Goodbye Ginny

While on vacation in Florida, we received a phone call from the kennel where our two akitas were boarding. As soon as the phone rang on Good Friday morning at 7 a.m. we knew there was something very wrong.

My husband mouthed the words to me as he listened: "Ginny died."

When he hung up the phone, he said he could barely understand the woman who called, she was crying so hard. Ginny had died in her sleep, curled up next to Kody, our male akita.

If you've been following my blog, you know our sweet girl bloated back in January. She had emergency surgery, followed by 48 hours of intensive care. Then we took over at home. At first she refused to eat or drink, so we had to force the issue. But it didn't take long at all before she was up, drinking out of the toilet, eating grass in the yard, and soon she seemed completely back to normal. We sighed a huge sigh of relief. We thought she was out of the woods.

She only had two more months to live.

Since the first moment I saw her beautiful, furry face on Facebook, I've been in love with this dog. I know this sounds weird. I've loved many dogs in my life, but not like this. As far as I was concerned, Ginny could do no wrong. Whether she was deliberately walking through mud puddles or vomiting on the carpet, nothing could detract from her total perfection. She had a definite sense of humor and loved to joke around in her own particular way. Keep-away was one of her favorite games: she'd pick up a toy, taunt Kody with it, then yank it away before he could grab it. It was clear she was laughing along with us when we played tag: we'd try to tag her, but she'd dart away at the last moment.

Ginny was completely bonded to us. On a couple of occasions, our front door blew open in the wind. Although Kody, our male, took off to visit our neighbors and wreck havoc, Ginny chose not to leave. We found her relaxing in the sunroom despite the open door and the enticing breeze from outdoors blowing in.

Everyone loved Ginny. When she strutted into the vet's office, the entire staff would come out to pet her. She received so many treats on each visit, she wouldn't be hungry for her dinner when we got home. Before we adopted her from Rakki Inu Akita Rescue, the name they had given her was Charm because she charmed the staff at the local animal shelter where she had been picked up several times. It seemed that her original owners were the only ones who weren't sufficiently charmed by her. Their loss was our enormous gain.

It seems cruelly unfair that dogs live such a short amount of time compared to humans. We only had four years with our sweet Ginny. Perhaps the universe is designed this way so that we may open our hearts to many different dogs through our lifetime.

But my heart, at least for now, is broken.