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Nicky and Cricket

New Zealand's supermodel, television personality, and Playboy model Nicky Watson's nine-year-old chihuahua Cricket went missing on Matarangi Beach, Coromandel. Nicky went sleepless nights worrying about Cricket, and put up flyers around Whitianga.

In one soundbite, a news reporter encouraged Nicky to tell her story to the public, after having been wandering through the night with a flashlight calling out to Cricket. Her voice was raspy from the agonizing night. "I must have called his name a million times," she said. The reporter noted, "You're hoarse." And she replied, "No, my dog."

Bloggers were making easy fun of her, and news shows intercut the malaprop moment with on-file 2006 footage of Nicky holding Cricket and having trouble keeping her boobs in a gown. Everyone was amused that Nicky mispelled "Chihuahua" in the flyers she put up offering a reward.

Nicky bore it all, saying she just wanted her dog home. "Some people just have no compassion and no understanding of what it's like to love a little, innocent being, and that's what Cricket is. I've had him since he was a baby, and he's one of the most important things in the world to me."

Cricket had always slept with Nicky and ate the same healthy meals she prepares for herself. He disappeared at midnight of 24 November 2007 at Matarangi, where Nicky was involved in a charity event.

Alas, only a few such stories have a happy ending, and Cricket was found on the beach at month's end, washed ashore dead. At least she still had two other chihuahuas, Gizmo and Scout, to help her through the grieving process.

Early in 2008, Nicky was in the headlines again with another doomed chihuahua, eight-week-old Lopez (below), named after top surfer Gerry Lopez.

The pup turned out to have a life-threatening infection and despite the best efforts of Alex Melrose, "veterinarian to the stars," Lopez was just too small to get through it. "Life can be so wonderful and so cruel," said Watson.

Nicky Watson and Lopez

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