Archive for February, 2014

In March of 2001 Ginger joined our family.  My folks had just bought a home in California, I had just returned home from Covenant players and we talked about getting another dog.  We talked about getting another German Shepard or Rottweiler, we had so loved the ones we had had in the past.

At the time I was working at a local pet store and the area shelter did adoption days there once or twice a month.  When I got to work and discovered that it was one of those days, and met the sweetest Shepard I called my mom.  She came in to the store sometime later and wanted me to come see a dog.  To my amazement it was a little, fuzzy, reddish gold thing that looked all the world like a shrunken Golden retriever.  She was in love, I was skeptical.  She was sweet but so timid, mom said she reminded her of her girlhood dog Ginger.

She won the battle and we brought home our new dog.  My sister and I thought she should be named Tigger because she hopped on her back legs as if she had springs in her paws when excited.  My mom wanted to name her Ginger…again she one.  My sister and I insisted that her middle name  would be Tigger.

So Ginger Tigger became a part of our family.  She was somewhere between two and four.

She really was the sweetest dog ever.  She was a little skinny and based on her timidness we knew she had been abused.  Every little thing scared her and sent her running upstairs, into the office to cower in the corner and pee.  She was terrified of my one year old cousin when he and his folks visited.  We are a musical family and guitars, clarinets and flutes were terrible monsters to her.  Especially the guitar.  When we first brought her home my Dad terrified her, he’s a big dude and she was so little.

Slowly she became less scared.  At the time I was home more often than anyone else so she adopted me as her person.  Slept in my room and cuddled up with me on the couch.  She also loved laying on the arm of the recliner with my Dad.  She quickly learned that none of us would ever hurt her.

She has lived in different configurations of our family over the years.  With my Mom, Dad, Sister and I.  With me and my Cousins when I moved back to Washington.  She and their dog Cedar were the best of friends.  When my Grandfather was failing and I moved in with my Grandparents she, of course, went with me and became an ever loving and constant companion to my Grandpa Hap.  My Grandma Helen adored her, towards the end of her (Helen’s) life she perked up when we brought Ginger to visit her in the nursing home.  When I moved to Wisconsin and couldn’t take her with me Ginger went to live with my sister and her husband.  Once again their dog Sissy and she became fast friends.  A year later she moved in with my folks in New Mexico where she went almost everywhere with my mom.  As she got older she wasn’t so fond of new Dogs in her home  but often made friends with my mom’s Horses.  She and Secret had a special bond!  As did she and Sissy up until the end of her life.  I expect Sissy will miss her just as much as the rest of us.

She was a medical alert dog.  She saved my father’s life on more than one occasion.  She watched him like a hawk, alerting my mom to him if anything was off.  She was an amazing animal!  When I was diagnosed with Meniere’s and struggling through my first terrible bouts of vertigo she was constantly on my bed with me or on the floor next to me.  She loves curling up with me during the day is I am in my room, much to Sissy’s frustrations as she steels her spot on the bed. 😉

Why am I writing all of this, because today Ginger went to heaven to play with Grandma and Grandpa, and now when Grandpa insists on feeding her Oreo’s and chocolate chip cookies it will be all ok.  (If you don’t believe dogs go to Heaven please keep it to yourself)

At between 15 and 17 she has had a good life.  In the past 13 years we have made up for all the cruelty she was introduced to at first.  She was sweet, kind, funny and the best dog ever.  I love you my sweet Ginga Bear!

The Photos below show Ginger on her first day with us and her last.


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