Ginger by Jackie Dupee / Mama

I had several dogs before Ginger “Sweetie Dog” came into my life. The bond with Ging was more than a “pet.” I had been looking for a yorkshire terrier mix for almost a year when I saw an ad in the paper. It was the best $50 investment I ever made. Ginger was born on Christmas Day, 1990. I took her home on Valentine’s Day 1991. It was a cold day in Fairbanks, Alaska and I put this little puppy inside my coat (close to my heart where she stayed for over 12 years) and drove home. Ginger was the cutest little dog I have ever seen. She looked like a little teddy bear. Smart as a whip, Ginger was completely housebroken in less than a week. My boss at the time let me take Ginger to work with me and she would sleep on a blanket under my desk with a little heater going. She had a little spirit that was truly amazing. I think she thought she was a big dog in a little dog’s body because she would attack her leash (which was a huge leash from when we had our lab) whenever she saw or heard another dog. She loved kitties and was such a friendly dog. Everywhere I went, Ginger wanted to go. She understood me like a little person and, besides knowing every trick in the book, would “talk” to you. I have so many happy memories of that little dog. She was like a baby to me and would even let me hold her that way and rub her little chest. I LOVED THAT LITTLE POOCH.

When we moved to Nevada, Ginger couldn’t ride in the car with me as much because they have laws against it here (too hot in the summer). How disappointed she was. I would try to “sneak out” sometimes and she would be right there, by the door, waiting for me. As the years passed (much too soon!) she began to slow down. Ginger had arthritis in her back legs (the result of a neighbor who shot her with a pellet gun in our own backyard). In January 2002, I took her to the vet and he gave her Rimadyl. DO NOT ever give a dog Rimadyl! Shortly afterwards, Ginger got very sick and began throwing up. I took her back into the vet and they said she had complete kidney failure. I researched on the internet and they said a side effect of Rimadyl on terriers in particular was kidney failure. Ginger rallied and I was so ecstatic. For awhile last summer, she was her usual self again. I knew she was probably on borrowed time though. But we did all sorts of things together (including my taking her for car rides). She was my little baby.

Then at Christmas 2002, Ginger started failing again. She was hospitalized with renal failure and, even though her values improved, never really rallied. I did EVERYTHING to keep my little buddy alive. This included daily dialysis type treatments. At this point, Ginger was over 12 years old. She was tired, Mama. Let me go to Doggie Heaven. I took one last trip to see my kids up north and took Ginger with me. I got to spend time with my little buddy. When I got home, I knew the end was near. CHRONIC RENAL FAILURE IS A HORRIBLE DISEASE. Ginger was ready to go but I still didn’t want to let her pass. This little 10 pound Yorkie was my life.

I finally made the decision to have a vet come to our house. Even at the end, Ginger would still try to jump down from the couch and greet everyone that came through our front door. Her little spirit wanted to carry on while the toxins were slowly poisoning her body. I truly believe that little dog lived the last few months just for me. I didn’t want her to suffer though and it got to the point (the vet had told me I would know when it was time to let her go) and she was suffering. The vet gave Ginger a shot to put her to sleep and then one to stop her little heart. I couldn’t handle the second shot and went outside. I wanted to run indoors and scream, Stop!, but I knew I was doing the best and right thing.

In the end, the vet said she was ready and went very peacefully. After she passed, I held her in my arms for an hour and told her what a wonderful life we had together and how much she was loved. It was one of the hardest things I have ever had to do. I think I have grieved more over Ginger than when my parents died. She offered unconditional love and was so much more than “just a dog.”

I had Ginger cremated and have her ashes in an urn in my bedroom. I have pictures of Ginger and her little collar and doggie bed. My heart is broken over this little dog. People tell me to get another dog, but, you can’t replace a little soul-mate so easily.

It has been three weeks and I am still a mess. The tears flow freely. My cat, Miss Pippi, is still looking for Ginger. I remember all the good times and know what I did was for the best, but it doesn’t fill the empty void in my life.

Ginger, I will NEVER forget you. There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think of you. I loved you like a child because that’s what you were to me. I know you are waiting for me at the Rainbow Bridge and I can’t wait to see you again.


Take care my little buddy, Love
Jackie Dupee