Her name is Ginger. She is cute, blonde and everyone loved her. She lives at the home of Mike and Jenn, Cole and Margie. A mix of Bison and Yorkie, Ginger is 10 years old. By all accounts she has been a wonderful dog. She is loving and smart, and as with most dogs, she was always glad to see the family when they came home, wiggling all over.
Her sad story began on a very cold night. As usual, before bedtime someone let her out the back door for her bathroom stop. Nightly, she would go out and return quickly when the job was done. It was terribly cold that night. You would think this would’ve been a quick stop for her. But when Jenn went to the back door to let her in, there was no Ginger. It was probably the coldest night of the winter. Where could she be?
Then the calling began in the backyard and the front yard – “Ginger, Ginger,” – but no response. The family started around the neighborhood trying to coax her with the turkey jerky that she loves so much, carrying flashlights and calling her name. But there was no response. Then the neighbors heard them and came out of their homes with flashlights, too.
For two hours, until about midnight, they all searched and searched, but no Ginger. One person the family did not know, came out of nowhere with his Husky dog and offered to get her scent to see if his dog could track Ginger. What a kind effort that was!
For a while, Mike followed her footsteps in the snow, but then lost them because the winds were blowing so hard. Everyone was cold and the future was not looking good for Ginger. The family covered an area of about six miles that night.
Jenn decided to sleep on the floor next to the door where Ginger always came in, just in case she returned. This had never happened before. Ginger has a comfy home with a loving family. It was a long night for everyone.
They knew the only identification she had on her was her veterinarian’s name and phone number on a tag around her neck. Mike started the search again about 7:30 the next morning walking in different areas. It was still dark. There was no sign of the dog they loved so much. At this point they thought she was probably not alive. She must be frozen somewhere because they had been so cold themselves, even though they were all bundled up.
One last hope – as soon as the veterinarian’s office opened, Mike made the call. Had anyone notified them that they had found her? The vet said there was nothing. They were so dejected, so sure that this was the end of their dog’s life. Three minutes later their phone rang. The first words out of the woman’s mouth were, “A lady has your dog!” Oh my gosh, how could that be?
When Mike called the family who took Ginger in, he learned she was only about 1-1/2 miles away. Little Ginger, who only weighs eight or nine pounds, had cut through houses and gone down the highway, eventually standing on the side of the road. The rescuer saw her there in the dark and they just stared at each other a long time, Finally, the woman decided Ginger needed help and she picked her up and put her in her car.
You would think most dogs would run from a stranger, but Ginger must’ve been so cold and desperate. Now she was snuggled in a warm car and taken to the woman’s home. She had probably only been out in the cold for about 20 minutes at that point, the family calculated. They had been searching for hours in the cold for her, but she was too far away at that point to hear them.
So Ginger was taken to the woman’s home and suddenly had a whole new family. They had other dogs in their home, but she got along just fine. Since they didn’t know her name, they called her Lucy for the moment.
This story has such a wonderful ending. So many random acts of kindness came into play. Also Mike’s family learned the neighborhood next to the one where they live actually has their own Facebook page and the woman who found Ginger had put the dog’s picture on there and asked if anyone knew this dog? One of Mike and Jenn’s neighbors saw it and called Mike just after they found Ginger.
Ginger had never done this before. Who can say what goes on in a dog’s mind? Most of them have such a posh life. In fact, most owners might say if ever reincarnated, they want to come back as their dog for the easy existence they have. Maybe now that Ginger has seen the other side, she’ll never do that again.
This story could’ve gone so many other ways, but it had a happy ending. Of course, the rescuer family was rewarded for their kind act even though they tried to decline anything. Certainly there was the wonderful satisfaction of saving this little dog.
Just see what a random act of kindness did to change everything in this situation. Oh yes, Ginger’s family has now given her a new ID tag with all the family’s phone numbers, just in case she goes wacky again!
(Melanie Behrens – firstname.lastname@example.org)
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