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Frederick MD 21703

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My Dog, My Therapist

    After losing my two beloved Basenjis Kylie and Cricket in a house fire in April of 2012.  I was devastated.  My world revolved around my dogs.  Since my husband and I do not have children, Kylie and Cricket were our “fur-kids.”  They had play dates, birthday parties, visits to Mamaw and Pappy’s house and lots of presents at Christmas.  Being without a home was inconvenient, being without my girls was unimaginable.

      Trying to be proactive, I sought help for the depression I knew would come after the shock wore off.  I contacted the local Hospice office and enrolled in one-on-one therapy with a loss professional.  After 3 weeks, she released me stating that I was dealing with all my emotions as expected.  A month later, I was still crying on a daily basis and having trouble concentrating.  I called my doctor and she recommended a private therapist that could help me cope.  I contacted her and scheduled an appointment for the following week.

     By this time, my husband and I had been relocated to an apartment while our house was being rebuilt.  I wanted to get another dog.  Not as a replacement, there will NEVER be another Kylie or Cricket, but as a companion.  My husband and I work some opposite shifts and it would be nice to not be home alone. I wanted to wait until the house was done before getting another dog.  I didn’t feel it was fair to raise a dog in an apartment.  Their only exercise on a leash.  A dog should be able to run and jump and play.  My dog plans had to be put on hold. I continued to see the therapist and continued to cry and feel sorry for myself.  Something had to give.

     My coworker texted me a picture of two puppies that needed a home.  The puppies were Whippet boys and were adorable, but I really wanted another Basenji.  A few weeks go by and one of the puppies was adopted but the other one was still available.  Julie brought the puppy in to work to visit.  It was love at first sight.  The date the house was to be done kept being pushed back and I was still miserable.  I talked to my husband and told him about the puppy.  I still wanted a Basenji, but if Terry wanted the Whippet puppy, we would give him a home.

     In September we made arrangements for my husband to go meet the puppy.  On the way there, he stated that we were going to pick up Rocket.  “Who’s Rocket?” I asked.  Our new puppy, Terry said.  He had welcomed him into our family sight unseen and even named him.  Rocket adjusted well to apartment living and learned to ring bells on the door when he needed to go out to potty.  Once Rocket came home with us, I quit going to see the therapist.  I didn’t need counseling.  I needed a dog.    

     Dogs are wonderful creatures.  The are so loving and loyal.  They don’t ask for much.  All they want out of life is a safe home, a warm bed, nutritious food and a loving pat.  In return they offer unconditional love. I think that is a pretty good deal.

written by Ranee Baker RVT

     Kingsbrook Animal Hospital has set up a fund in Memory of Kylie and Cricket.  The monies collected are used to help local Frederick, MD animals who have no loving, forever homes of their own.  For more information on the fund or to donate go to:


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