In Sickness and in Health  


Patrick and Cricket went to the Pet Store to select their wedding tags. 

“Why do they call it a pet store when you can't buy pets?” asked Cricket. 

“You should never buy pets at a store," said Patrick.  "Those pets come from puppy mills, where the mothers and fathers are kept like prisoners to keep having puppies.  They don't get to see good vets to keep them healthy and they have problems that get passed on to their puppies. Then they take them away when they are way too young so the bad guys can make money on them."

"So this is the GOOD kind of pet store," thought Cricket, "the kind where you buy things FOR your pet."

"That's right," said Patrick. "And where you buy your wedding tags to get married!"


“Are we going to have puppies some day?” asked Cricket.

"I love puppies,” said Patrick.  “We can have all the puppies we want to, but both of us came from puppy mills, and we have problems we would not want to give our kids.  There are so many puppies without homes.  When we are ready, we should adopt, and of course we should name our baby after me!”

"What if we have a girl?" teased Cricket.

"Then we should name her Patricia!" announced Patrick with pride. 

Cricket was deep in thought, planning the family she would have with Patrick when they got married.  She knew that she and her sister came from a terrible place.  She did not know that Patrick did too. There were still so many things they didn't know about each other.

“What problem did you get from puppy mill breeding?” she asked with a worried look.

“I have hip dysplasia,” said Patrick.  “It hurts every time I walk.  It will get worse with age.  My bones don't fit into their sockets.  Eventually I'll have arthritis, and it might be hard for me to get around at all.  Are you still going to love me then?”

“I'll always love you Patrick,” said Cricket with certainty.  “My teeth are crooked, and sometimes I get afraid of things for no reason.  They say that is from the puppy mills too.  Are you going to love ME furever too?”