I’ve loved a lot of dogs in my life but none so much as the Yorkshire terrier I bought Carolann as a gift seventeen years ago. Only a few weeks old at the time, we named her Cricket for the way she hopped through the grass of our front lawn, grass that came up to her tiny chest. Cricket, or as we often called her, our “Baby Girl”, stole our hearts when we first laid eyes on her.
Cricket passed away a few years ago. Dogs always leave us too soon but I like to think they’re pretty close to perfect when God gives them to us. They don’t need to learn long lessons as we do.
When we first brought Cricket home we began the potty training. We’d take her outside in the back yard every hour or two and command her to “go potty.” She’s a smart baby girl and she would learn quickly.
One evening, shortly after dusk, I took her into the backyard and we began going through the exercise. “Go potty, Cricket,” I said. Curious puppy that she was she ignored me and sniffed and poked around the yard while I continued to give the command, firmly yet kindly.
It was a lovely spring evening. A single cricket (the insect, not the dog) was chirping. I eventually became aware that our next-door neighbor was in his yard across the fence. The fence was tall enough that we couldn’t see each other but I was aware of his movements and he could hear me, of course.
Here’s what he heard:
A single cricket chirping.
And, me saying, “Go potty, Cricket!… Cricket, go potty for Daddy!”
We all have at least one wacky neighbor. That evening I was it.