Tuesday, March 16, 2010

My baby girl-dog Gingee

Gingee is my twenty month old Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. I didn't know anything about this breed of dog before I fell in love with them or her. I only knew that everytime I met a King Charles, I was smitten by its affectionate personality.

Serendipity played a big part in Gingee coming into my life. On vacation year before last, I told my husband John that I was ready for a puppy. "I want a puppy," I announced as we drove through Central Coast California pulling our fifth wheel trailer.

Dakota, our Australian Sheppard, was thirteen years old at the time. We had been planning to go dogless after Dakota in order to give ourselves a bit more freedom. "Puppy fever" hit around the same time as our grandson was born. (We live far away from the family and I had to do something to cure the serious case of "baby fever" sparked by the birth of the grandbaby.)

On the same vacation, several days after my puppy pronouncement, I told my eighty-eight year old friend Virginia, while visiting in Sebastopol, California, that we had decided to get a puppy and that we wanted a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. She said, "My heavens! I have a friend that has been trying to give me one of those kinds of puppies." I was shocked, amazed and delighted by the manifestation of just the right puppy at just the right time. The next day, we carried our eight-week-old Gingee home.

Shortly after Gingee joined our family, I read books about the breed. I was like a new parent fearing that every ailment and disease that I read about was going to affect Gingee. The worst disease is syringomyelia (SM) which affects fifty percent of Cavalier puppies born today. It is an extremely serious condition in which fluid-filled cavities develop within the spinal cord near the brain. It is also known as "neck scratcher's disease", because one of its common signs is scratching in the air near the neck. So of course I have watched for air scratching every day of her life.

So far though, she is healthy. Just some ear yeast infection issues. Gingee is my girl and I love her. She has given me a chance in life to learn to love more deeply.

Happiness is a warm puppy. ~ Charles M. Schulz

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