Ginger's World...
Blends with My World

I am driven to figure out things about which I am not certain. Okay, I might worry about a lot of things, but they are important to me to address. I don’t like to be in situations about which I am unfamiliar. While I can readily adapt to new situations and often benefit from unfamiliar surroundings, I would rather research the issue. Being prepared is a driving force at my age.

I write three essays a week. By the end of 2017, I will have posted about a third of my essays about Ginger. Ginger is now just over a year old and our time together is most rewarding, which haunts me. Ginger and I have bonded quite well. In fact, she and I spend a great deal of time attempting to process what each of us thinks. I say to her a couple of dozen times per day, “Ginger, I love you. You are a great dog. I really love you.” Whenever I do say that, her trail starts to wag constantly as the back half of her moves in the opposite direction of her tale.

Additionally, I have other goals which drive me, like interviewing Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, the Lady and seeing Moh Moh and her family again in Burma. However, of equal importance to me is sharing time with Ginger. This is where Ginger spends a great deal of her time next to me as I teach my online classes.

As it is, except going out for groceries, we are with each other 24/7. We talk honestly with each other. Recently, I have added to my statement of love, “But Ginger, I’ll miss you in several weeks.” My reference is about returning to Burma for three weeks. Ginger hears the difference in my voice and the pain expressed in my face. She looks at me but doesn’t grasp the cause written all over my face. I’m looking forwarded to returning to Burma but not to dropping off Ginger at the kennels.

Lots of dog owners love their dogs. However, at my age and having my first Ginger at the beginning of my work life, it is a different feeling for me. We have both bought into being one with each other and how separation affects the other.

This is an example. Ginger wants to play all the time. Our day begins by circumnavigating the lake, which takes place at dawn every day. After our hour plus exercise, we return home. As she is cooling down, I have breakfast. Then, I feed her. I clean up and go to my office. She’ll tolerate my working for a while but will come and literally shove her muzzle between my hands and the keyboard. I’ll pet her for a bit, but she acts rejected and walks away only to return with one of her toys with which she wants me to play.

I try to play with Ginger prior to noon several short periods of time before we go out and play Chuckit. A half hour of running will exhaust her for a short time, and she starts making me feel guilty for not playing with her. Her English vocabulary is beyond belief. I see her sad eyes and respond by saying, “Let’s go over to the sofa and lie down and talk.”

Ginger knows that routine and jumps up on the middle of the sofa before I get there. Then she will get off until I prop up my head on two large pillows and lie down. The she bounds up on top of me. All 73 lbs. It is interesting to watch just how much that quiet time is meaningful to her. She cuddles in my arms on her back as I talk to her while rubbing her neck and stomach. While I benefit for this quiet time, it is obvious that she is benefitting also. That haunts me. We both benefit.

I admittedly have a long list of questions, which haunt me about Ginger and me. However, one of the major ones is her seeing things. This issue I knew before I acquired Ginger. It has to do with the color spectrum that dogs see. It explains why I pick toys that are primarily blue and/or yellow. Canines have only two color sensitive cone cells, which are blue and yellow. Humans have three, which are red, green, and blue. In a way, I feel badly for her vision, which seems to be a major handicap.

What humans see as opposed to dogs

Most all of the toys and accessories for Ginger are variations of blues and yellows

Having said that about the color spectrum of dogs vs. humans, their sense of smell is vastly greater than ours. Researchers have determined that dogs can smell 10,000 to 100,000 better than humans. James Walker, who was the former director of the Sensory Research Institute at Florida State University, wrote, “If you make the analogy to vision, what you and I can see at a third of a mile, a dog could see more than 3,000 miles away and still see as well.”

Ginger’s sense of smell explains why she will sleep on my pillow during the day.

Another researcher, Alexandra Horowitz, who is a dog-cognition researcher at Barnard College, wrote that a dog can detect a teaspoon of sugar in a million gallons of water, which is equal to two Olympic-size swimming pools. In fact, dogs can detect cancer in human beings.

Researchers have determined that human receptors in our noses are around 6-million while dogs have 300-million receptors. The canine brain that addresses olfactory issues is 40 times larger proportionally than ours.

It is interesting to watch Ginger chase after the ball that I launch with my Chuckit, which can get a tennis ball nearly 50 yds. She loves to retrieve the ball, but, depending on the distance, she can miss seeing where it falls. That is when her nose is used.

However, Ginger loves to chase Canadian Geese even more than playing Chuckit.

Connecting The Dots

Connecting the Dots

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My Hauntings

My Hauntings

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Thus Ginger Spoke

Thus Ginger Spoke

Visit the Thus Spoke Ginger page to read more about this topic.