Look at that face. He is what Skipper endearingly called Gilligan, my “little buddy.”
Cricket has a ridiculous amount of energy and enthusiasm. I am full of appreciation for him and can’t say “no” to him most of the time. He is the first to greet me every morning, after my kitty Jill, and accommodates me so graciously when he sleeps in my bed. Unlike Jackie, his older auntie, who wants to muscle me out of my pillow, my mattress altogether! Cricket is my go-to dog, too. He should have been called the “minute man” because of his readiness to do anything. He has learned how to ring a bell to come inside and if you’re not fast enough to open the door, well he knows how to do that for himself anyway. I just wish he’d learn how to shut the door behind him. When we go out the door early every morning to take care of the critters, he’s bounding along side me and then off he goes to find his toy of choice. It might be a stick, it might be an apple, a ball, it might be a leaf or a twig…doesn’t matter. As I’m filling the buckets for the chickens, for the ducks, the sheep, turkeys, you name it, he is shoving his little toy into the bucket under my hand or sometimes shoving it right into my hand. He is MAD for the game. I throw, toss, whatever the heft of the object will allow for. He fetches it within seconds and is back. Drops it in the bucket, and backs up a slight bit for me to pick it up and heave it.
Does this drive me crazy during the course of the chores? You bet it does. But I can’t seem to stop myself from participating in the game. “Cricket, I’m not going to throw it again!” I always exclaim, exasperated at the way it impedes my progress in a more rapid fashion. Really, do I want to be out there throwing the stick, the leaf, the apple, the ball, etc. or do I want to be done with the chores so I can get a shower, breakfast, whatever? Get on with my day?!
He looks at me with his face cocked just so and switches his eyebrows around. I throw it for the last time, so I say, and he is giddy. I like to imagine he is teaching me lessons and I have so much respect for him, for his tenacity and his positive attitude.
I think that a person can learn a thing or two from the faith of the dog. Cricket loves me no matter whether I throw the stick or not. If I have to say, “Sorry Little Buddy, we’re going in now” he will pout, slightly, but putters along next to me and acknowledges that there will be another time to play. He is there for me night and day. And that’s how my faith is for me, too. I couldn’t possibly be perfect and I know I am still loved. If I let God down somehow today, well, it’s all good even still. And while I’m not in practice of trying to let God down, just the security in knowing that I am loved helps me to be a better person.
Thanks, Cricket! and Thanks, God!