Aug 18, 2017

31 Days of Gratitude: Day 18

Day 18:  Dogs

I'm grateful for dogs. Except for a few gone wrong, they are awesome!

I want a dog, but I don't want the mess and the cost that comes with one. I just want the good part, the part where they wag their tales and sit by your side and are happy you are alive. Mike really doesn't want a dog, but he'll go along because he's so nice. Not sure I can do that to him. On the other hand, he's never had a dog and that should be fixed.

Many of our neighbors have dogs, which surprises me because no one here has a yard. They walk their dogs all over the place. And I'm not talking tiny dogs, although there are plenty of those. Some of these dogs are gigantic, as in they look like miniature horses. Go figure.

We had 2 dogs when I was growing up. My father brought the first one home over my mother's objection. She did not like animals. We called him Mikey and he jumped all over the furniture and knocked down a lamp and my little brother. He was huge and strong. One day Mikey disappeared. My mom said that he ran away to find a farm to live on, but a few years before she died she told me that, at her insistence, my father had given Mikey away.

Mikey, we hardly knew ya!

Years later, my father talked my mom into getting Ginger. Ginger was a mutt and friendly. She didn't do much other than sit near the heating vent in the winter and eat. But you could talk to her and pour out your troubles, which is exactly what a dog is for. Then my father died and my mom was in charge of Ginger.

I had no idea you were supposed to put dogs on a leash. Since our yard wasn't fenced, my mom just let Ginger run wild in the neighborhood. One day the the police brought Ginger to the door, warning my mom that the dog had to be on a leash. I was terrified. The cops were on our front porch!!! But, the NY Giants were playing on TV and I heard her tell them "the Giants have the ball and are about to score!" So the police came in and stayed until half time. No ticket and my mom still let Ginger out to run around.

Ginger finally got a leash when our neighbor, Mr. B, had a heart attack and his doc told him to walk every day. Mr. B had retired from working on the railroad (really) and spent a lot of time fixing his car in his driveway. Ginger used to lie there listening to his stories. After his heart attack, Mr. B would knock on our door and yell "dog patrol". My mom would open the door and Ginger would fly out. Mr. B would put a leash on her, and Ginger would accompany Mr. B on his walks.

Eventually we kids left, and it was just my mom and Ginger living in the house. Mr. B retired and he and his wife moved to Florida to escape the New England winters. My mom begged them to take Ginger, but they decided against it.

A few months later, my mom moved to an apartment about 10 miles from our old house and took Ginger with her, still insisting she didn't want the dog. But Ginger was old and limping and my mom felt she had no choice. Again, she just let Ginger out loose.

One day my mom got a call from another former neighbor, telling her that Ginger was lying on Mr. B's former lawn. Ginger had walked all the way back to the old neighborhood to die on Mr. B's lawn. By then I was a young lawyer working in Norfolk. My mom called me and said "Ginger is dead on Mr. B's lawn. What am I supposed to do?" Well, let me look that up in my daughter bag of tricks. I told her to call the police because what else was I supposed to say? And, yes, one of the cops who showed up was the same cop who came to our house years earlier.

I loved that dog.


20 comments:

  1. I think I love that dog, too ... Tom's brother had a dog that he took along with him when he got married. Golden Retriever: Jake [what else?] walked over 25 miles to get back 'home.'
    Thanks for the memories...
    =]

    ReplyDelete
  2. Another wonderful story Joan. Can I just say that I don't want the Gratitude series to end. I love reading what you share. When I got to the end of this one I just wanted to grab a cup of coffee and walk over to your house and visit with you. Your words always make me want to be your friend! Not to mention we could make cards together! Ha!! Keep em coming Joan!! Hugs!! P.S. you could visit an animal shelter to get your dose of dog love if you don't want to bring one home for keeps.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. what a sweet note. would love to meet up some day! visiting an animal shelter never occurred to me. thanks.

      Delete
  3. I haven't been without a dog since I was 18, and I will NEVER be without one. I will not go to a retirement home or assisted living unless they agree to accept my friend along with me. Dogs give love unconditionally. They will sympathize, comfort, and listen, all without judgment. They come in all sizes, personalities, and activity levels. You and Mike go to a shelter and let one choose you—and one will, I promise. And you will not regret it, I promise.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Beautiful story! I think it is very important to take time each day to be grteful. Thought you (and your readers) may be interested in an app I created (totally free) that allows you to keep track of your thankful moments: http://bit.ly/2weqwOI

    Maybe you can give us a review on your blog if you really like it!

    Best,

    Beyza

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have to try out this app. thanks!

      Delete
  5. I never was a dog person until we brought home Walter! I think we hit the jackpot wit him...Ginger sounds like an amazing dog too!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Joan, I did read this through but I had to walk away and collect myself at the end of it. You know how I feel about dogs. Bluejeannes wrote my sentiments exactly. I could only magnify that many times over. Dogs are worthy. Our Goldens are beautiful and loving and devoted beyond all expectations and they make both me and my husband better people. There's much to be said about how you raise a puppy in relation to what kind of mature dog you wind up with. It's an important undertaking, but worth it. Our Golden Retriever bubble is the most wonderful place to be.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Golden retriever bubble...a very happy, furry place to be!!!!

      Delete
    2. sigh. i love wally and lulu!!

      Delete
  7. Now I'm all choked up. What a great story. I agree, your husband's tragic dog-free life needs to be corrected.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. i'm going to tell him you said that

      Delete
  8. Awww. Dogs are indeed the most wonderful pets. They are such good listeners! Mike will come around once a cute little furry face looks him in the eye.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. he'll do it but he doesn't want to! it's a dilemma for me

      Delete
  9. Since Mike doesn't want a dog (and they are a big responsibility), just borrow your neighbors' dogs. You can help your neighbors out by dog-sitting when they are away. You will get the good parts without the full-time, long-term responsibility. Just a thought.

    ReplyDelete
  10. You could foster for a rescue, even if it is only respite fostering (a weekend or a week when the regular foster has to go out of town). I have had a dog (or two, or three or five) continuously since 1983 and I will NEVER, EVER be without at least one (we have 2 now, but are thinking about adopting a senior in need of a home from the Harvey disaster). Seniors are so hard to adopt out. We have done that twice before, and even though we only had them for about 2 years, we know we made a difference in their lives and they definitely made a difference in ours.
    Ginger sounds like she was an amazing pup, and she truly loved Mr. B. That story brought tears to my eyes. I was worried she was going to have a bad demise (hit by a car). Passing away on Mr. B's lawn was priceless. I was cleaning my spam folder and for some reason, this post ended up in there. So glad I spotted it. I have loved your gratitude series.

    ReplyDelete