Part 3 of a 4 Part Series

This is about the third painting to my Uffizi-esque Gallery in my home. However, it is also the second time you have seen me doing the video introduction wearing a scarf. A classmate of mine, while attending Muskingum College a half century ago, reads my webpage regularly. In fact, I was a teaching assistant for Louie Palmer during my senior year, and I often had him in my sections that I taught. When he read my article about Dr. Sabedra saving Ginger’s life, he said that I was lucky to have had her taking care of Ginger. Additionally, he advised me that I should have dressed like Louie, who did look like an art aficionado. He said that I should have dressed more like Louie had.

I took my friend’s advice and wore a scarf that Ko Ko, the father of my three granddaughters, gave me from Inle Lake. That scarf was made from locus flowers from the lake. I treasure his gift, and I was used in my video for another painting that I added to my version of the Uffizi Gallery. This addition to my painting collection was also done by Than Tun Oo. The subject matter for this painting was that of the Teak Bridge.

Than is a well-known artist in Myanmar. He has done Dr. Sabedra’s portrait and the three pen and ink drawings of Ko Ko and Moh Moh’s children, who are my granddaughters. Moh Moh was with me when I picked up all my artwork that I had ordered from Than. Moh Moh and I took the three pen and ink portraits with us as a gift to the girls.

However, this essay is about Ginger, my three-year-old Irish Setter. I want to begin with the backstory, which is about my first Ginger. I had just come back from Europe where I had done a year of post-graduate studies at New College, which is a part of the U. Edinburgh. I got my first job, and the very next thing that I did was to get a dog, an Irish Setter, whose name was Ginger. Over the next decade, my three children were added to the family. Ginger viewed them as her children. As they began to learn to walk, Ginger stood by in case they were about to fall. Often, they would grab her ear to steady themselves. Ginger never objected to their use of her ears. It was her responsibility to be their caretaker.

I taught Ginger to run next to me on a leash while I would ride my bike. Well, it took less than five minutes to train her. When Ginger was at home, she always was there and was loved by my family. When Ginger was 13 or 14, she developed some medical issues associated with her age. Fortunately, she died peacefully as I gently petted her as she slipped away. It was the worst day of my life.

In the twilight years of my life, I got another Irish Setter, and her name is Ginger. There is a myriad of reasons for getting her. Nevertheless, my second Ginger is different than my first Ginger. Again, there is long litany of reasons why the two of them are different. My first Ginger was a part of my family’s life. She was a major part of our family life—raising three children, working, and all the things that a family did together.

Today, things are different. It is just Ginger and I. Perhaps, it is that this Ginger and I relate more closely due to neither of us being distracted by raising a family. We spend 1:1 time together. I am still teaching and writing, which are time consuming. However, we do enjoy a great deal of time on long walks around the lake and just playing all sorts of games in the house and yard.

Also, it fascinates me how much she actually understands when I say things to her. What is more interesting is that she can read my face. If I look at her without saying anything but open my eyes by raising my eyebrows, she will get all excited knowing that we will go for a walk or play some games. She would run around the house in sheer joy and bring one of her toys to me as a gesture of thanking me for doing something with her.

However, a year ago, Ginger had some medical issues including irritable bowel syndrome, along with some added complications. I was wasn’t sure that Ginger would make. It was then that long moments of dealing with déjà vu. My first Ginger and my second Ginger became enmeshed together. I feared that I would be soon going through comforting my second Ginger as she slipped away. That haunting of my second Ginger possibly dying mixed together with my two dances with death years before created a world of worries for me.

Amid all my concern for Ginger, I was working on plans to visit my family in Myanmar. I would be away from her for a month during winter break while I was in South Asia. The idea of leaving Ginger in a kennel for that long could only bring back her medical issues. She takes a couple prescriptions, which haven’t cured her but have kept her problem at bay.

Fortunately, I found Kayla who lived in my home while I was overseas. However, while I was visiting my web administrator’s family in Lahore, Pakistan and my family in Taunggyi, Myanmar, I picked up another painting for my Uffizi-esque Gallery in my home. Than Tun Oo painted a picture of Ginger.

When I got home, I had Dr. Sabedra’s portrait and Ginger’s portrait framed along with my second painting of the Teak Bridge.

Ginger is as proud as a peacock of Than’s portrait of her. Hopefully, Ginger and I will be able to admire Than’s paintings for many years to come.

If you want a great painting done by a great artist, this is Than’s address.

Than Tun Oo
No. 582 San Yeir Nyein Street
16 Quarter, Dagon North,
Yangon, Myanmar