RSS Feed

Cricket Bites

 

Cricket is a biter. She has been a biter since she was a puppy, and now that she’s 12 years old, I don’t see it changing. We were warned that Cockapoos could bite – though the warning came after Cricket came home from the breeder, and from an unreliable source, so, not especially helpful.

puppy in November 010

She ate most of this pumpkin before we knew what was happening.

Cricket bites when she’s scared, angry, overexcited, etc. She resents any attempt to brush, comb, or clean her hair (though groomers have been able to do it, when she’s medicated). For her first two years, I worked hard at trying to condition Cricket to grooming at home. It was a long ritual, with lots of chicken treats and very gradual steps, and it was never, ever successful.

puppy in November 001

“You’re killing me, Mommy.”

puppy in November 039.jpg

“I kill you back!”

When the groomer left a small mat on one of Cricket’s ears, during a grooming visit a few months ago, I got nervous, because Cricket has very cottony hair, prone to knotting up if we’re not careful. I even took out the round-edged scissors to try to remove the small mat before it could grow. Cricket didn’t appreciate that, of course, and I decided to keep my fingers for a while longer. That meant that, at her most recent grooming, after the mat had grown and spread to both ears and her face, Cricket faced the indignity of being shaved down to the nubs. Her head is surprisingly small without all of the fluff, and she looked a bit like a tiny alpaca, with her naked ears and prominent nose, and big, wide open eyes.

IMG_1066

Escaping from the groomer’s house!

 

The thing is, at this point, I’m done battling with her about her hair. I’m done risking life and limb to save her from another bad haircut, that she will, of course, blame on me. She is a senior citizen in the dog world, and this is the best she’s going to be. I may have better luck cleaning her up once she loses a few more teeth, though. That’s something to look forward to, and since she has resisted every attempt at tooth brushing, with every kind of special doggy toothbrush and chicken flavored toothpaste, she won’t keep all those sharp little teeth forever.

anger

The immediate problem is that she has convinced Ellie that any attempts at home grooming are the equivalent of death threats, and Ellie has fluffy ears and a long fluffy tail that need regular combing to avoid mats. Ellie doesn’t bite, Thank God, but she does run away from me, or give me those puppy dog eyes that seem to say, Mommy, why are you hurting me? Aren’t I a good girl? Which really is worse than a dog bite in terms of long lasting damage to the soul.

032

“Cricket says you’re trying to kill me.”

I think we need to come up with something like a miniature carwash for dogs, where the dog is harnessed in and washed and brushed and dried without any human fingers put at risk. I mean, sure, the actual haircut would still have to be done by professional, but in between, the carwash could keep the girls from smelling like pee, and covering their faces with snot. And, I would be able to keep all of my fingers. Wouldn’t that be great?

004

“No, Mommy. I don’t think so.”

003

The poor miniature alpaca doesn’t think so either

 

If you haven’t had a chance yet, please check out my Amazon page and consider ordering the Kindle or Paperback version (or both!) of Yeshiva Girl. And if you feel called to write a review of the book on Amazon, or anywhere else, I’d be honored.

Yeshiva Girl is about a Jewish girl on Long Island named Izzy. Her father has been accused of inappropriate sexual behavior with one of his students, which he denies, but Izzy implicitly believes is true. Izzy’s father decides to send her to a co-ed Orthodox yeshiva for tenth grade, out of the blue, as if she’s the one who needs to be fixed. Izzy, in pain and looking for people she can trust, finds that religious people are much more complicated than she had expected. Some, like her father, may use religion as a place to hide, but others search for and find comfort, and community, and even enlightenment. The question is, what will Izzy find?

About rachelmankowitz

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

106 responses »

  1. ramblingsofaperforatedmind

    Those eyes and the looks they give do wound our souls!

    Reply
  2. Lulu hates the toothbrush. Lily loves it though.

    Reply
  3. YES SUCH A BIG DOG AND IS A DANGER TO THE PUBLIC’S SAFETY, BUT SHE IS A BEAUTY, HAVE JUST GOT TOO BORDER COLLIE PUPS, BROTHERS SO YOU CAN IMAGINE WHAT I AM GOING THROUGH, CHINA

    Reply
  4. Weaving Simplicity

    We went through this with our beagle. When he needed to have his nails cut the groomers at the vet had to muzzle him. He was also older and had a good bit of arthritis – so maybe pain is a factor with them as they age. We also had two guinea pigs – Phil and Will. Phil was loud and demanding – flipping his bowl, standing on it with his front paws and making loud noises when he was out of alfalfa. Will was shy and quiet, and loved hiding out in a tunnel in his tank. Until several months of living next to Phil’s tank – when he also became loud and demanding. 😊

    Reply
  5. When you find that miniature car wash for dogs, please help with a kitty manicurist. We can scruff Piper to trim her claws (she is only 2). But Parker, at 6 years old, will have none of that sissy, scruffing stuff. If we move (very) quickly, I can get maybe 2-3 claws trimmed at a time. Something’s gotta give. Maybe Cricket and Ellie will share chicken treats? Good luck.

    Reply
  6. This Cricket does not bite her stylist. No matter how tight she winds my hair in the perm roller.😉

    Reply
  7. The photos you shot of Cricket baring her teeth make her look scary.

    Reply
  8. Max is just the opposite. He’s so gentle that never, not even once, in 12 years has he acted other than totally docile when we’ve needed to manipulate his little body. He’s that way with every human but goes absolutely bat crap crazy when around 90% of other dogs. These little dogs have bewildering personalities!

    Reply
  9. Our first schnauzer was a biter. He only bit teenager boys with sticks. I think I know how he came to be a biter. Our current schnauzer hates being groomed. A losing battle. You have my sympathy.

    Reply
  10. Congratulations on your novel. That’s a thick novel, and the plot sounds interesting. I admire your commitment 🙂

    Reply
  11. I don’t know about your car wash style dog wash. You’d have to discriminate and say “NO TERRIERS”. Would that fly with current laws? If you took terriers, the result would be unpredictable.

    Reply
  12. I did not know Miss Cricket was a cockapoo. The biting will come from the cocker spaniel side. My mother had the most beautiful black cocker spaniel who would bite anyone bar my mother – the hand that feeds – and me – more sense.

    Reply
  13. First I thought you talk about 🏏 cricket game, as I went through your page, I found u named your puppy cricket,, lol!

    Reply
  14. But they look so cute. Our Shih Poo Oreo loves his bath but he is so noisy and playful when he hears the gate being opened.

    Reply
  15. Years ago, we had a peke-cockapoo and he was a biter, too! I always thought it was because he was never neutered. He stayed with my mother after I got married and couldn’t take him to the apartment we had (no dog policy). He lived until he was 17. Bennie had black fur and terrible skin allergies. He was bad tempered but very cute.

    Reply
  16. I have never had a dog that bit me. Not sure I would have allowed that from the start. I always work on the theory that however much you love your dog, they have to know their place in the ‘pack’. 🙂
    Best wishes, Pete.

    Reply
  17. Sweet…… and tasty from Cricket’s point of view! ouch!!
    Maggie doesn’t like the shower, but loves the hairdryer afterwards. Grooming is few and far between but more so when she’s throwing her coat, which she does twice a year.
    Cleaning teeth, fat chance. She’s had four cleans under anaesthetic, two of which were done by our new vet at no extra charge as she was out anyway for mouth surgery.
    Nail clipping we started as a pup, just going through the motions until she got used to it and most times she’d fall asleep during the process. Barney on the other hand was a nightmare. It took four of us to cut his nails, each having a foot then rotating a leg as the vet clipped!

    Reply
  18. How patient you have been with your dogs! I like the car wash idea, as my whippet cross avoids washing by just leaping out of the sink.

    Reply
  19. Whatever it takes to keep all your fingers sounds like a good idea!

    Reply
  20. Yea it is really hard with sensitive pups, especially when husbandry (grooming) causes them pain. I’m guessing you’ve already worked on muzzle conditioning to minimize the muzzle as an added stressor and increase safety when grooming at home? The muzzle up project has great resources https://muzzleupproject.com/muzzle-training/ also some spaniel folks I know swear by the product cowboy magic detangler (online reviews note it seems to work well for cockapoo costs too) for making mats easier to remove, there is also a product called The Stuff that I’ve used in past that has really helped prevent mats. Good luck and stay safe

    Reply
  21. she still looks adorable even with the short hair!

    Reply
  22. Funny piece, Rachel. In the “No, Mommy, I don’t think so” photo, Cricket looks just like our own Cockapoo, Zoe (RIP).

    Reply
  23. It is so good you are patient with cricket. Perhaps in time she’ll accept needed touch.

    Reply
  24. 😂 Comical. I think one of these dogs bit me as a kid. This breed I mean.

    My uncle owned one and it was kept locked up in his basement when we’d visit afterwards. The littlest dogs, in my experience, always try their hardest to appear more threatening.

    You sound like a good fur-mommy

    Reply
  25. Crickett say it’s not so!

    Reply
  26. You can imagine, this post spoke to me. Indeed, in another country, someone came up with a dog washing contraption, but it doesn’t seem humane to me. You could invent something better. In the meantime, stay strong, gf! 💕🐾

    Reply
  27. It sounds like Cricket should have the title “Bitey Dog” instead of my boy.

    (Although Geordie is missing some front teeth, he still manages to nip me with the ones he’s got.)

    Reply
  28. The groomers are able to do their jobs in part because they have the equipment. At my groomers (where the boys used to go to get their nails trimmed. Both boys are short haired ((thankfully)) ) they have a soft harness/leash affair that makes doggie stand still. They also have muzzles (humane ones) if the dog is grouchy and/or a biter. My groomer recently raised her prices so much that I can’t afford to go to her any longer, and I must use the vet, which is a cheaper deal. The boys don’t mind them doing their nails, and are docile and surprisingly gentle. Ziggy, however, has proven he’s a barker. I wonder which is worse? Getting a nip or two or having the neighbors chide one about the noise. He really bawled when we were at the vet, and cried the whole time, plus whining and acting up. He didn’t do that on the initial visit to the vet, so I’m mystified what may have opened his mouth that way. And yes, those sad puppy dog eyes are indeed weapons.

    Reply
    • I watched the groomer pick cricket up, put her on a table without any harnesses, and use the clipper on her head, with not one peep from Cricket. It was only for a second, to test the length of the hair cut, but still. Cricket would never let me get away with such a thing.

      Reply
  29. I think all dogs might if they think they’re defending themselves. How’s she with chewing? I ask because we had an issue with our one dog. Our vet told us pine logs are good for them and will help curb chewing. Hope she stops the biting.

    Reply
  30. She is adorable!! Lovely photos ❤ My yorkie's hair also had a tendency to knot even though we did try combing her hair (she hated it), but ended up trimming it instead! x

    Reply
  31. That is an absolutely hilarious photo of Cricket and the toothbrush, notwithstanding that her teeth wouldn’t be fun to come into contact with.

    Reply
  32. I used to use baby powder to help smooth out mats when grooming. Shaved like an alpaca is a cute look! The older she gets, the more she’ll want short hair anyway, eh? ^_^

    Reply
  33. Oh, it’s a lot harder for an old dog to live without teeth. I wouldn’t look forward to that if I were you.

    Reply
  34. Haha. What a ferocious beast!

    Reply
  35. 🙂 I was brushing Miles’ rather large and pointy teeth the other day and was struck at how astounding it is that any such creature doesn’t bite on such occasions. It’s really a marvel that we can live with and even snuggle with such toothy friends.

    Reply
  36. Biting is never something to not take seriously – does she break skin? Not to be an alarmist – I have a big dog, and biting is something that can never be allowed. Maverick nipped my ankles when he was a puppy, but it’s something they should grow out of.

    Reply
  37. I have never attempted to groom our cockapoo. I’ve given her baths, which she detests. But have never been brave enough to try and trim her hair!

    Reply
  38. She does look evil in that one picture. I would be worried about any biting and liability. She doesn’t respond to chicken treats, I read, by not discipline either?

    Reply
    • We keep her at a distance from most people, because she finds so many things upsetting and really can’t self regulate. But thank god we haven’t had to deal with anything too serious. Most of the time she just barks her head off and then goes to sleep.

      Reply
  39. I love Cricket and Ellie stories. “Kill ’em back.” I was present at a vets reunion where a Navy commander, destroyer perhaps, said, to the affect, “We’re not allowed to initiate action, but when attacked we kill ’em back.” He seemed to relish that.

    Reply
  40. Cute and vicious all at the same time!

    Reply
  41. I think the miniature alpaca look is kinda cute.

    Reply
  42. Hi Rachel,
    Thanks for recently liking my post “Cursing All Day Long.” I appreciate the support and I look forward to reading too. My old old dog Tara will enjoy it too!
    Pat

    Reply
  43. I thought dogs don’t bite their masters.

    Reply
  44. 🌸Faith and Family3🌸

    Reblogged this on Faith and Family3 and commented:
    ROFL Check out Rachel’s little fur baby…. I guess baby don’t want teeth brushed 😀

    Reply

Leave a Reply to rabbiadar Cancel 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 )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google 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 )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: