet sitting for an old friend of Cricket’s, a nice old gentleman who used to be my therapy dog, and will now make an effort to bark Cricket into shape, if he can. And then we’ll see. Hopefully having Teddy around will also help me become ready for a new dog, but his Mom made me promise that I won’t try to keep him.

IMG_0246

We’ll see.

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About rachelmankowitz

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

130 responses »

  1. I am so sorry for your loss. When our old dog very suddenly died and peter (the dog) started to fade on us, and mum said to Donna (lady who we adopted him from) he needs another dog or he’ll die, Donna said a new dog will help. Okay, she came house trained 🎉 but having to put that extra work in helped take our minds off our immediate loss. And it turns out Lily’s destiny is probably going to be being a PAT dog. So while it’s not selfish to not get another dog if you’re not ready to care for one, it might not be as bad as you think it will?

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  2. Sorry to hear this…I am sending good thoughts to Cricket

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  3. Took me a year to think about getting a new cat. I think because I kinda thought like you – I would be replacing my cat. But really there is no such thing. So even when you think you are ready to get another dog you will not be replacing Butterfly. That can never happen. You will just be adding to your history of dog loving. And, in many cases (depending on where you get the dog) – saving a life. I know that my cat would be more than happy that we saved two lives. With Butterfly being such a great help to you all I am sure she would be happy if you save a dog. In time . . . . when you are ready. It is not selfish to grieve in your own time and in your own way. Be gentle with yourself.

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  4. I feel your pain, my Fluffycat is very clingy now Blackcat is no longer around to keep her in check. It’s sad but I am not ready for another cat yet and I don’t think it would help Fluff either. I hope you are able to sort Cricket out happily soon. Good luck.

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  5. After the death of Red and then Chelsea not long thereafter, Spike, Pretty and I went into a major funk which still rears its ugly head 1 1/2 years later.
    Spike was worse than we were really. He moped into his crate almost all the time and was at a loss without his pack which had started with 5 for him in 2012 and now was down to one in 2016.
    Our house was morose.
    Finally, 2 months later we rescued Charly – or as Spike would say if he could talk, she rescued our family.
    We all needed each other – I hope Cricket gets a friend she can love – not to replace Butterfly – but to have someone who speaks her language and can make her laugh again.
    Bless all of your hearts.

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  6. I understand the need for recovery time, I went through that myself. However, I did get another dog and I have never regretted it. Benji is a great and loyal companion and a new dog would be a loyal companion to you and Grandma and a friend to Cricket. All three of you would gain something. Next an unrelated question: in the photograph of Teddy – left side of the photograph – is that a planner/organizer I see? Also, I found “We’ll see” at the end of the post bit on the scary side :o)

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  7. hello cricket its dennis the vizsla dog hay i feel yore anzietee mine too got wurse after tucker and trixie passd away!!! i am shoor the vizzit frum yore old frend wil help and wen yore mama is reddy yoo wil hav a noo brother or sister to mayk yoo feel sayf!!! ok bye

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  8. Sending you and Cricket good vibes 💜

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  9. Good luck to you and Cricket, there’s so much love in your home I know it’ll all go well.

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  10. Praying you get the right solution for Cricket – and for you. God bless.

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  11. They certainly have personalities of their own. I hope you find a good match for Cricket. Sadly, the animal shelters are filled to the brim with possibilities. ❤

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  12. I would love life to control cricket joke again!
    Finally, 2 months later we rescued Charly – or as Spike would enunciate if he could public lecture, she rescued our fellowship.

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  13. I feel for you, Rachel! And I can identify so strongly with your situation. My ‘little’ angel – Anana, my 112 pound female Alaskan malamute – is now going on her ninth year and despite all the treatments and dietary supplements her arthritis is getting worse. She really struggles to stand up first thing in the morning although once she is up she will still run and play a bit with Qanuk – my 86 pound male German Shepherd Dog. Anana has always been very calm and easy going; she loves anything on two legs and truly knows how to ‘work’ humans be they be a single person or a whole crowd. Qanuk has always been very sensitive and suffers from canine ADHD; he is always hyper-alert and jumps at any noise. Anana has really helped him calm down and be less ‘edgy’. And Qanuk has only known Anana as his canine companion since I brought him into our pack when he was just seven weeks of age. I really think he will have a very tough time when Anana passes; I know I will not be able to fill the void created by her absence. But when I think about another canine I just can’t ‘get there’. Like you, I sometimes feel I’m being selfish but I am also 64 years of age with some serious health issues so if I did consider bringing another canine into the fold it would have to be an adult and will definitely be a rescue dog. I’d like to be able to push all this away and worry about it later but whenever I see Anana struggling with her arthritis I cannot just dismiss these thoughts…

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  14. Cricket is so adorable. Don’t leave it too long, dogs can get depressed also ((((hugs))))

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  15. we found rufus was becoming dysfunctional with me so we got willow to share his life. Rufus would howl any time we went near a train station because he knew it would take me away

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  16. What did the dog blogger say to the bird blogger. You tweet too much.

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  17. Rachel, I’m truly sorry for your loss of Butterfly. It’s just not fair that we have them for what is – for most – a short time in our lives. They bring us so much richness. I hope Cricket won’t be depressed for too long. Again, you and Cricket have my sympathy.

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