I have been threatening to post a blog for several days, but kept getting side-tracked. Today is Thanksgiving, and it was one of the sweetest and least dramatic I've had in a long time. I took my sister and daughter out to dinner and all went quite well. Then I came home and logged on to get ready to blog. It's still early in the evening and I knew I wanted to post something about how thankful I am for so much in my life...and then I read the blog by my dear friend, De.
De's golden retriever, Ginger, died last night. It was an unexpected death. Ginger was only 8 years old. How tenuous a hold we have on the critters we call "ours" and how much we grieve when they are gone. It was August 2007 when I visited De and Gary as an extension to an STC trip I had taken to Milwaukee.
During that trip, my dog, Katy, who was back at home in San Diego, died as a result of a series of mishaps I won't go into here. But, that night, as I lay in De's guest room and got the phone call from my daughter, I broke down and sobbed. I was trying to keep quiet because it was about 3 in the morning and I didn't want to wake De & Gary. Nonetheless, a minute or two later, De was at my door, entering with Ginger close at hand. The two of them sat with me and held me...one in her arms and one in her compassionate, sweet, loving dog's heart. De later told me that it wasn't my sobs that woke her, but Ginger. It seems that Ginger had heard me crying and knew that I needed her. I did.
And now, 15 months later, I can feel the strength of that wonderful soft head, hear the "purring" she would do when she was being petted or loved on. Ginger wasn't just De's dog, although she certainly was mostly De's and a lot of Gary's, she was the dog everyone imagines a dog being, the perfect, loving cuddler who had a passion for life, loved all things new, and gave her housemates everything she had right up until the moment God took her away. De and Gary have had three goldens that I've met over the years...and each has been special. But Ginger was the only one that I truly fell in love with; she was the only one who helped me through the night when I needed it most.
Those of us who are loved by a dog and truly embrace that love, are blessed beyond measure. Each dog is different; they are each here for only a short time in comparison to our own lives, yet we continue to bring them into our homes; we continue to fall in love with them; and we continue to grieve when we predictably have to let them go. Ginger was one of the best--but then they all are.