I’ve Done the Dance…
I Worried that Ginger Might Also Have Danced

I have written about axial moments in my life, which have had a profound effect upon me over my lifetime. Once I comprehended what had occurred to me, I have grown and developed in a most positive way.

Case in point. I have written well over a hundred essays about doing the dance with death, and, more importantly, I was able to lead death during our two dances. While I don’t want to go through metastatic prostate cancer or traumatic brain injury again, I wouldn’t delete either from my life. With both occasions, I learned a lesson, which I thought that I knew prior to my dances but didn’t. I truly comprehend now that my clock is ticking. That is the backstory.

I live on a lake with Ginger, aka my Pooh Dog. Ginger is a 2½ year old Irish Setter who is full of energy. By 6:30 in the morning, we are circumnavigating the lake, which takes an hour. We have done that walk each day for over two years. At the far end of the lake, which isn’t developed, I let Ginger run free. She is delighted and runs like a deer especially when chasing geese.

This is Ginger resting in her bed after chasing the geese.

However, a couple months ago, Ginger started to develop some medical issues. She was drooling a great deal, vomiting, and scratching her ears. Off we went to see her vet, Dr. Sabedra. She ran every test imaginable and didn’t find the cause. She suggested going to the Purdue University Veterinary Teaching Hospital, which we did. Ginger spent two days of testing and observation. They put a tube down her esophagus, into her stomach, and a part of her small intestines. They observed it, took photos, and got biopsies. Some tests were sent to Texas A&M to determine the results. After all the testing, the diagnosis was that Ginger had irritable bowel syndrome.  

Ginger has been on a special prescription dog food and medicine for the bowel disorder. It has been a month since she was at Purdue. She is much better. She is still on a special prescription diet and the medicine, but there is no vomiting. The drooling is almost completely gone, along with the scratching of her ear. From a medical perspective, Ginger is well on the way to a full recovery. However, I viewed her problems, prior to Purdue, as potentially life-threatening. I didn’t want to lose her. Besides, she is quite young. Nonetheless, watching her go through her various issues was extremely worrisome to me.

Ginger did her dance successfully. However, as with my two dances, it taught us to enjoy the time we have together. Setters will live into their early to mid-teens, which means that her clocking is ticking along with mine. Therefore, we both have to enjoy our moments together. I’m 76, and this is Social Security’s actuarial analysis regarding my longevity, which is a nice way of saying that my clock might tick until I am 87.2 years old. If you click on this link, Social Security will provide you with their spin on your longevity.

Therefore, when I reach 87.2 years, Ginger will be around 13.75. We have loads to do in the next decade. While she loves going for walks and chasing geese, when we are home this is one of her favorite activities.