The One About Ginger.

One of my very good long-time friends said to me many years ago, “Evelyn, if you aren’t in the market for furniture, don’t go furniture shopping.”

It’s good advice for me – I have a thing about chairs and little tables, and a house full of them to show for it.

The same applies to dogs.  I can’t walk past a doggie adoption.  All those cuties in wire cages just turns my stomach.  They all deserve to be someone’s loved and treasured pet.

So on the Sunday before the Fourth of July, when I said to Benjamin “hey, let’s stop by that doggie adoption event” at Centinela Feed on Pico, as I have said to him on other occasions, I should have again taken my friend’s advice.

But instead, we went in, looked at all the cute doggies through their wire cages, and decided to take Ginger, a French Mastiff/Sharpei/pit bull mix, for a walk.  She is the cutest girl.  She’s 5 or 6, and she had a family but they moved to Texas, so she’s been in and out of boarding and foster homes for awhile now.  She has a sweet demeanor, and we decided to go home and get Madison, and introduce them.  They got along fine, mostly because Ginger was happy to recognize Madison as the pack leader she insists on being.

So we had two more play dates with Ginger over the next week and a half, and then we learned that Ginger got out of the yard of her foster home, and the foster mom hadn’t actually told her landlord that she was fostering a dog, and back into boarding Ginger went.  Which broke our hearts.  So we went and picked her up on Saturday.

Madison was definitely not happy about the new arrangement, but she didn’t mind Ginger eating the same food (out of a different bowl of course) as she gets, nor Ginger playing with her toys, nor Ginger sleeping on Madison’s pillows.  Saturday was good.  Sunday we took them to the park, where they sniffed and wandered and all was fine.  And then Dexter came to the park.  Dexter is a big black German shepherd dog and Madison has met him before, when she was alone with Benjamin.  And they had been fine together.  And Sunday they were fine for awhile, but then Madison saw me pet Dexter and she was not a happy camper at all.  Some sneering, some growling, and boom, three people trying to pull three dogs apart.

Benjamin noted for me, because I had not noticed, that Ginger, who is clearly not an aggressive dog at all, seemed to try to be on Madison’s “team” during the altercation – she tried to get at Dexter so that Dexter would stop trying to bite Madison.

We finally got everyone separated, and Madison had three bloody spots on her back, and I have a hole in my leg, where Madison’s tooth ran into it when I pushed my leg in to try to separate them.  I’m still running a half marathon in 2 weeks, but I am not anticipating a personal record on this one.

So we came home and all was fine for the rest of the day.  Madison and Ginger seemed to coexist just fine.  Madison sleeps on the bed, Ginger slept on a pillow on the floor.  Everyone has their place.

Benjamin went off to work this morning and left me alone with the two dogs.  We all woke up, had breakfast, took a little walk and came back inside peacefully.  We all went upstairs to play, before morning nap time.

They played separately for awhile, and then Madison stood up and started to walk towards a toy that we had bought for Ginger.  A little stuffed giraffe with a squeaky inside.  Ginger had played with a whole bunch of Madison’s toys, and Madison assumes that everything in the house is her stuff.  She’s been an only dog for 11+ years, after all.  Well, Ginger was not happy with Madison even coming close to her toy, and she growled.  And then they were on top of each other.

It was probably less than a minute before I could separate them but of course it felt like forever.  And I stepped on one of Madison’s toes in the process, which was just one more thing for the vet to patch up later.  I put Ginger in the bathroom and Madison outside, and called Benjamin and asked him to come home.  The experiment was over.

Benjamin came home and helped me calm down the dogs and then calmed me down.  We called the woman from Adopt-A-Chow LA, and told her we had to bring Ginger back.  It’s not her fault, obviously, and she deserves to live in a house where she can have her own toys and her own space, and a momma who is not concerned about having an altercation.

It’s amazing how fast you can fall in love with a 64-pound ball of fur, and amazing how fast she was able to consider us her family.   We know how much we love Madison, and we know there’s enough love to give to another dog who needs it.  But for now, we are a one-dog family.

I took Ginger back with a bag full of medications our vet had given us for her, and some toys.  This sweet dog deserves a good home.  The only time she barked was when I left her alone in the backyard, and in the bathroom.  If you or anyone you know is interested in adopting, please let me know, and I’ll be happy to connect you with her.

As for me, I’m not in the market for a dog, so I’m going to muster up the will power to resist visiting doggie adoptions from now on.


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