Monday, January 23, 2012

A Year of Parenting.

It's been a smidge over a year now since we became parents. Puppy parents that is.

At Christmas last year (2010), I would have NEVER thought we would fall in love with a dog (ANY dog) like we have with Ginger. Earlier in the year, my sister and brother-in-law had a tragic departure from their first dog, Laci, after their relocation to New Hampshire. Laci didn't adjust well to the move, was living in a much smaller area, and was anxious all the time. Needless to say despite Megan's every attempt to help Laci, Roan and Meg had a hard decision to make. For Meg, it was terrible. She had to put down her "baby" before she became a real danger to someone else. My heart hurt for my animal loving sister in a way I couldn't really understand.... but I tried to comfort her and love on her while she suffered the loss of Laci alone (Roan was on sea duty during the entire struggle), in a new place and far away from family. 

Meg worked through the loss just as any human would. She tried to move all of the reminders of Laci out of sight so she wouldn't have to "think about her"; despite her attempts there were always the random days where Megan would find one of Laci's toys she had lost, or just her leash and the mourning process would happen all over again. :( Eventually, through lots of prayers, working out and loving friends Megan's heart healed and a special little package awaited her arrival in NC for Christmas. 

Charlie, Ginger's sister -- how GREAT are those ears?!

Our friend, Susan, was able to give Megan and Roan a new addition to their family. This new addition soon became known to our family as Charlie. She wasn't more than 3lbs., solid black and had the cutest ears!! I swooned over her as much as Meg did. Before long (and a bottle of wine later), I had talked Todd in to trying to get one of Charlie's sisters!

Susan helped us as much as she could, but Ginger was the last of the litter and was spoken for. The new year came around and we had only seen one picture of "GiGi".

Between this single picture and the raving reviews of our friend Susan, Todd and I thought long and hard about taking this cutie in to our home. Soon, Susan called to say that the lady who had "spoken for" Ginger had decided to not take her. Although the news came unexpectedly and quite quickly, we decided to take her in to our home. A few days went by and we arranged for her pick up in Winston-Salem, NC.

We were typical first time parents. Scared and overly cautious. I had NEVER cared for a dog full-time and Todd had very limited experience. After night one and only one wake up call from her little crate, I knew we would be okay. Ginger has always been an eager and quick learner. She has always enjoyed long walks and has now become a light runner too!

She loves to go riding with the windows down.

Ginger and her BFF, Tucker (my Aunt Becky's Dog)

Being at Nana's wore her out!

Having Ginger in our lives this year has been a nice change. She brings lots of energy and excitement to you EVERY time you walk through the door. She is wonderful company, even while sleeping. Most of all, she's made dog lovers out of me AND my mother-in-law!

I hope our family will continue to grow and that Ginger will be a very loved "first pet" for any children we are lucky and fortunate to have later in our lives. I also DREAD the day anything happens to her or the end of her life is near... but until that day comes, I will enjoy all the belly rubs, bone chewin', our long walks and her incessant butt waggin'.

Here's to another year as a dog lover. :)

Thank you Ginger for making a dog-lover out of me.

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