Look, I know it’s not a hot take to like dogs. But I would be wasting a few inches of weekly print space if I didn’t take advantage of it to tell stories about my sweet pup at least once.
There’s snow in Chicago, if you haven’t heard. And my golden retriever, Ginger, would have loved it, just like I love it.
While most Chicagoans complain about the wind whipping against mittenless hands and oh-so-gracefully slipping on ice, I can’t help but picture Ginger frolicking in the snow. The snow, while unwelcome to most, provides me with flashes of my golden girl.
Some of the stories about Ginger seem to fit better in “Marley and Me” than in my life on Lydia Circle.
One time, she ate our Christmas ham. No, I’m not kidding.
For whatever reason, we thought it was a good idea to leave the dog in the garage while we hosted aunts, uncles, cousins and grandparents. The only problem? We forgot we stored the ham in there as well.
Another time, my grandma all but toppled over because Ginger was too excited to see her.
All too many times, our home telephone rang with concerned neighbors on the line because they saw a flash of yellow fur race past their house. If we were especially unlucky, they’d be calling to tell us Ginger made her way into their house or car.
We now joke in my family that a person wasn’t officially welcomed until Ginger had eaten their sandwich off the counter or kitchen table. Once, in a rage, my mom directly asked her, “Did you eat my sandwich?” Ginger responded with an audible burp.
Other stories about her aren’t as funny as they are heartwarming. Anyone who met Ginger knew she was welcoming, overly friendly and oozing with personality.
I remember coming home from a week-long trip to her racing around the house, unable to contain her excitement that her best friend was back in town. She trailed by my side for the entire day.
My sister — who’s responsible for begging our parents to finally adopt our sweet Ginger — left for college five years before I did. Even now, I can picture their bittersweet goodbye.
Ginger even seemed to inherit my family’s love for the Great Lakes. For being a golden retriever, she wasn’t a very good one. She refused to fetch, unless going after a stick tossed into Lake Superior on one of the few occasions she was allowed to take part in our family vacations to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.
Which reminds me, on a different vacation, we had stopped to check out a hike near a beach we hadn’t been to before. I was down on the rocks, far away from a couple enjoying a picnic on the beach, when my dad came up to me in a hurry.
“Uh, we gotta go,” he said, his tone hurried. For my dad, who’s usually even-keeled, laid-back and logical, this was strange.
“Ginger just ate that couple’s lunch.”
And so we left, leaving the couple to find their half-eaten lunch when they returned from their nice romantic walk.
Again, it’s not a hot take to say that my dog shaped my childhood nearly as much as my parents or siblings. But if you knew my dog, you’d understand.
The early snow gave me a reminder to reflect on my good fortune of having a golden retriever in the house. To attempt to fill that vacancy, I follow an embarrassing amount of golden retriever accounts on Instagram. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t tear up each time I pet another golden.
I miss ya, Ginger pup. Lucky for us, you gave us enough stories to last a lifetime.
This week, 100 Loyola employees plan to accept buyouts and leave the university, and the AirPod phenomenon lands its place in the pages of this paper — find these stories in the news section.
The sports section had their busiest week of the year (although I’m sure they’ve told me it’s their busiest week at least three times so far). The Loyola women’s soccer team is headed to the big dance for the second year in a row, and men’s soccer punched its ticket to the MVC tournament.
In opinion, you can read a commentary on the “OK boomer” meme from the perspective of Opinion Editor Adrian Nevarez. A&E features a wide array of topics from thrift stores to student and employee artists.