And Her Unconditional Love

Ginger is nine months old today, July 28th. I’m already planning her birthday party in late October. There are many things that haunt me about Ginger, and I have written dozens of essays about her. My personality doesn’t allow haunting questions to linger unaddressed. This drive to resolve questions applies to Ginger or anything else.

For example, why did I get Ginger? Fifty years ago, I got my first Irish Setter. Guess what her name was. I loved her. She and I did a great deal together whether it was running next to me while I rode a bike or went swimming. We loved our time together. I had my first Ginger for a dozen years, which were fun for my family and me. On the day that she died, I laid next to her petting her as she slowly left my life. I’ll never forget my pain.

I get that I loved my first Ginger, but why did I get another Ginger in my twilight years? While I am still teaching, I am doing so online. Therefore, I am around the house all the time, which is imperative for Irish Setters. They love companionship and exercise. We circumnavigate around the lake where I live, which takes over an hour. I love watching her when I take off her leash, and she can run free at the end of the lake, which isn’t developed. Watching her run is a thing of absolute beauty and grace. In addition, I can see an image of what life was like for canines prior to domestication.

I have also taught this Ginger how to ride next to me on my bike, like I did with the first Ginger. In a way, it is a morphing of both Gingers’ independence and companionship. She can run while we are companions as I ride.

Several months ago, I wrote about Ginger being a chick magnet. However, she is a 60-pound, high strung puppy, which isn’t a great magnet for a woman my age. Having said that, when she was just a couple months old, she did attract a person, even though it didn’t go anywhere.

On the flip side of that issue, in the large subdivision in which I live, nearly everyone knows her name. Adults and young kids a ½ mile from my home say hello to her whenever they see her. Most of her greeters, I don’t know their names nor do they know mine. What haunts me is why? In part, Irish Setters a half century ago were a very popular breed. However, they are not even near the top of favorite breeds today. Therefore, her aristocratic demeanor is partly the answer. She is unique. When was the last time you saw an Irish Setter?

Another endearing charm is if Ginger sees anybody or any dog, it is apparent that she wants to play. I working on training her to be less playful since playing means to her being exuberantly jumping around. However, two young girls in the neighborhood can cast a settling spell over Ginger. Emmy, who is nine, and Marie, who is eight, settle her down quicker than I can. Interestingly, Emmy wants to be a vet. I’m working on Marie to become a vet also.

A part of my bonding with Ginger is due to her unconditional love. It is absolutely unconditional. Human love is conditional, but, with Ginger and dogs in general, it is not. Ginger wants to do whatever I am doing. It is a part of the companionship trait, but it goes further than that. It is as if Ginger says, “You care for me, I care for you. Period.”

Additionally, Ginger is like a small child. She entered a brave new world about which she is unfamiliar. She wants to explore and discover anything and everything. Several months ago, she saw me getting ready to do a little kayaking on the lake behind my home. In a nanosecond, Ginger wanted into my kayak.

Another haunting reality is that the puppy I picked up a couple days before last Christmas, is still a puppy, based upon the calendar. She has another three months until she transitions into no longer being called a puppy. However, several times every day, I look at her face. It isn’t a puppy’s face.

The other thing that ties me to Ginger is that she understands things that I say beyond sit, stay, or come. Many times each day, I will look into her eyes and say, “Ginger, I really love you. You are the best thing that has happened to me.” I finish those two sentences and Ginger’s tail is moving while she is jumping around licking me while wanting to play. Ginger is an intelligent dog.

I have written about seeing the movie, A Dog’s Purpose. If you have ever had a dog, see the movie or read the book. I realize that we all need to be far more like Ginger and other dogs. If we do, we can share our purpose for being.

My Hauntings

My Hauntings

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Connecting The Dots

Connecting the Dots

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Thus Ginger Spoke

Thus Ginger Spoke

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