The Haunting Question
This essay is an attempt at being Carl Rogers. Rogers developed a passive counseling style built on merely allowing the patient to explore the client’s issues. Rogers asked open-ended questions, which enabled the person to discover a solution to that person’s psych problems. In this article, I’m doing this Rogerian psychotherapy with Ginger, my 85-pound Irish Setter. As the therapist, I also am trying to understand my own psychological Weltanschauung without the therapist. I’m trying to address my relationship with Ginger.
So, join me as I explore my relationship with Ginger. After returning from a year of post-graduate school at New College at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland, the first thing I did was to get a job. The next thing I did was to get my first Irish Setter and named her Ginger. Ginger protectively watched over our three children, who were born and began their lives. Ginger was a significant part of our family. However, when she died around twelve, it was the worst day of my life.
At the other end of my journey down the yellow brick road of life, I got another Irish Setter. My second Ginger is a significant issue for me in my twilight years, along with teaching, writing, and my family in Myanmar. I got Ginger as a puppy, and now she is seven years old. That means she is around fifty years of old by human comparison.
I have a good friend in Myanmar by the name of Than. I see him as a van Gogh. He can paint in watercolors, oils, and pen and ink drawings. He is excellent when painting landscapes, portraits, and still life paintings. I have had Than paint around ten paintings for me. I have in my home four of his paintings.
My three granddaughters each have one, and my great-granddaughter, A Ngal Lay, who lives at Set Set Yo in Myanmar, has one.
In the past fifteen years, I have done the dance twice with death. While both dances were not pleasant, I benefited greatly from them. I am wiser than those who haven’t led death on their dance floors of life. However, Ginger has done two dances also. She has been to Purdue’s Veterinary Hospital three times. She spent time in ICU on her second visit because she wouldn’t eat.
The second half of Ginger’s life has been a combination of good and challenging times. This photo is of some of the meds that she takes daily. The next one is of the B12 shot I give her weekly.
Ginger has been to the vet twice in the past couple of months. One time because she devoured some chocolate-covered pretzels. I knew that chocolate is poison when dogs consume it. Also, while we were playing Chuck-it, Ginger developed a bad limp. In both situations, Ginger and I went to see her vet. I needed to be treated more than she did. All is well, at least for now, with both of us.
In our journey together, Ginger and I have fun. This video is of us playing Chuck-it.
This video is of Ginger finding a bottle full of treats that I hid in the house.
Finally, this video of our game of patience.
Ginger and I enjoy our time walking down our yellow brick road together.
What’s it all about Ginger is reminiscent of Alfie.