And the Issue of Kissing

There I was trying to find a video for an article that I was writing. While I was working, Ginger was laying in her divan next to me. As chance would have it, I came across an old segment of Gilligan’s Island and watched it until the name, Ginger, was mentioned. With that, Ginger came over me and asked, “Who called me?” I told my Ginger that I was watching a part of an old TV program, and Ginger was an actress in an old TV show that aired 50-years ago called Gilligan’s Island. This is a photo from the video that I was watching.


Ginger seemed quasi-miffed by having her name used by someone else. “I know that you had an Irish Setter a half century go called Ginger. Therefore, I assumed that Ginger was a canine name. Apparently, others, who aren’t dogs, use it also. However, why did you call your first dog and me, Ginger, in the first place?”

I paused for a moment before replying. Actually, I hadn’t thought of why the first Ginger was given that name. The second Ginger got the name due to my love for the first one. Finally, I said that I assumed that Irish Setters’ hair is a dark shade of the color ginger.

“Do you think that the person in the video was called Ginger because of hair-color?”

I agreed that the color of her hair probably was the main reason. Additionally, it created an interesting alliteration sound of G from her first and last names: Ginger Grant. That seemed to address Ginger’s query. The next thing she said, “Can I watch the video?”

While Ginger and I watched this short clip, I was intrigued by Ginger’s response to the character of Ginger and the Professor kissing. At the end of the video, I asked Ginger about what seemed to bother her.

Ginger and the Professor

Ginger’s retort was to the point. “You are a teacher like the guy in the video, but you don’t kiss me like he did that Ginger. I like the way you kiss me. You kiss me that way all the time. When you wake up, you kiss me, when we play, you kiss me, and when we go to bed, you kiss me. When we came back to your home from picking me up from my breeder, you started kissing me on my forehead. I was just two months old when you first did that. I can recall romping around for a while, and I was really tired. I would fall asleep in your arms. Before I dozed off, you kissed me. However, when I awoke later, still in your arms, you were kissing me. Why do you kiss me?”

My response was slow and very measured in part due to not understanding everything. I told Ginger that I am haunted by my love for her and my first Ginger. I can’t really grasp why I got my first Ginger. She knows all about Greyfrairs Bobby. I had just returned to the States after studying in Edinburgh at New College. I returned home, got a job and then got my first Ginger. Why did I get an Irish Setter and not a Skye Terrier, like Bobby? I don’t know, but it just seemed that it was meant to be that I picked an Irish Setter.

As for the kissing issue, I explained that kissing is an expression of love. I love Ginger. I said to her that it is hard for people to stay in love with each other, but dogs never walk away from their owner.

Ginger interrupted, “Well, I love you. Why would I walk away?”

I didn’t stop and ponder why dogs and humans are different when it comes to love. I just continued to talk about my feelings for Ginger. A part of my drive is due to my dancing with death. I could have been gone a decade ago. That reality caused me to come alive and live in the moment...despite not understanding everything.

It is enough to grasp that a 10-month old, 60-pound Irish Setter loves me, and I love her. Maybe, sometime in the future, I will grasp that reality more fully. Maybe? Nevertheless, I will enjoy our time together as long as I have it. I kissed her again and told her that she is loved.

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