May 1996, July 2008
Ginger’s life as a member of the O’Neal Family
My daughter, Kayla, who was eight years old at the time, wanted a dog. So I started looking to see what I could find. There was an ad in the paper under free dog to good home so I called and talked to her owner. She had been mistreated by her owners and had made friends with their neighbor who took her in when she became pregnant. The neighbors let her have the puppies at their house and found homes for them and now needed a good home for Ginger.
My two kids and I went to meet Ginger and fell in love with her. She was part yellow lab, German Shepard, and a mixture of others I am sure. Her new owners had given her the first round of shots so we were waiting the month or so before taking her to the vet to get her second round of shots. She became an instant member of the family so when we took her for her shots and found out that she had heartworm we had to have her treated; which meant that she could not run for a month, so we kept her inside the house in the hallway during The day and she had to take medicine that was a poison. Luckily she was OK after the treatments and then she was able to run in our fenced in back yard.
Ginger loved to ride in the car and go hiking and camping. We bought some property in Blue Ridge and she knew when we were going there to camp. While we were packing the car to go she would sit in the car and wait for us to finish and get on the road.
When we got close to the property in Blue Ridge she knew exactly where she was and would stay with us or close without a lease to tie her. That was the one place she was safe to run and not be tied. She would get into the canoe on the lake for a ride although sometimes she would jump out and it was difficult getting her back into the canoe. She loved the water and was always ready to go somewhere.
Any other time she was let outside without a leash she would take off and run the neighborhood. She would make her rounds saying hello to the other dogs and we would go get her either on foot or in the car. Sometimes it was easier to get her to come to you if you were in the car as she would jump in but if you were walking she would walk away from you.
She was a friendly dog, not what I would call a watchdog or protector, but she always made me feel safe. Ginger was my best friend for 12 years. My family felt as if we saved her life twice; once by getting her out of an abusive home and once from heartworm. It was a shock when she got sick. She was hiking with me a month or so before and I could tell that she was getting old but she was holding her own. She was sick for only a couple of weeks; the vet said she was in pain so we had to say Goodbye. Now we miss her terribly and I keep looking for her still.
I am grateful for the years that we had together and all the joy that she brought me. I know that we had that special connection and will carry her in my heart forever. Ginger was a loving, caring, dignified dog whom I will always remember. I am glad my daughter wanted a dog and we found Ginger.
Thank you Ginger for all the happiness that you brought into my life.