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After Teddy


Cricket is feeling better. I don’t know if it’s because her back has healed enough to let her jump on beds and couches again, or if she’s relieved that the course of steroids is over, or if it’s all because Teddy is no longer trying to steal her bed, or her people. She seemed extra tired for the first day or two after Teddy left, barely lifting her head from hang dog position, but then she went back to full tilt play mode, trying to taunt her humans with her stuffed birthday cake.

Whatever Cricket says now, I think she was getting used to having Teddy around. On the last night of his visit, Teddy and Cricket did a tandem poop (perfectly timed, walking in sync in the same direction three feet apart, and then, poop), and during their final shared nap they squashed together on my bed, butt to butt, despite having a lot of space to spread out on.


Nap time

After Teddy left, and I was clearly bereft, Mom asked if I’d be ready to look for another dog over Thanksgiving, or maybe Christmas break, but I still don’t know. Cricket seems to have recognized my need for extra company, and has been offering up her belly for more frequent scratching, but she’s not willing to go so far as to sit on my lap and stare at me adoringly, the way Teddy did.



What I really need is an emotional support dog; one who can come to work with me, and listen to all my problems, and sit on my lap to keep my legs from shaking when I’m anxious. If she could also have some social work training, then we could even hire out as a team, once I graduate and get my license.

But I feel guilty even considering a new dog when Cricket is just settling back into her only dog role. It doesn’t seem fair to bring in yet another dog who wants to challenge her position in the family, and share her food. Though it’s possible that I am underestimating Miss Cricket. However grumpily she may have responded to Teddy’s attempts to play with her, and sleep in her bed, she got used to him pretty quickly. She may have even enjoyed having him around. But shh, don’t tell her I know.


Cricket quickly reclaimed her bed after Teddy left.

p.s. Teddy may be coming back for another short visit soon. It turns out that he misses us as much as we miss him.


“This is my kingdom. Of course I’m coming back.”

About rachelmankowitz

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

53 responses »

  1. These kind of decisions are extremely difficult. That’s why a “situational” rescue of Lucy worked for us. Then more than a year after losing Lexi, I was ready for another schnauzer. Lucy still has mixed feelings about it, but she hasn’t been with us for years like Cricket. Teddy coming back soon is just what you both need.

    • I am living vicariously through your reports on Xena’s new life. She is beautiful!

      • That’ s one of the nicest comments I’ve ever gotten. I wanted to wait until after the first anniversary of Lexi’s death, and not be going through all those emotions while trying to bond and care for a new puppy. I’m glad I did. I still miss my girl terribly, but thanks to Xena, I no longer cry every day.

      • And she still has Angel Lexi watching over her, giving her clues on how to get into the best kind of trouble.

  2. It was over 2 years before we found Lily’s new friend, Lulu. I had moved in the interim which may have prolonged our finding her. Or not, I don’t know. Then we fostered for a week and she was so right at home. Hard to know I think.

  3. I love seeing them sleeping together. In a few more days time Cricket may miss Teddy- you’ll know. When we got our Max to keep Sammy company, Sammy wanted know part of him at first, but they always slept together and max assumed his place as the non alpha and all was good!

  4. I’m glad that Teddy fit in, even if it was a little rough at first. I know you both miss him and am glad that he is getting to come back for a visit. I think you will know when you are ready to open up your heart to a relationship with a new 4-legged friend.

  5. If there is one thing I know about dogs it’s that they are very adaptable, far more than we give them credit for. If you add another dog to the family again, there will be some anxiety as the dogs and humans work out the pack structure. Once everybody knows where they stand, everybody everyone can relax.

  6. Sounds like Teddy’s visit while somewhat stressful seemed to be the tonic for your household even if there was some grumbling initially. Our pets tend to pick up on our energy and mirror it back to us. It was touching to see Teddy and Cricket butt to butt at ease on the bed. Good luck with whatever decision you decide on for a potential adoption. It could just be what the doctor ordered. Have you given thought to a foster situation? Sometimes those turn out to be the best Rx for tender hearts.

  7. A long time ago, I lost a dog under very sad circumstances. She was just four years old, and her illness was pretty sudden, and hopeless. She left behind her litter sister, At the same time, my sister’s Maltese had pups. It seemed as though fate had taken a hand. We adopted two little girls. It worked out fine. 🙂

  8. Could you take Cricket to a pet adoption fair? Perhaps she will be the one to let you know if (or who) the newest family member might be.

  9. Having 2 dogs many years ago and losing the GSD, the collie pined, so we got a GSD rescue. When I left the relationship, Kiz came with me. I heard the Ex partner got a black GSD short afterwards. When I lost Kiz, we didn’t have a dog for several years, then got Barney. We weren’t ready to lose him nine years later, and I lasted 6 days before getting another. Maggie is spoilt rotten, loved to pieces and any decision is taken with her in mind. That might sound daft, but she has always been with us (until we had 8 days away selling the boat and she stayed with MSM). With recent events, her age and health has made us more aware of the inevitable, and know it is going to be a difficult time for us when her time comes, hopefully not for a good few years yet!
    You’ll know when the time is right Rachel. Teddy is good therapy for you both, and I like the idea of Bitey Dog’s to take Cricket to an adoption fair. It affects her too of course. ❤

  10. If you have a trusted dog person (ours is Donna at the dog rescue who is incidentally amazing at matching dogs) ask their advise on crickets needs. I always think that a dog is better with another dog while you go out and to play with etc, unless the other dog is the wrong temperament or your dog really hates other dogs. And there’s nothing as satisfying as standing and watching them tire each other out!

    Our aya was dog reactive so we had to get the right dog for her (that’s Peter) and it took us a month of integration until we dared leave them alone together, but she was so sad when I left her home alone after our Sam died we did it.

    our lily is the right dog for Peter. He’s needs another dog, he was just going to fade away and die.

    And we ended with aya because Sam was so sad when the dogs that came to visit/have their holidays went home….

    TLDR: the dog can be for both of you. There’s nothing that takes your mind off it like having to get up at 5am for a dog walk before work.

  11. I am so glad that Cricket deems to be feeling much – more like her old self. I think Benji enjoyed the friendship of both Dougal and Yogi, but after the WaWa, I think he is happier on his own with his people. Just reading Susanna and I thought I was keen getting up at 5:45.

  12. I know it can be hard to bring a new animal into your home. Listen to your heart and only do it when it feels right. Cricket may well be terrifically annoyed by a new fur sibling. On the other hand, or paw, my husband and I believe that animals are better off living with one or more of their own kind. There are things that Cricket can only share with another dog, even if he or she drives her a bit mad at first. Good luck. Sending you and Cricket positive thoughts and energy. –Jessica, Human Mommy of 7 Cats and 2 Dogs

  13. Loved seeing the 2 of them sleeping together, even if it wasn’t really “cuddling”…. how adorable and how adaptable our companions can be. Some obviously more than others. I hope you guys get to see Teddy again and hopefully Cricket will see him as a friend more and a threat less. 🙂

  14. The family that poops together stays together.

  15. I think having Teddy around for visits is a good trial run for both of you, just to see how Cricket likes it too.
    My Miekie adapted to being the only dog after my 2 cats passed, and even though she loves other dogs and cats and children, she does like to have the bed and room to herself at the end of the day. And she stopped having issues with food, not trying to eat everything she sees.
    I do miss other animals (my furry children) in the house, but for now Miekie is an only child.
    Hugs to you both, and I am happy to hear Cricket is doing so much better. xx

  16. Hi Rachel, maybe consider fostering a dog in the interim.

  17. I’m glad Cricket is on the mend!

  18. I know how Cricket feels – I’m always excited to have visitors, then feel exhausted when everyone leaves. Once back on track, we start planning the next visit!

  19. The decision to bring another dog into our homes after we’ve experienced a recent loss is a tough one. I’m so glad Teddy is coming back for another visit.
    I hope whoever is fortunate enough to come into your family brings you as much joy as Charly has brought to all of us at Casita de Cardinal.
    We are thankful for the memories…

  20. I am happy to see Cricket is doing better. She is so cute! Do you think Teddy gets the same attention from his owner? Those pics of them all are absolutely adorable!

  21. You will make the wise decision for both you and Cricket. Meanwhile, it’s good that Teddy can come back to visit. I used to keep other people’s dogs for them when they were on vacation and Angel Joy would actually celebrate when they left! She loves being the only dog in the family. But like people, every dog is different.

  22. Is fostering something that would work? That could accomplish a lot of things . . . it would be helping a dog out . . . it would allow you to see the dog you could end up adopting(/needing) . . . it would help Cricket get used to another dog, but it would not be a permanent thing . . . Where is Teddy from? Were you dog-sitting?

  23. Piper was an only dog and then when the opportunity came for Jack to join us, I jumped at the chance. Leo was totally unplanned but he fit in like a dirty sock. When the right dog comes along, you’ll just know it and it’ll feel right. Trust your gut and Cricket.


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