I just want people to know about Ginger. She was a magnificently sweet, loving harlequin Great Dane whom we rescued four years ago from a credible Great Dane rescue center in Riverside, CA.

The people who had dropped Ginger off at the center clearly lied about her age, her background and the reasons for which they were giving her up. The truth, we quickly ascertained, was that she had been whipped, abused and used for some eight years as a brood bitch, no doubt for the owners of a puppy mill who callously got rid of her once she had reached the age of 8. They represented that she was 4 when left at the rescue location, and that they were “moving to Boston” where they wouldn’t have room for her.

This was all false. Ginger was about 8 years old when we got her. She gave us 4 years of the greatest joy imaginable.

Ginger was so full of life, so animated and always responsive, even to the smallest gesture. We would walk her in the large, off-leash dog park in Encino every morning. She loved every minute of her 4 years with us.

Suddenly, one dreadful morning this past March of ’07, she was unable to get up onto her feet. Her chest and rib cage were alarmingly swollen and she was having tremendous difficulty breathing.

We took her to our vet immediately, where we learned within the first 60 seconds of the initial exam, that her heart had become enlarge to 4 times the normal size. There were other associated abnormalities. Ginger was nearly DOA by the time that the vet took her first look at her. There was nothing that could be done. Ginger was euthanized right away.

Naturally, the shock was overwhelming. We still live with the loss to this very day. I keep Ginger’s leash hanging on my front doorknob and quietly, silently, I always greet her as I come in, or leave the house.

The only solace that we can find is knowing that if she had to endure 8 terrible first years of her life, we were able to provide a splendid last 4, and she returned the favor a hundred times over.

Thanks for listening to Ginger’s story.
CharlotteĀ from CA