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Stay Cool, Cricket


We are still working on keeping Cricket calm and quiet, while she’s getting her leash on to go outside. My latest attempt is to sing to her. The song that keeps coming to mind is “Cool” from West Side Story. Of course, I had to switch boy to girl, “Girl, Girl, crazy girl, get cool, girl!” The next line in the lyric is, “Got a rocket in your pocket,” and that made me think about the whole question of dogs having pockets. If Cricket has hidden pockets, and she keeps rockets in them on occasion, that would make the amount of time she spends writhing on the floor, scratching her back, seem much more dangerous.


“I can scratch my back if I want to!”

“Keep coolly cool girl?” The lyrics seem a little sillier than I remembered.

“Girl, girl, crazy girl. Stay loose girl!” I can picture Cricket doing the dance moves at this point in the song. She’s outside in the dark, wearing her denim jacket and canvas sneakers (just go with me on this), and she’s getting really low and jazzy and snapping her fingers (side point, what made God decide that dogs shouldn’t have fingers? Do dogs have no need to snap?).

“Breeze it buzz it, easy does it. Turn off the juice girl,” except, given that the goal is to get Cricket outside to pee, I’m not sure this line in the song is very helpful.


“You’re not funny, Mommy.”

“Go, girl go, but not like a Yo Yo school girl,” this reminds me that Cricket is not allowed to go to public school, which still bothers me, because she would love to learn French, and math, and a little bit of social studies, and she would especially love running laps in the gym.

“Just play it cool girl, real cool.”

Cricket responds well to music, actually. She especially prefers it to when I say words like no, stop, sit, and other cruelties of that kind. She watches my face very closely when I’m singing, just like my oldest nephew did when he was a baby, as if he was trying to figure out where the sounds came from.


Music soothes the savage Cricket.

It takes at least the length of the song to get Cricket quiet enough to be leashed and allowed out the door. Once she’s outside, though, all bets are off. She’ll bark at just about anything.

But that’s a challenge for another time, and a longer song.


“I don’t think I can take anymore, Cricket.”


“Wake me when the training is over.”

About rachelmankowitz

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

62 responses »

  1. such sweet photos- and singing is a great idea- it calms the soul!

  2. hairytoegardener

    I’ve seen West Side Story on TV and in live theater, but didn’t remember that song so I went to Youtube to watch/listen. No wonder Cricket’s tongue hangs from her mouth. Mine would too after doing all of those dance moves. Cricket, girlfriend, you inspire me and my pooches. You ARE cool! This post also led me to Google “The Monks of New Skete” who raise German Shepherds. I believe they sing to their dogs.

    I sing to my dogs, but my songs aren’t classic theater productions. To the refrain of Wooly-Bully, “Elly-Belly, you’re a little smelly, Elly-Belly! Elly-Belly!, Elly-Woof-Woof-Woof-Woof-Woof!”

  3. I can just picture Cricket being in the cast of West Side Story. 🙂 I used to sing to Lexi a lot. It especially helped if she was sick or hurting. She is the only one who didn’t tell me to stop singing.

  4. Jernee has started barking at me in the evenings for no reason at all. (That is to say I unaware of what her problem is. ) I think to myself, maybe in her older age, she’s becoming more vocal. I’ll check her water bowl. I’ll take her out to pee. I’ll pick her up and rub her back. I’ll rub her belly. She just seems really agitated for at least 35 minutes and it’s driving me insane. Her next Vet visit is in March. I’ll see what we need to do to get a handle on this. I hope there’s nothing seriously wrong.

    Continued good luck with Cricket, Rachel.

  5. I am so picturing Cricket dancing around the kitchen and snapping her fingers. You go, you sassy girl!

  6. Rename her “Maria” and you have a West Side Story.

  7. If singing works please let us know. Watson gets really off the wall at times…I purchased him a thunder shirt which calms him down, but he gets so hot when he is wearing it. Cricket is so cute!

  8. Oh I don’t know I think she is pretty cool, I mean she has the right idea about what do do with the trainers – and that’s cool :o:

  9. I LOVE my 2 fur-babies: 1st Japanese Chin/Yorkie mix and the other is a 6 pound Japanese chin. They’ve been all over the country with me. 🙂

  10. So agree with the singing or calming music. Used to play soothing music to my older Greyhound , she seemed calm and happy.
    Lovely post and gorgeous pictures.

  11. Cool is one of my all time favorite Broadway songs and scenes! I think Cricket would do the role justice, but yeah the snapping would be hard.

  12. I found these folks (Relax My Dog) on You tube some time ago. It works for my dogs somewhat and may be the sounds will appeal to Cricket too?!

  13. This blog post is so cute and I remember the song from West Side Story. My dog Ali is a Bichon , 10 years old and set in her ways. When she doesn’t want to go outside she runs around the dinning table and scoots under to get free when we try and trap her. She is smart as a whip. We have a better chance to catch her when she runs around the sofa, there is no way for her to get away. My husband and I are on both sides of the sofa and she looks up at us like to say, alright I give up, you got me. She has a reputation in our development as the “mean white dog.” How sad. Little do they know she is so loving to the people she knows, especially our grandchildren. Bichons are known to be very territorial and to protect their domains and the people who care for her. Oh well, this is who she is and we love her dearly.

  14. Wish I could be there to see you singing to her. Couldn’t resist sending this to you: xxx

  15. “Tell Cricket if she goes outside she can roll in raccoon poop.” dictated to me by my Australian Shepherd trying to be very helpful

  16. I use treats to get my dog’s harness on.

  17. I trained the dog to sit. He was always so excited to go outside. Jumping and spinning around. After he was done spinning he would come over and sit beside me. ( At first, I had to point and say sit 2-3 times- then push his back side down when he came over.) Now he does it automatically. When he was quiet, I put his collar/lease on him. Later on -as soon as he heard the chiming of his heavy chain collar he would jump for joy. Love that dear heart!– Saint Bernard —

  18. Pingback: Blogs You Should Check Out 2 – The Comfortable Coop

  19. I sing to my dogs too. Any song is fine except for the birthday song. Mickey goes crazy and starts howling when I sing that one. Lol. I have no idea why.

  20. If you have four legs you have toes.

  21. Such sweet and adorable pics! I love, love, love them! This is so funny!! Cricket is so cute and pretty… 🐶❤️❤️🐶

  22. Really cute pictures! Could right away cuddle them 🙂

  23. I love the pictures of Cricket. He (she?) looks a lot like my Maltese, JoJo. I can understand a dog’s need to snap its fingers …./ 🙂 🙂 Smiles and chuckles xx

  24. Thanks. Now I’ll have that song stuck in my head for days. West Side Story always does that to me. I’m old enough to remember when the movie came on tv once a year and we were all excited.

  25. My dogs really love to hear their names in songs.

  26. that’s looking
    cool, cricket 🙂

  27. These pictures are wonderful – I love your babies!!


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