Ginger, the empathetic dog

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“Ginger, (she was named that because of the color of her hair), was a Shepherd Collie mix.

I’ve always loved dogs, but this dog was very special.

She was very specific about what she liked.

She had this little chew toy that squeaked and she would try to get the squeaker out for hours.

She knew how to amuse herself.

She loved to watch birds and run after them.

I was still living with my parents when we got Ginger.

It was during the time in my life when I was becoming an adult, so I really connected with her.  I was just coming out of the closet and dealing with my sexuality.

I didn’t feel loved by anyone in my family except her.

She had a great disposition with people.

She was a real bitch to other dogs.

My parents didn’t want her to go into the living room, but she went right through the gate and would jump up and down to show her triumph and joy.

It was a game to her.  She loved to play and I spent hours at a time entertaining her.

I moved out after college and left Ginger with my parents.

My parents were having a hard time, my mother in particular.

My father moved out, and my mother was depressed.

When I would come home to visit I could tell Ginger was traumatized by either my mother’s sadness or the loss of my father, but I could tell she was grieving.

In her final moments, the last thing my mother said to Ginger was, you were always with me.”

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