Cricket & Black Magic are now on Facebook

We had lots of fun with the Cricket & Black Magic Salem Dog Wedding. But now that they are officially married and have honeymooned, they have earned a FaceBook page of their own. We will be following them here at Salem Design under our Creative Design link (keeping up with the adventures of these dogs keeps us creative), and we will follow their lives on Facebook “Cricket & Black Magic” as well.

As usual, we will have links to their YouTube location when we do videos of the couple. The new Facebook page:

Cricket & Black Magic, their Facebook page

All About Schipperkes

Besides where we got the dogs – Cricket & Black Magic, we have been asked, “What’s a Schipperke?” Schips, as they are affectionately known, are not directly related to any other living breed of dog, and much about them has a different look that draws attention. Contrary to some comparisons that are made, they are not related to spitz breeds or pomeranians, nor are they a smaller version of the Belgian shepherd.

Schipperke heritage goes back hundreds of years, to the 15th century, to a northern Belgian herding dog called the Leuvenaar. The Belgian shepherd, Keeshond, and the Schipperke are said to be descendants of the Leuvenaar, but the division of the descendant breeds came early. The larger dogs, the Belgian shepherds & Keeshonds, where used primarily for herding flocks. The smaller, highly alert dog that became the Schipperke, was used for ratting, guarding the family, and anything else this bright little dog could be taught. The Schipperke still has herding instincts, and in spite of their diminutive size, can herd sheep or horses.

Schipperkes are constantly alert, active, inquisitive, and on the go. They are currently known for being guardians of Dutch industrial barges, and also for being companions and guardians aboard boats. Schipperke is often said to mean “little skipper”, although the name has Flemish/Dutch origins that could mean “little shepherd.”

Schipperkes are distinctive because they don’t look like any other dog. They aren’t, and don’t look like a miniature, in spite of their small size (11″- 14″ high). They are squarely built with exceptional strength and a broad, “cobby”, chest. They are distinguished from a shepherd dog, which has a long pointed head, and the “vulpine” (fox-like) head of the pomeranian. Schipperkes have a larger, square skull, pointed ears, and “lupine” (wolf-like) head proportions. The wolf-like appearance of these totally black little dogs is rumored to have so startled a monk when he met one on a forest road, that their nickname “the little devil” resulted. Their natural antics contribute to keeping this nickname.

It is said of the Schipperke that he is “the little Big Dog” rather than the “big little dog.” They think of themselves as big dogs and are extremely bold and fearless. “When comparing the appearance of the Schipperke with toy or companion-dog breeds, we see its anatomical features are completely normal and without the slightest physical anomalies or signs of “dwarfism.” Schipperkes are strong, especially agile and quick, and tireless. They can easily cover 12 miles a day of non-stop activity.

Schipperkes are awesome dogs, but not for everyone. Besides exercise, they need mental activity, and lots of both. They are devoted to their family, but need socialization and tasks to do. Otherwise, they can develop bad habits that are a sign of frustration for the dog, and a definite problem for owners that don’t understand and can provide for their needs.

Schipperkes are particularly intelligent dogs, and can be taught to do most anything. They are also long lived, and can live to be ~20 years old. So if are fortunate to acquire one or two, such as Cricket and Black Magic, be prepared to supply hours of your every day toward caring for them, and to have the best of devoted companions for a long time.

Cricket & Black Magic – Welcome to the newly wedded Schipperke couple!

Salem Design serves corporate and personal customers with a variety of unique and customized products. However, we also take time out for original projects that just strike our fancy. We have done a “Manhole Covers of New England” poster, and spent some time creating and showing the “Salem Haunted Doll House.”

Salem has inspired us again, this time to do a fanciful and upscale dog wedding. The couple in question are Schipperkes and reside in our household at Salem Design. Cricket, the bride, has been with us since she was a puppy, and is extremely bright and perceptive – if a little willful. Cricket easily passed her CGC (Canine Good Citizen), received a special award from the American Kennel Club for her outstanding behavior, and is a registered therapy dog with Therapy Dogs International.

The groom, Black Magic, arrived as a rescue at the age of about 9 months. Magic required months of physical and social rehabilitation before he was able to handle almost any situation without a meltdown. We spent the months of last winter frequently huddling for warmth in Salem business establishments; most are exceptionally dog friendly, and besides getting warmed up, Black Magic warmed up too, so that his naturally sweet nature began to shine. To thank Salem, and to let people know what a terrific, fun & fanciful, tolerant, and dog friendly city this is, we decided to treat everyone to a party – The Wedding of Cricket & Black Magic, on Salem Willows Beach. Many of the businesses in Salem and others we met pitched in to make this a truly wonderful event – we couldn’t have done it without their help. We thought it would be a nice idea to use the metaphor of a ceremony of commitment to show our commitment to our animal friends, our families, our neighbors, and our community of Salem.

The wedding was two months in the planning and the documenting of its planning started on our Salem Design Wedding Blog

Salem Cricket & Black Magic Dog Wedding

Photo Albums of Wedding preparations are at our Facebook Wedding Invitations page. See Photos for the photo albums, and also see “Notes” for a Dog Wedding Ceremony Program, and a list of credits for all those who helped us with this production.

Wedding Invitations & Accessories – Salem Design

And now for the really good stuff – The Wedding:

Cricket & Black Magic – the Salem Dog Wedding
(Production by Salem Design, with Videographer Jim Merchant of Pirates Lane Video)

And the honeymoon

Cricket & Black Magic – Honeymoon at the Dog Friendly Hawthorne Hotel
Video by Sharon Shea of Salem Design

We will continue to follow the adventures of Cricket & Black Magic on this blog, and we will soon have a Cricket & Black Magic page on Facebook.