This is me with Ginger (and a couple of rabbit friends…I always wanted a rabbit when I was a kid, but this was as close as I ever got to owning one). Don’t hold those pants against me…it was the 70s.
I don’t know what kind of dog Ginger was, but we got her soon after Peggy (see previous post) died. I LOVED Ginger! She was a playful pup who never had to be taught to fetch a ball. She just did it instinctively. I don’t remember her ever growling or biting…though if given half a chance, she might have licked you to death. But it’s not the licking I think of when I think of Ginger. It’s her tail…it was always wagging! Oh, I loved that dog!
Unfortunately, my mother DIDN’T love her. Ginger was a puppy, so she chewed. In fact, she chewed up her bed (which used to be Peggy’s bed)…she chewed the rug and the woodwork in our back hall…basically anything that came in contact with her mouth, she chewed. My mother also had rules about where a dog could be in our house. Dogs were only allowed in the kitchen, the back hall and the basement. (Unless it was Christmas…THEN the dog was allowed in the living room.) Peggy knew and understood these rules. Ginger didn’t. But what really did my mother in was the fact that Ginger got big. (Well, “big” is relative…Ginger was small in comparison to the dog I have now!) And eventually my mother placed one of those free-to-a-good-home ads in the newspaper.
My mother doesn’t read my blog…so unless my brother or my kids decide to rat on me, it’s probably safe to let you in on a 36-year secret: after that ad ran, I used to grab the phone as soon as it rang and if the person was calling about the ad, I’d tell them we just gave the dog away. I’d have them off the phone before my mother ever got to the phone. And if she asked about the call, I told her the person wanted a small dog. This actually worked. The ad ran out and we still had Ginger!
Then my mother placed another ad. This time someone called while I was at school. And they wanted Ginger. Fortunately, they waited until I got home from school to come and get her, so I got to say good bye. Okay, that part is sad (Sorry, Sarah), but at least this isn’t a dead dog story. Ginger ISN’T dead, right? She’s 36 years old (252 in dog years?) and still romping around on some farm in southern Minnesota.
I may as well add Heidi to this post because her story is the same as Ginger’s. We got her as a puppy, too (soon after we gave Ginger away). Puppies chew…they don’t like to stay confined to the kitchen, the back hall and the basement…they grow big…and if the kid wants the dog and the mom doesn’t, the mom wins.
So what did I learn from Ginger and Heidi? I guess I learned how to say good bye to someone I loved.
This would not have occurred to me as a kid, but as an adult (an adult who has had several dogs)…I wonder if maybe we got those puppies too soon for my mother? She was pretty attached to Peggy…and Pomeranians tend to bond to just one human. Maybe she wasn’t ready to have another dog yet? People grieve the loss of a pet differently. Some people want to get a new dog right away…other people need some time. Ginger and Heidi were NOTHING like Peggy…maybe that was part of the problem, too?
I did eventually get another dog when I was a kid…one that we actually got to keep. I’ll blog about that next Monday.