Memories of Ginger

June 26, 1991 - August 31, 2002

Ginger was my friend and companion for 11 years. As a crazy, rebelious puppy, and myself in high school, we quickly became best friends. The first night we had her home, she cried for her mother who was no where to be found. I couldn't stand to hear her sadness, so I slept next to her in the back hallway and our friendship began. Later that year we spent countless hours going through dog obedience training, which tought both of us respect and understanding for each other. With that understanding and connection, we journeyed into the Pine Barrens of New Jersey to go offroading in the Armadillo, hiking through the woods, and swimming in lakes. Ginger's obsession with going for car rides is difficult to describe. She learned every word associated with the subject and was overjoyed to ride with her head out the window in fast moving wind. I think that the accelerated smelling was a rush that we just can't understand, but that made her so very happy. Even with gusts of wind, she would hold her head high, taking in all that was there. She wasn't always so fond of mother nature however. Whenever a thunderstorm was present in the area, she went into a "fight or flight" mode, and she always chose the flight! You never knew where you'd find her if you came home after a thunderstorm- under a 6" high bed, on the couch, behind the toilet, just about anywhere she could get herself! And of course, we had to find a way to get her out of there, but that was okay- she was just scared and being herself.

For 8 years, I lived without G-dog (yes, she was a gangsta!) in my daily life. I do regret that I didn't spend more time with her then, but coming home and having her greet me was always a magical experience. She would jump up, run around in the house wreaking havoc, and then I'd let her out back so we could run and play together. When the poison ivy wasn't overwhelming, we'd hop in the Armadillo and go for a quick car ride to the field at Pompeston Creek. She would run with me in the field and then we'd go for a walk on the creek trail. Inevidably, she would wander off to explore something and I'd hide from her down the trail and whistle and call her name. She would coming running down the narrow trail so fast that she'd go right by me, never knowing I was there. I'd call her again and wait for her the next time and give her a big hug and congratulations on coming back.

Last July, I came home to Moorestown and as usual, Ginger was glad to see me. But this time, she had no idea what her future held. A day or two later, I put her in the car and we headed West for Colorado! This amazing dog would do things in her Golden Years that most dogs, let alone people, would never dream of doing or have the opportunity to do. We spent this last year exploring the Rocky Mountains and enjoying our time together- I wouldn't have it any other way! She hiked Green Mtn, Bear Mtn, most of South Boulder Peak, Mt Sanitas, countless Front Range hikes and off trail excursions, the Holy Cross wilderness, Crestone Basin, Great Sand Dunes, Mt Garfield, and more than I can remember. She swam the high-water rapids of Boulder Creek and a year later, rafted the Snake River through Hell's Canyon. She spent time outside appreciating the wonder of the outdoors. Even after her body had chosen to not eat or drink, she still craved the wonder of the outdoors! She loved life!

I don't know why I loved Ginger so much, but she had such an amazing, positive effect on my life that I can not even express. She was my friend and companion for 11 years and will be in my heart forever. Goodbye Ginger.

Photos of Ginger this past year that help tell her story.
If you have any photos you'd like me to add, please send them to me. Thanks.

At our going away party in Moorestown, Mom dropped the cake, but that was perfect for Ginger! She got clean up all the icing on the floor- even if it was chocolate!

Eric, Beth, Clare, Mike, and Darren got a chance to say goodbye to Ginger before we headed West last summer.

Ginger and Pat arrive in Colorado, July 2001. The following year will be an amazing experience for both.

Within days of arriving in Boulder, Ginger had climbed to the 8300 ft peak of Green Mountain! She would summit this mountain 3 more times in less than a year! It was amazing to see her learn to climb up the large boulders that blocked the trail, and then later for her to excite at the opportunity to scamper up these same rocks with ease! Imagine being a 70 year old city woman and learning to rock climb. Now imagine also doing it well and being so happy about it. That was the amazing spirit of Ginger.

One year ago this Labor day weekend, Ginger and I headed South for an adventure in the mountains of the Crestone Range. After a grueling 6 mile 4x4 drive in to the trailhead, we camped near a creek that she immediately discovered was a perfect swimming hole! Camped within a hundred yards of the next people, I didn't think I had to keep an eye on her, but when she disappeared for a while and wouldn't respond to my whistling and calling, I got worried. After questioning other campers about her location and nothing turning up, I heard a rustling in one of the other campers' tents. When I poked my head in, I found Ginger devouring the people's food stash!!! I was shocked and didn't want to get myself in trouble, so we got out of there without them knowing it, while I laughed myself all the way back to camp. What a dog! The following day, we hiked a few miles up into the Crestone Basin- an amazing stone cirque thousands of feet high surrounding two alpine lakes. As usual, Ginger found a cliff to perch on that allowed her to survey the area and take it all in. She made me so nervous when she'd go to the ends of the magnificent drop offs and just stand there looking out on everything. We sure loved the same things.

Ginger loved her car rides, although she wasn't always so sure about 4 wheelin. Here she is with her head out the window trying to decide if Pat has gotten in over his head!

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