It was in the early 2000’s when we added a new member to our family. She was a tiny little rat terrier and her name was, “Cricket.” When I moved to N.D. from Indiana, Cricket was there with me. When I went through my divorce, Cricket was there with me. As I transitioned into a new life with my new family, Cricket was there with me. Every step of the way, no matter what changed, Cricket was there with me. When I got my half sleeve tattoo, Cricket was part of that tattoo. ( I think you are seeing a trend here). So what does this have to do with bells?
When we first got Cricket, we had a fox terrier that would bark to tell us she needed to go outside. However, we could NOT teach Cricket to bark. Come hell or high water, the little turd would not bark. So, we taught her to ring a bell. She would walk up to the door, hit the bell with her nose which told us, “Hey, I need to go potty, let me outside.”
The first bell was hung with a piece of ribbon that you would use to make a bow. (house #1). After that, when I moved, I hung the bell with a piece of yarn. (house #2). String accommodated house #3 and #4 and when house #5 came along it was a leather strap with multiple bells that were hung. So you ask, why are these bells so distinguished with 5 different houses. Let me tell you. Each and every time I moved, the bells were priority #1. I would move into a house and the VERY first thing to be addressed were the bells. Think about it…..! If you have a dog that is so dependent on getting outside to potty….. she will need her bells. So no matter what, the VERY first thing that would happen at a new place of residence was, you guessed it, the bells were hung.
When I would get up in the early hours of the a.m., Cricket was there with me. When I would stay up late, Cricket was there with me. In my life (and I’m old) I have never had a more loyal dog than Cricket. When she had surgery and could hardly function, I would sleep on the floor with her. In some of my darker days, she was there for me. We were there for each other.
Today was a very challenging day as I had to make a decision that I wished I would never have to make but one that I knew some day would come. Crickets quality of life had declined and she was way beyond me putting her through another surgery to have her hang on for another 6 to 12 months. That would have been totally selfish of me to ask that of her. So with a heavy heart (3 days ago) I made the decision to put her to sleep. For 3 days I cried internally, knowing what was coming. For 3 days I tried everything possible to play mental gymnastics in my mind on how I could fix this. But in the end…… here we are. But no matter how I played it out in my mind…. I had to do what was the best for her.
Tonight, the bells are silent and my heart weeps. Rest in peace my beautiful friend and I will NEVER forget the joy you have brought to my life.