Yes, this is filled with whisky

Yes, this is filled with whisky

Monday, August 08, 2016

This blog is going to the dogs, Day 8




My husband is not a dog person, but he's grudgingly tolerated my dogs so far.  We've had Ginger for 7 of her 13 years.

My husband frequently teases me.  For example I'll say "I'll be home late tonight.  Take care of my dog for me."  He'll answer "Sure, I'll take care of her."  With a wicked gleam in his eye.

Despite that, Ginger is very attached to my husband and prefers him over anyone else in my family.

About two months ago, the vet called and informed me that Ginger has kidney problems.  She now has different food and daily medication.  The vet tells us she probably has no more than a year left.

When I told my husband that news, along with a little tease like "You finally get your wish", he stared at Ginger for a minute, rubbed her ears, then looked at me with sad eyes and said "I'm not ready for her to leave."

51 comments:

Em-Musing said...

Beautiful dog! Animals touch us in ways no human can.

MA Hudson said...

Aw, Ginger looks so sweet and gentle. Sorry to hear she's unwell.

Joyce Tremel said...

Aww. *wipes tears away*

E.M. Goldsmith said...

Crying. It's so hard when dogs go. They love us unconditionally. Beautiful dog.

Lisa Bodenheim said...

The stories connected with these pet pictures have been wonderful. Especially today's, when grudgingly tolerated has, over 7 years, moved to affection.

Ginger looks so sweet and patient. I am sorry that her lifespan has an end in sight. Relish this special time. I've had the honor of being with a couple pets as they approached the rainbow bridge through old age or illness. Never easy.

Colin Smith said...

Awww. :( So sorry about Ginger, Opie.

I must confess, I'm not a dog person either. And, like your husband, that seems to make me a dog magnet. I think they sense my aversion to canines and make me their favorite person on purpose. Dogs have a sense of humor, I'll give them that. ;)

Carolynnwith2Ns said...

We, who love our precious, four legged, winged, finned and slithery companions are never ready for their passing.

Starting today with tears for you and your husband. The last days are often the hardest.

Theresa said...

It's always so hard to lose a pet. Ginger will be comfortable and loved during her final year.

Catherine Vignolini said...

Senior dogs. They break our hearts. Lots of hugs for Ginger.

Sam Hawke said...

Hugs to you all. This reminds me of my mum's relationship with my childhood dog, who wormed his fat little body into her heart in the end. Agh, they give us so much in their short lives but god it's hard dealing with the end.

Susan said...

So much love to you, Opie. This breaks my heart...and also fills me with joy. Because dogs know who love them. And they know who's in need of love from them. It sounds like Ginger snuck into your husband's heart, just as she's sneaking it ours with your story. Enjoy every moment with her, and please keep us updated.

Julie Weathers said...

Ah, what a sweetie. I am so sorry to hear about the bad news. I'm sure it was kind of a stab in the heart for your husband to hear he got his wish. They act tough, but aren't nearly as solid as they like to think.

Enjoy the time you have with her. I've had a few with kidney problems as they got older and it's always hard.

My ex used to harp about how he hated cats, but he always made sure all the stray cats who hung around the barn had plenty of feed. One old calico mama would run out to greet him at the truck when he drove up and make every step he made. When he was feeding horses, she'd walk along the fence rail beside him. It infuriated him when one of the neighbors dogs came over and wiped out a bunch of the cats.

french sojourn said...


I'm a hybrid...I love cats and dogs. (garlic, butter, and just the right amount of herbs. (Joke))

I like dogs for their loyalty, exuberance, and often funny expressions. And cats for their independence, (forgoing the lack of apposing thumbs) agility, and their curiosity.

But their shared trait is their innocence. If only people were like those lil creatures. (except Siamese, gotta grudge with their yowling.)

cheers

Melanie Sue Bowles said...

She's beautiful... Unlike any other animal, there is a unique soulfulness in the eyes of an elderly dog.

Lennon Faris said...

Sweet picture and story. Rewind Ginger 4 years and this is my husband and my dog exactly. I do love the stories about someone adopting a non-puppy, and caring for them in their old age.

Joseph Snoe said...

A sad and poignant entry today. Ginger looks like such a loving dog/family member.

Donnaeve said...

Such a tug to the heart, those soulful eyes. I'm very sorry about Ginger. It's always our wish for them to be spirited off in their sleep. We don't like it much at all when they're sick.

Some of you might remember "the girls" and their story. I did a post called PRICELESS about 18 months ago.

It gives you a small inside peek as to what went on in August, 2012. Four years ago is really hard to believe.

Here's to Ginger proving her vet wrong!

Jennifer R. Donohue said...

Oh Ginger...she looks like a special girl, so of course her husband actually loves her! We never have enough time with them. But a year is a lot of time for Ginger to have more joy, and bring you more joy, and that's what we hope for, I guess. That's what we get.

Barbara Etlin said...

Ginger is a beauty, with kind, gentle eyes. Dogs teach us how to live joyfully every day. My dog thought he was a puppy until his last year.

Lots of hugs.

Adib Khorram said...

I'm so sad for Ginger and the OP, but it warms my heart to hear about how love can surprise us all.

I think I needed this reminder today. Thank you, Ginger, and thank you, OP.

Adib Khorram said...

Also congrats to Janet today! Just read the news about her joining New Leaf as agent and director of literary development.

E.M. Goldsmith said...

Adib- what? Janet is at New Leaf now? Links? When did this happen? Am I just clueless? Do her clients go with her? This is big news.

Judy Moore said...

There is a book called "Old Faithful" with some great photos of elderly dogs, some almost as beautiful as Ginger. The photographer is Pete Thorne, and you can see some of his photos online.

Congratulations, Janet! Just saw the news in Publishers Lunch.

Cheryl said...

french sojourn, my one cat (his picture is coming up, if Janet didn't get disgusted with the size and throw it out) is anything but innocent. He spends all his time figuring out new ways to troll us and the other cat.

We built a Bad Cat Box under the stairs just for him.

BJ Muntain said...

I love older dogs.

There is a Yahoo group specifically for people whose dogs have kidney problems, called K9Kidneys. They are so wonderfully helpful and knowledgeable there. Koko was diagnosed at 13 with Cushing's and kidney disease. I was told, too, that he had maybe a year to live. But with the help of that group and my wonderful vets, he survived to nearly 16 years old. Subcutaneous fluids are key - they not only help flush the kidneys out, but they make the dog feel so much better, too. Koko was still a happy-go-lucky little guy right until the day before I had to let him go.

Congratulations, Janet!

E.M. Goldsmith said...

Way to go, Janet! New Leaf has a new queen.

Russell Buyse said...

Glad I'm not the only one to have noticed this little sentence slipped in Publishers Lunch today:

"Janet Reid has joined New Leaf Literary & Media as director of literary development and agent. Previously she was an agent at FinePrint Literary Management."

Congratulations, dear Shark Queen, on new feeding grounds!

Theresa said...

Wow,wow, wow! Congratulations, Janet!

Peggy Rothschild said...

Such a sweet face. Dogs are truly love on four paws. If only our animals were longer lived.

stacy said...

She looks like a gentle soul. I'm sorry to hear she's not well.

Lisa Bodenheim said...

The QOTKU's plot for world domination begins to take shape!

But, on a serious note, wow, congratulations Janet. And wishing you all the best in this transfer to a different agency. And I like me that name: New Leaf.

Kate Larkindale said...

What a lovely old dog. So sad to hear she's unwell.

And congratulations on the move, Janet. I'm with New Leaf, so maybe our paths will cross one day...

Karen McCoy said...

Aw, sweet Ginger. What a lovely dog. *wipes tears*

John Davis Frain said...

Well, that tugs.

I'm like your husband. I'm not dog person either. Until a dog shows up. But don't tell the pups. Don't want them figuring me out, and they all seem smart enough.

Thanks for sharing, OP. A year is both long and short. Make the most of the moments.

Beth said...

Aw, Ginger looks like such a sweetheart. No wonder you husband succumbed to her charms. A dog's life is always too short, but still a blessing.

Congratulations, Ms. Reid. Exciting news. I'm not sure what a director of literary development does, but I'm sure you'll do it with your usual flair.

Dena Pawling said...


I'm in jury trial and on lunch break now so time to only skim comments. I'll read more detailed later. Ginger is mine. She's been having some trouble walking the past few months which is why I had her tested. I don't know if the walking and the kidneys are related or not. She does seem a bit better with walking now that she has kidney food and medication. She's a sweetheart. Thanks everyone for your nice comments.

And congrats to Janet!

Kitty said...

Here's a prayer I found specifically for a dog:

O Lord,
Every creature,
in every forest, field, and home,
belongs to you,
and is under your loving care.
May your blessing be upon this dog,
and, in your great kindness,
keep Ginger safe from all harm.
We pray that you would show forth
your eternal love and mercy,
in the companionship and friendship
that this dog provides.
Amen

french sojourn said...


I envision Hudson in Aliens just spouting off...."game over man...game over." Queens got ah new dig? Congrats oh QOTKU I see Townsends got your six....good thing!

Congrats...fits like a glove.

french sojourn said...


Cheryl; a cat can be innocent and capricious at the same time...but it sounds like a winner either way!

John Davis Frain said...

Dena,

Do they have a Bring Your Dog to Court Day? My imagination is having all kinds of fun, so don't spoil it if the answer is no.

I'll be thinking about it when I walk our pooch tonight. The judge would need two gavels, ambidextrously pounding "Out of order! Our of order!" And from then on, he'd be known as Judge Ringo Starr.

See ya in court, Ginger.

Morgan Hazelwood said...

Those ears look like velvet. I hope she keeps you company for as long as she can, with as little pain as possible. :-(

Kae Ridwyn said...

*Blinks back tears*

Thank you for sharing such a touching story. Bless you.

Susan said...

I'm glad I checked back through the comments today!

Dena: you have a sweetheart in Ginger. My Riley is getting up there in age, and every time I look at him, I have to swallow down the heaviness in my heart knowing the inevitable is only a few short years away. But that's when I focus on the joy he brings me and remain grateful for every minute. Hug Ginger from every one of us tonight.

Also, congratulations to Janet! New Leaf is an extraordinary agency--when I first started looking into traditional publishing, there were a number of agents I followed from there who were warm and generous with their advice. Now they've got themselves an extraordinary shark.

kdjames.com said...

:sob:

Dena, that story is so bittersweet. And that face. So much love and wisdom. Wishing both you and your husband many more days of happy comfort with Ginger.


Janet, congrats on the new digs! Tormenting writers . . . mentoring agents . . . yep, they picked the right person for that role. Hope you settle in quickly.

Craig F said...

Dena: enjoy all the time you can with Ginger. I already know she knows that she is appreciated. She also knows where her special talents are needed.


There is a lot to like at New Leaf. It seems to cover all of the bases that will keep an author with in house care and feeding.

I hope the new job title will not make us all orphans. Of all I have done to prepare myself to be a writer nothing holds a candle to what I have learned from you My Queen. Thank you and I hope it can continue.

AJ Blythe said...

Dena, hugs on your unwell furchild. I hope the vet is wrong and you have many more years with him. Your hubby is obviously a softy at heart.

JR! Congrats on the move. New Leaf are one lucky agency. What does your regal title (which befits a Queen) mean? And like others have asked, do you take your clients with you? Glad it says you are still agenting though. I wouldn't feel I'd queried properly if I didn't get to sub to you.

As an aside, obviously this is very new news because our Queen still has FinePrint on her website.

Barbara Etlin said...

Congrats on your move, Janet!

Her Grace, Heidi, the Duchess of Kneale said...

If dogs get better, it's great, because they love life so much. But if they don't and they die, I take comfort in the fact that all dogs go to heaven. How can they not?

Have been pretty ill myself this past week with suspected pneumonia. Not much fun.

CynthiaMc said...

Yesterday was nuts. Playing catch up now.

Ginger is beautiful. Dena, you have a treasure.

Heidi, I hope you feel better soon.

Janet - I don't know what all that means but it sounds like a move up. Yay?

Claire Bobrow said...

Ginger is a beautiful old gal. I hope her remaining time with you is peaceful - I know it will be filled with love. She clearly melted your husband's heart. Thanks for sharing her story with us.

Panda in Chief said...

Dena, I hope your sweet Ginger stays with you for a while longer yet. Hopefully the meds and special food will help. My vet recommended Glucosamine/Chondroiton for my aging kitty's stiffness issues. Might be worth talking to your vet about that. It has helped Mehitabel a lot. She also has developed kidney issues, but as long as she is eating and drinking (and doing the "necessaries" in the appropriate location, I have opted not to go the medication route. At 20, I don't want to stress her out and she has never been a willing pill taker, and cats are far less likely to fall for the pill in the treat treick. Believe me I've tried.

Congrats to Janet on the new position at the new agency. Talk about tuning over a New Leaf. Yuck, yuck.

I've been crazy busy working on a couple of art shows these last two weeks so have not been around the reef lately.
Loving the dog picks, but Mehitabel thinks there should be more cats.
Just sayin'.