Tuesday, 7 September 2010

Cricket's Story - And A Friend Looking For Help

I get alot of emails and comments whenever Cricket appears in the blog. Well, she is big, demanding of attention and the first soul one usually meets when they come to the kennel.
Cricket actually got an email the other day, which is the reason for this blog, but I thought before I told you about the email, I'd tell Cricket's story.

For many years our kennel was brilliantly guarded and managed by an exceptional Australian Shepherd named Fly. Sadly, Fly started to age and we realized that it was time for him to start training a new 'kennel manager' and guardian. I've never met another Aussie like Fly (well, maybe except for my friend, Lisa's Bruce - but she wasn't parting with him) so I wasn't really interested in another Aussie - I'd already had the perfect one (at least for me). I looked at alot of different 'guardian' breeds and talked to a number of breeders, but in the end decided to go a rescue group. I'm a big fan of rescue groups and we have a great one in our neighborhood - Second Chance Animal Rescue. While checking out their website I found 'Pearl'.

"Pearl' had been founding wandering on one of the local First Nation Reserves. She was matted, thin, ownerless, and basically living off of what she could find and/or catch. She had been loved at one time though, as she was spayed and was wearing a collar with a tag that said 'Princess' on it.

Mark and I made an appointment to go out and meet her.

We went through all the big dogs at the beautiful SCARS facility, but we kept coming back to the now well fed and shaved big Great Pyrenees cross that had originally drawn us there. When we left it was with the great white beast in the van.

She was very obviously not a 'Princess' nor a 'Pearl'. Our previous non-Siberians were Skeeter and Fly, so a 'bug' name seemed most appropriate. 'Cricket' she became!

Nothing was easy with Cricket to begin with. She ran away, she attacked Kara a few times, chased the cats,  and brought home dead things. So many times I questioned our new addition and wondered how she was ever going to take over from Fly. She was just so different and well......useless compared to him.
But over time she began to grow up and into her responsibilities.

I will never forget the night Mark was at work and we had a bawling bear on the edge of the dog yard. I was in a panic and when I finally got in touch with Mark he said, "Why don't you put your big guard dog to work?". Cricket was still kenneled at night at that time and when I turned her loose I watched the first signs of what she was to become. She ran off the intruder and spent the rest of the night patrolling the perimeter of the dog yard. That was the last night she ever spent in a kennel.

In the early winter of 2008 Fly left us and Cricket was now on her own. My grief over the loss of Fly was great, magnified by my trepidation at the job his replacement was going to do. I shouldn't have worried.

Over the last 2 years Cricket has pretty much become indispensable at the kennel. She keeps wildlife at bay, maintains peace between the dogs, stares down visitors to the yard and makes us laugh a whole heck of a lot. She still  has some issues, but I now worry about the day she leaves us and how I will ever find a replacement for her.

Now how this all relates to the email that Cricket got the other day was that it was about another Great Pyr in rescue that is in need of a 'forever' home like Cricket has found with us.

'Simba' is a male Great Pyr in Ketchikan, Alaska that was dumped by his owner after he was hit by a car. The staff at the shelter has nursed Simba through two surgeries but they now need to find him a home of his own.
Friends of Simba's thought that maybe someone that was a fan of Cricket's might be interested in a Great Pyr of their own.
There would be some expense in getting him outside of Alaska, but he is a special and handsome boy that so deserves another shot at a great home!

You can find more information on Simba at http://www.petfinder.com/petdetail/17066122 or contact Deb at

Cricket reminds everyone to research the breed before considering a Great Pyr. They are not the perfect dog for everyone, but when the relationship clicks, they are an amazing breed!!

Karen (and Cricket)


Khyra And Sometimes Her Mom said...

Thanks for sharing Cricket's story -

AND paws khrossed for Simba -

What a handsome fella!

Tracey Porreca said...

I live in Delta Junction, Alaska. I have been looking for a Great Pyr or Newfoundland rescue dog and haven't been able to find one. My husband used to breed Newfoundlands, and we have had many, so we are very familiar with large breed dogs. I will talk to my husband and see if this might be a possibility for us. He seems like a very nice dog.

Anonymous said...

Karen and Cricket,

Thank you for your post! We sure hope that Simba finds a great home and if they already live in Alaska, then even better.

North Wapiti Rocks!

Deb, Doni, and Simba

mgailt said...

Hi Karen --- My husband's brother and his wife have a sheep ranch just outside Grimshaw AB, and they have Great Pyrenees as guard dogs as well. Will forward this to them, see if they might be in the market for another Pyr to add to their family.

deb said...

I recently had the Pleasure of fostering two Great Pyr's through
S.C.A.R.S. They're an incredible breed.

Anonymous said...

Cricket is too amazing and what a beautiful boy Simba is. I have looked @ several Great Pyrs here & wish very badly that I were closer to Ketchican. Would love to take him in as a friend for my Sib.
He would love the weather him & the weather. Sitka's mom in Ohio

Chris said...

You forgot to mention how Cricket used to get through the cat door in to the garage. :-)
I will always have a huge soft spot in my heart for that big fluff ball.
Cheers Chris

Annika said...

So happy to get to hear Cricket's story! Hope Simba finds a home as well.