Farewell To My Friend

The morning of April 23, 2020 I lost my best friend of 11 years. Ginger crossed the rainbow bridge and my soul followed her.

I raised Ginger from when she was a puppy. She was your typical puppy – bouncy, destructive, needy. Then she grew into this beautiful dog that everyone admired yet feared at the same time. She was larger than usual but she didn’t know her size. I remember when I came home from the hospital, the first thing she did was sit on my lap so I wouldn’t go anywhere and leave her for 7 days.

I never left since because the look on her face when I came back broke my heart.

Ginger was my protector. No one could get within 6′ of me…not when she was around. She also protected the kids. It was like she knew her job was to keep us safe. She stopped someone from carjacking me. I was indebted to her ever since and I spent the rest of her life making it up to her. Though I knew that what I could do for could never amount to what she had done for me.

She loved going on walks – especially long ones. We would take her with us to the canals and walk along the tow path. She even got in the river for laughs and even though she hated baths and the rain, rivers and lakes and creeks were her jam. Jeremy would take her for 10 mile walks and not once did she complain. She came home exhausted, yet happy. I taught her how to run alongside Camden while she rode her bike. She didn’t care what we did as long as she was a part of it.

Ginger was always done for a game of fetch. I bought a Chuck-it for her and that thing was a Godsend. We would play for hours and she was barely exhausted.

Her love was unconditional. She would wait for me by the door when I would go to the store. She patiently waited for us to get home from work and understood that we would be gone for a long time but she always greeted us, happy and relieved. Her love for my children was unmatched by anything else. They were her kids, too. When I would have a bad day, she would lie down next to me as if to let me know that everything would be okay because we were together.

She got older and the walks became shorter but she always loved going on them even though her joints ached. Her muzzle turned gray and her eyes looked like she’s had a lifetime of knowledge behind them. Though she just wanted to sleep all day, she never missed a beat in greeting us at the door when we came home.

She put up with Carter as much as she could. He looked up to her and was obsessed with playing with her but she was just never in the mood. Nonetheless, she tolerated his bouncy attitude. That’s how much patience she had.

Then the day finally arrived. She couldn’t walk up the stairs anymore and we knew it was time. I finally accepted that she was no longer the dog she was before. The night of April 23rd, she went to sleep and never woke up.

I loved her and I still love her. I miss her so much and it’s lonely here in the house without her. She hung on long enough for me to find another dog who will protect me and love me like she did.

Thank you, Ginger.

Quarantine & A Puppy

So I’ve been working from home for 3 weeks now. Just got an email from my boss that we’re working from home until further notice. Working from home is a privilege a lot of people don’t have and I’m glad I have it. I feel bad for the ones who are losing their income because it looks like this pandemic is not going to end anytime soon.

I’ve been struggling to balance housework and work because work is still business as usual. There’s the occasional distraction such as cats stepping on my keyboard, kids asking for things, and a puppy. My 11-year-old German Shepherd has been an angel and never gives me trouble. Then there are naps and binging on Hulu and Netflix and etc.

But I can’t complain because like I said it’s a privilege that not everyone has. And I’m very lucky that I still have a job in spite of what’s going on with the world. And I’m grateful. And my family is grateful.

There’s still light during these weird, dark times. Meet Carter.

The decision to get the puppy wasn’t made lightly. But with Ginger being as old as she is, it felt like it was time.

So this is my new pride and joy. I hope to chronicle his life on this blog. Enjoy!

Marshmallow

I’m talking about our new chinchilla. Camden named him Marshmallow because of how soft he is. He’s still really young (<1 year) so his main objective is to run around like crazy and get into shit. But from what I’ve ready online, no matter the age they will always get into shit.

He doesn’t seem to be fazed by the other animals in the house.

However, Suki is not pleased at all. Like not even one bit. The whole weekend, she would whine and follow me everywhere just in case I was going to play with Marsh and she’d be left out. That weekend was probably the most we’ve cuddled since I got her a year and some change ago.

So I did my research after my daughter begged (I’m a sucker and I know I’m going to be the one spending more time with him) that we should add a chinchilla to our menagerie. They live for up to 20 years. They’re high maintenance. They can’t get wet. I got a 3rd cat!

The only expensive thing other than his purchase price (I suck because I bought him at Petsmart) was his cage. His cage meant getting accessories to ensure his well-being and happiness. So I decided to just be like fuck it and got him what I felt he deserved.

In there, he has a hammock, a hay manger, an igloo with a bed made of fleece, his toys, his food bowl, and his water bottle. I’m digging the hammock though.

Because he’s a cat chinchilla, he decided that the top of his igloo was a better nap spot than any of his 2 beds.

Every night I spend about 2 hours playing with him and letting him run around in his playpen. I also try to get him to get used to me being at his cage door at the same time every night after he eats. Then I give him a dust bath (or he gives himself one). This is how I’ve been bonding with him. He’s not that scared of me anymore and he will actually sit in my hand even if it’s just for a few seconds. Patience is the key to earning his trust and I know it doesn’t happen overnight.

Fun fact about chinchillas: they don’t smell. I thought he’d smell like a rodent but he has no smell at all and he keeps himself pretty clean. Even his poops don’t smell. He is a messy eater when it comes to his hay.

So yeah. I’m responsible for this little creature’s life for the next 15-20 years. Just like I’m responsible for the other creatures that I chose to live with me. I’m definitely insane.