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Puppy On Call


            Cricket needs a job. She has a lot of excess energy, and uses it for barking and biting, and I’d like to find more constructive ways for her to keep busy. Some ideas that have come up in the past are:

·        Fitness trainer. She could help anyone build upper body strength and cardio, by pulling like an ox on her leash for three or four miles at a time. She might have a lot of one time customers, though, after an hour with her, I’m not sure we’d get follow up visits.



·        Assistant dishwasher at a restaurant, pre-cleaning the dishes. Except that any dangerous foods would have to be picked out before she got there, like onions and raisins and chocolate…

Cricket is an expert dishwasher. At least, Butterfly thinks so.

Cricket is an expert dishwasher. At least, Butterfly thinks so.

·        Ball puppy at a tennis court. Though I wonder if anyone would really want the ball back after she’d been carrying it in her mouth.

·        Carnival barker? I don’t think they really mean her sort of barking.

Nothing seemed quite right, and then I started thinking about my brother, the doctor. What if Cricket could do something in his field? I don’t actually believe she could go to medical school (anti-puppy prejudice!), but a hospital would be a fascinating place to work.

Doctor Dog (found online)!

Doctor Dog (found online)!

            Children in the hospital can get very lonely, especially at night, when their visitors go home and the noise quiets down and they are supposed to be asleep. I know dogs have been invited in during the day, but I think they could be even more helpful at night. I can picture the puppies wearing blue scrubs, and beepers at her necks. Puppies could be called by the nurses when a child had a nightmare and couldn’t get back to sleep, or when parents had to leave at bedtime and knew that the child would be lonely.

The human handlers could bring the dogs in and leave a jar of treats by the child’s bedside table, with a bowl of water the dog could reach.

            The job of the human handler would be to be as unobtrusive as possible, but also to know when a child and puppy combination would not be a good match. If the child was angry, at being in the hospital and poked and prodded, and lashed out at the dog, the human handler could remove the dog from harm and prevent the dog from needing to fight back.

            The puppy-on-call room would have to have treadmills, and fake grass to pee on, and a water fountain to drink from, one for the big dogs and one for the little dogs. There could be a play circle filled with tennis balls and chew toys, and mats and beds to sleep on between jobs.

The dogs could do rounds earlier in the day, to meet the children currently in the hospital, and help the doctors with sniffing diagnostics, and then the dogs would be on call at night.

            But now that I think of it, I’m not sure this would be a great job for Cricket. She’s a bit more of a me-me-me dog, rather than an aching-to-be-of-service-to-others dog. Now Butterfly, she’s a whole other story. But her scrubs would have to be a light pink.

Butterfly is very patient.

Butterfly is very patient.

And very Zen.

And very Zen.

            Maybe Cricket could work for the police? Drug sniffing? Recapturing escaped prisoners? She’d be great at catching anyone resembling a leaf or a stick.


Cricket always gets her leaf!

About rachelmankowitz

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

68 responses »

  1. She looks like a killer dog to me. I’d love to hire her to keep my dog in line.

  2. You could be on to something/ Maybe Cricket could be a therapy dog? The question is does she give or receive therapy?

  3. Yikes, Cricket is an intimidator! My giant pitbull/shepherd mix Molly was quite a handful. I nearly gave up walking her, until I discovered the “Halti” leader. I immediately regained my rightful position to leader of the pack.

  4. Both of your girls are so adorable! I love seeing pics of them. This was a wonderful, funny, and cute post. I enjoyed it a lot!

  5. Aww. I love the top photo, a mouth full of leaves!

  6. Oh my gosh, that would be an amazing job for dogs, the night time watch dog. Awe!

    One thing you can actually do for Cricket is a doggie obstacle course. It really helps with high energy dogs ( or so i’ve read about, my dog is lazy as a cat). I know they have dog training schools that offer those classes but they can be costly. But you can build your own, they sell make shift obstacles courses in pet stores.

    • I’ve been tempted to get her some obstacle course toys so many times. At this point she just uses the available furniture. She’s very upset that the snow has been melting, because she’s been using it as climbing and digging and jumping toys all winter.

  7. Cute pics and I like “puppy on call” idea. Cricket might like having to work for her food (food puzzles and treat dispensing balls and cubes). It might burn off some of her excess energy and keep her occupied. 🙂

  8. Cute pics and I like “puppy on call” idea. Cricket might like having to work for her food (food puzzles and treat dispensing balls and cubes). It might burn off some of her excess energy and keep her occupied. 🙂

    • She certainly needs a lot of that today. Oh my. But her idea of working for her food, is standing next to grandma and barking and crying while grandma eats lunch. She is a very focused worker.

  9. All of those jobs sound like fun! I think it is cool that each of your dogs has such a different personality and outlook.

  10. Happy to read your post, as usually nice!!! Alla

  11. Yes, definitely like the “Puppy on Call ” idea.

  12. this was so much fun to read! Poor little Cricket–wearing her mama flat out! I love that last picture of here getting her leaf. That probably sums her up to a T!

  13. You always have the best pictures of the girls, Rachel. Such personality!

  14. Butterfly is a cool shade of pink that’s really lovely. They look so contented , the jobs are a good idea to.
    Enjoy your Week. x

  15. napperscompanion

    Funny one, Rachel. Zen Cricket. Love it. John

  16. Maybe Cricket could get a job as a leaf muncher (multcher, :-)! She sounds like a character, lol!

  17. Dogs seem to me to be very happy when they have something interesting to do. 🙂

  18. The thought of dogs helping lonely and sick kids sleep just melted me into a puddle.

  19. Reblogged this on Sean's Ramblings and commented:
    A nice read

  20. Rachel, we share a love of animals — me cats (kitties!!) and you dogs. I have had both and love them both but isn’t it interesting how we are more naturally drawn to one or the other.

    A spontaneous poem……… when I write poetry not even sure what will come out but it’s almost always there……….

    Cats and Dogs

    “Wait!!” you say
    why not Dogs and Cats?

    Who’s the boss here
    hard to tell
    at least at first
    dominance is sorted
    behind our backs
    a subtle standoff
    of power and paw
    (not always either subtle
    or even a standoff)

    One day we notice
    someone’s in charge
    how did it happen
    wasn’t size
    I’ve seen huge dogs
    walk a wide path
    around a hissy cat
    likely some claw on the nose
    at some unseen moment

    I’ve also seen kitties
    scamper away
    when the king (or queen) trotted in

    Go figure
    just like us!!

  21. Brilliant post, made me laugh out loud 🙂 made me remember something I posted about the dangers of small, bored dogs: What breed is Cricket by the way – she’s adorable!

  22. Tweeted this for you! Are you on Twitter, Rachel?

  23. greyzoned/angelsbark

    I love this! Cricket sounds like she spreads her energy to anyone she meets! Cute job ideas!

  24. Hello and Thank you for the follow and This is so cute how about also puppy goes to see Elder Folk in Folks Home? Bring a smile to a lonely Older person and some love:) Have a nice day Love your cuties:)

  25. Awesome! Especially loved Cricket as a leaf chaser!

  26. maijaharrington

    Thank you for taking a look at “Funny Tails” on I’ve just finished reading your blog about Cricket and Butterfly, and I love their stories. Our Sarah (in Funny Tails) also is a me-me-me dog who cleans the dishes just like Cricket does.
    It’s fun for me to find another person who enjoys writing about her dogs. I’ll be following your blog
    Best wishes,.
    Maija Harrington

  27. Your dogs are adorable – butterfly looks like a female version of my dog rocco! Great blog, LK


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