My little red tether is my anchor in running with my friends. A beautiful guide dog has been my tether/anchor in mobility and independence for 17 years: 1. Pantera 2. Cricket, and now my beautiful 3. Georgina (Georgie). A life of family and friends is my joy and anchor in life.

The human spirit is stronger than anything that can happen to it. CC Scott

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Next Chapter for Cricket

Wishing many, many more smiles for this beautiful Girl!  

 For seven years, I literally was Cruisin with Cricket.  We travelled all over with confidence and joy.  She sat in my office with empathy and love as people share their deepest pains.  She recognized the pain and would gently get up off her bed and walk over and sit beside them.  I recall one session a woman was telling me she wanted to die.  We were literally creating a safety plan.  Cricket got up off her bed with urgency and came to this woman and tried to crawl in her lap!  Cricket taught me alot about being present for someone else.  My colleagues referred to her as the office mascot.  (Most of them have spent their whole career at RSI with her as the dog.) She loved everyone - whether it was the sweet child in the office or meeting Kathie Lee Gifford.  She had a kiss for everyone. My family loves and adores her.  We have so many wonderful memories with her.  Because of Cricket my family knew I was in good hands and safe for seven years.  (Before that it was Pantera keeping me safe and now it is Georgie keeping me safe).  When I reflect back on Cricket I will remember incredible opportunities to advocate in Cricket style .. with love, passion and confidence.  

When she told me she was ready to retire, I knew she had so much love left to give and share with others.  Although she did not want to guide, she really still wanted to go and connect with others.  For the past three months while bonding to my sweet Georgie Girl, I have prayed for the right door to open up for Cricket to share her love.  I didn't know if that would be with us where we adore her but are gone a lot.  Steve and I are very busy in our careers. There are days when we both leave the house in the morning and don't return until late in the evening.   She has a doggie door and someone to stop in and feed her.  We make sure she has a walk each day.  However, I knew there was more for her.  The thought of her sitting home and not sharing her love has been on my mind a lot.  I also knew it needed to be just the right fit for us to be willing to make this transition.  I ADORE this dog.  I have such deep LOVE and GRATITUDE for her.  How do you even put into words the gifts this beautiful dog has given me for the past seven plus years?  

I shared with a few close friends that we were exploring options for Cricket and also that we were in no rush.  Just keeping an open mind.  It was about what was best for Cricket.  Then, a couple weeks ago, a call came.  It came from a family that we have known, loved, admired for several years. We have served together in our church.  We have crossed paths at the grocery store.  They live close by.  They invited us over for an amazing meal.  The joy and love was present in their home.  We invited them to get to know Cricket and see if she was a good fit for their family and to see how Cricket felt as well.  They referred to her as a Hero Dog.  That warmed my heart!  Cricket stayed with them for most of the time we were in Washington, DC.    Kendall picked her up and spent a few days with her. We returned home from our trip and spent a couple days with Cricket.  We agreed their home would be a great fit for Cricket.   We returned back to their home Wednesday evening with Cricket and Georgie.  As we got out of the car, Cricket's tail began to wag.  Steve was walking her and she ran to their front door.  She was so happy.  We entered, and they were excited to have Cricket return.  She ran off to play with their kids.   She is surrounded with a family that loves her.  They recognize and celebrate her life of service in such a beautiful way that has touched my heart.  We left and I felt gratitude not sadness.  I was happy for Cricket. I felt like we were giving Cricket a beautiful gift and honoring her next phase of life.  They are close by.   We can stop in and say hi and give her love.  We can take her a birthday present :).  We can tend her when they go on vacation.  We can celebrate Cricket by trying to emulate her  amazing example of love, service, and compassion.  We can check in on her at Lindseyslemonade.  

Sometimes loving someone is knowing when to let go and let them fly in new ways.  Cricket is flying with a family that loves her and is excited to have her involved in all their fun activities.  She has already gone camping, boating, 4th of July festivities, picnics, and many invitations on which bedroom to sleep in with kids that all love her.  

Love you, Cricker Girl.  Thanks for the joyful journey of Cruisin with you!  You no longer need to "Find the Escalator" or glide around that crowded group of people at the airport.  You will have new ways to share your love and serve.  Perhaps you will listen after a tough day at school,  join in a fun play day, listen to a child read, -- oh, your activities are going to be endless.  I know the first time you put your paw up to them it will melt their heart.  You have melted my heart in so many ways.   You are on a new adventure that I can't wait to hear all about!  Okay ... a few tears to be shed while I am typing this.  It's all good, though.  Wear your "Proud to be a Retired Guide Dog" collar with honor my sweet girl.  You are in my heart forever.  With much love and gratitude.   I'll be by to give you a big hug after you get settled in.  


raisul islam said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Mary Deeter said...

Dear Becky,
What a selfless gift to give back to a wonderful girl who was so devoted to you! Cricket is one of the many dogs I have fond memories of from my career at GDB and it makes me smile (and shed a tear) to hear about her next adventure! Hugs and best wishes to Cricket and you and Georgie! Safe travels!
Mary Deeter, RN

Becky Andrews said...

Mary - Thank you so much for your kind words and love that you have such fond memories of our Cricker Girl! Love you to!

Lacey said...

So happy you have found a wonderful place for Cricket to be happy! So hard for you I'm sure, and what amazing person you are to recognize how happy she will be in a home with children. My girls will be so jealous that we didn't get to have her in our home :)
Love you so much!!

Myrna R. said...

Just stopped in to wish Cricket a wonderful retirement. Must confess my eyes welled up reading your farewell. It's always hard to let go of someone you love. But, you are doing what's best for her. That is most selfless and loving. Blessings to you and Cricket.

Becky Andrews said...

Lacey - Thank you so much for your kind words and your friendship. Miss you and hope to see you soon!

Myrna - Thank you for your beautiful poetry this morning. As hard as it is does feel what is best for my sweet girl.

BECKY said...

Oh, Becky, I too shed a tear reading this. You're an amazing person in so many ways, and this just shows one of them. I'm happy for you, your family, Cricket, and her new family. It couldn't be any better, could it? Best wishes to all of you, and your new sweet guide dog, Georgie!

Karen said...

what true love it took to recognize cricket's needs. you are one amazing person and we love you. I shed many a tear but I will always be cricket's grandma
and appreciate her years of devoted love and service to you.

GOOSE said...

I have to tell you my MOM had tears in her eyes. It has tugged at her heart. It is a selfless thing you have done. And we are happy that you are confident she is in a wonderful place with wonderful people who love her. When you get to see her again give her a nose poke from me.

pattib said...

More tears here. What a beautiful gift the two of you have shared and continue now.

Anonymous said...

Hi becky, so glad your girl is with people you love and trust, and that she will continue to share her love and her heart with so many. All the best to you and Georgie, and happy travels!!

3 labs 4 me said...

Still a bit misty-eyed over your post.
Soooooo many fun adventures with Cricket.
Looking forward to making new memories with Georgie.

Elle J said...

Okay - tears!! I can definitely relate to giving away your heart and love and passion for your sweet girl as we give back puppies we have raised to Canine Companions for the hope of independence for another. It is bittersweet. Many hugs and much love to you, Becky. You are an incredible woman.