Slobbery Kisses and Gratitude

GingerWhen I became a “grandPAWrent” for the first time last year it was amazing. Our daughter and her husband adopted a Brittany from a rescue society in Michigan.

I have always been fearful of dogs. I was attacked on my bike by a dog when I was a child. A bark coming out of nowhere could send me into cold sweat if I were out walking. I never understood the attachment, the reason, the need for a pet, the devotion. Until yesterday.

Our grand dog Ginger died yesterday.

She was part of our family. This scrawny, scared 5 year-old little creature reached out with love on the very first day. It was almost as if she had chosen us. Her coat became shiny and healthy, she gained weight and became energized. And then about a year ago she fainted. She was diagnosed with an enlarged heart. With special medication she was living on borrowed time.

Ginger was a miracle. For you see, our daughter had inherited my fear of dogs too. We witnessed her embracing this dog into her whole being. She was actually a natural in her handling of animals. She was looking forward to sharing Ginger’s amazing capacity for unconditional love with lonely elderly people. She had just passed her exam to be a Nursing Home visitation animal two weeks ago.

A few years ago when our friends had to put their dog down I remember how cavalier I was about it. I regret that now.

When we heard the news that Ginger had died, I cried. On a morning walk with one of her beloved humans, chasing a squirrel up a tree. Doing what she loved the most.

Ginger was my first pet as well. I fell in love with her. I couldn’t believe the depth of my feeling. The eighteen months that Ginger was part of our lives has been so precious. She taught me so much, gave me so much joy. I am grateful. I rejoice!

As I sang a hymn in church yesterday, I cried. “Jesus shall come and take his servants up to their eternal home. We shall hear the archangel’s voice, the trump of God shall sound, rejoice!”. I pictured Ginger hearing a little trumpet for she truly was a divine servant.

Ginger 2
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