portrait of ginger
whenever i meet someone who doesn’t like dogs, my spidey sense goes off. i watch, scrutinize, observe their interactions, and most often find that they’re…different. a little bit colder, some even crusty, harder around the edges, solitary—unlike us.
the dog lovers of the world. to us, it’s unfathomable that your heart can do anything but burst every time your dog comes to greet you at the door. snout sniffing. tongue licking. tail wagging.
every day. since the first day they came into your life.
to call a dog a “pet” just utterly falls short. sure we house them and feed them and walk them. but anyone who’s had one knows: dogs are beings that connect with us like no other animal can. we don’t just own them. we give to them, and they give back.
loyal. devoted. playful. curious. companions. protectors. filled with gratitude. devoid of judgment. foot warmers. soul quenchers. pure, unwavering love.
when we first got ginger, she was a sweet, gangly little puppy (well, little relative to full-grown dane standards). honey colored coat and a chocolate-dipped snout. giant paws and knuckles. endearingly sweet demeanor and sometimes timid—whenever she got nervous, she would leeeeaan on one of us until we just about fell over.
as she grew, she would trot like a pony in the park, tail wagging, lips flapping, nose wet from taking in all the sights and smells. she was our baby. a big giant loving baby…who happened to think she was a mouse. even when she grew to be 150 pounds, she would gingerly climb into my lap and cuddle just like baby huey. in her prime, she was a long, lean supermodel who would turn heads whenever she walked down the street.
when we had kids, things changed. she was and always would be our girl…but crying babies and diapers and work and life made it hard to give her the attention she deserved. walks were less frequent. trips to the park more sparse. i always felt guilty. but in her eyes you could see, despite it all, she never held a grudge. never held it against us. she knew. she understood. and she’d be there for us no matter what. for as much or as little as we could give. that was her gift.
pure, unwavering love. she had it for us until she took her last breath. we have it for her to this very day…and always will.