Kylie and Cricket Story
By Ranee’ Baker, RVT at Kingsbrook Animal Hospital
When I was 4, I received a Basenji mix puppy in my Easter basket. In June of 2000 at the age of 30, I was given an opportunity I couldn’t pass up. I found an ad on a bulletin at my mother’s vet office for 2 Basenji’s, “free to a good home”.
That weekend, I went to go meet them. I went head over heels. They were 8 month old sisters and they were adorable! The owner had purchased them from a breeder and they were more than she could handle. How could I ever choose? I could only afford to care for one dog at the time. Kylie came home that day. I asked the owner for 24 hours and I would find a home for her sister.
Cricket went to live with my husbands’ grandmother on the condition that if anything ever happened to Nannie she would come back to me. Cricket spent the next year being spoiled in Philipsburg, PA. We would visit monthly and Kylie and Cricket would spend the days doing laps around the house, chasing each other up and down the stairs.
When Nannie passed away, Cricket came to live with us. Since she had such a close relationship with Kylie over the last year, the transition was smooth. They were inseparable!
Kylie and Cricket quickly became known as “The Girls”. I could not have become more attached to those dogs if I had given birth to them. My life revolved around “The Girls”.
Kylie and Cricket would go everywhere with me. We attended obedience classes and “The Girls” both obtained their Canine Good Citizen titles. They attended fun matches, and won many ribbons through the Mid-Atlantic Basenji Club (mostly for best costume). When Cricket became ill, I spent 72 hours straight at the hospital caring for her. I was not going home without my “fur” kid.
In April of 2012, my life changed forever. I was working and got a phone call from my mother. She said my house was on fire. “Where are the girls?” I asked. She replied, “I am so sorry, they are dead.” The last thing I heard was my screaming.
My elderly neighbor had seen the smoke and called the fire department and my parents. The fire department arrived within minutes and kicked in the door. They found my girls and rushed them outside to administer oxygen and perform CPR. It was too late, my girls were gone.
The fire had started in the living room. A defective outlet had caused sparks within the wall. The fire had smoldered for quite a while and Kylie and Cricket succumbed to smoke inhalation. My life will never be the same.
The Kylie and Cricket Memorial Fund was created by Kingsbrook Animal Hospital to honor the memory of “The Girls” and the years of joy they brought to my life.