One Very Awesome Dog

Thursday, October 31, 2013
We've had our black labrador dog, Cricket, for coming up 11 years. I can't believe he'll be 11 years old next year.

We got him when our daughter was 1 year old. We were told that it was better to do this rather than getting the puppy before the baby arrived. So we waited and chose our little black puppy, or rather, he chose us, because he came running over from the wriggling group of litter puppies, with his little tail slashing madly behind him. And we fell in love with him.

He was born in Dunedin - just like my three older children and he has travelled up the islands with us as we have moved. He has gone from a country dog to a town dog. But he still has his country ways about him.

He refuses to believe he is old. But the arthritis medication in the cupboard tells otherwise.

He has not been without his trouble, this dog. He has caused a few problems for us in the past. He is a dog. An animal. Trying to fit in with modern society and modern rules and modern councils who insist on humanising our pets. They are not human. They are animals and they have animal ways.

So Cricket has not been without blame at times during his life, but he is an awesome dog with a lovely, loyal nature. And what I love best about him is that he will do anything to protect my children. I know this. He loves those kids.

Years and years ago when we were renovating a house, we had a lovely builder who became our friend. He joked around a lot with us and let the kids, who were very little at the time, help him with little building jobs. He also loved our dog, talking to him as he worked. We loved him. But one day, a rainy day, we were all huddled around the table inside with the fire going, and Cricket our dog was asleep under the table. Our friendly builder came through the room to go to the bathroom and as he passed by he leaned over to chuck my son under the chin - a kind of friendly, hello rascal, what are you up to, sort of gesture.

The next thing we know our dog is out from under that table in a flash and actually barked at our shocked builder. He didn't hurt him at all, but it was a little warning to watch himself. We all laughed at his over-protectiveness, and thereafter the builders referred to him as 'killer-dog.'

But this weekend, as we took him up to the beach with us, I had a new appreciation for him and his over-protectiveness.
Our third child, Teddy, is learning to row a boat. He is our boy who has had major health issues in the past, and at nearly 9 years old is only now gaining confidence in swimming and watersports. He begged his Dad to be allowed to go out in the kayak on his own.

It was quite a calm day in the bay, so with his lifejacket buttoned on, off he went.

I was standing on the beach recording this momentous occasion with my camera. And then I realised that this little boy had a little shadow. A little black shadow, paddling fiercely under the water trying to keep up with the kayak. Following him across the bay and the surf. Just like he was keeping an eye on him. Protecting him just in case. How amazing is that! I love my dog for that.

There have been times when this dog has been a lot of trouble and a lot of work, and I know there have been times when my husband wonders if we did the right thing in getting a dog.

But then I look at these photos and see his love and loyalty towards our children, and it's all worth it.

I know Cricket would do anything for these kids. Even risk his own life if he had to. And for that, he is awesome.


vegemitevix said...

Beautiful Cricket. Dogs are such a real blessing for any family I think. But then I'm biased. :-)

Heather L. said...

Yes! I need the recipe for ginger beer!

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