A Brief History of Time
Of Ginger II and Me

This is a brief history not of time but of my life. Stephen Hawking wrote A Brief History of Time: From the Big Bang to Black Holes in which begins with the big bang to the present. Hawking was attempting to identify a unifying theory of the entire universe, which is 93 billion light-years in diameter.

A part of the universe

My brief history is a tad bit smaller. In fact, the part of my brief history covers only a half century…the time between Ginger I and Ginger II. I got my first Irish Setter right after I got my first job. Her name was Ginger. She was the love of my life. She’d run next to me on a leash as I rode my bike all the roads where we lived during her lifetime.

Ginger I lived about a dozen years. She was quite healthy until her last couple years. I’d take her to the vet for routine shots. I can’t remember her every having to go to the vet other than the time when a bee bit her nose. The histamines in the bee’s string caused Ginger’s face to smell up so much that she looked like a football. The vet gave her a shot of an antihistamine and assured me that she would be fine in a matter of hours. He was correct.

In my twilight years, I got Ginger II. She was born on October 28, 2016. This is a picture of Ginger II when she was three weeks old.

I drove to Home, PA just before Christmas of 2016 to pick up my pooh dog. And thus, began the relationship between the two of us.

Somedays, she’d have what I called her bad hair days.

Ginger and I were chatting about chasing a deer and a flock of geese.

All went well until last summer. Seemingly out of nowhere, Ginger started having trouble keeping her food down, drooling, scratching her ears, etc. Dr. Sabedra, Ginger’s favorite vet did all sorts of tests but nothing definitive was found. She suggested that I take Ginger to Purdue Veterinary Teaching Hospital, which I did. Ginger spent two days at the hospital. They put a tube down her esophagus, into her stomach, and into a part of her small intestines. They looked around and took several biopsies. They concluded that Ginger had irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

Ginger is taking two prescriptions, three additional over the counter medicines, and prescription dog food. That retinue of drugs has controlled her IBS. However, in the last two months, her blood panel has two elevated items. Amid all these concerns, I spend more time with Ginger. In addition, we have walked around the lake every morning for the past three years. Regardless of the weather, she loves chasing geese or rabbits that we see on our sojourns around the lake.

However, Ginger, even as a puppy, is in her heyday when the winter snow arrives, and the temperature plummet to the low teens.

Ginger enjoys looking at Than Tun Oo’s painting of her.

In the midst of Ginger I and Ginger II, I danced with death twice. One dance was due to prostate cancer, which had gotten outside the prostate. The other dance was a subdural hematoma (traumatic brain injury). Neither of those two dances do I ever want to do again, but I wouldn’t delete either from my life. They taught me a lesson. My clock is ticking. I knew it was ticking decades before either dance…intellectually.

However, once I did the dance, I grasped the meaning that my clock was ticking. It is as if I can hear it the clock…tick tock, tick tock, tick tock. Therefore, I enjoy life. I enjoy teaching. I can’t wait to revisit my family in Myanmar. I am driven because I have done the dance.

Interestingly, Ginger did the dance last summer. I don’t know how long I still have on my yellow brick road of life, and I don’t know how long Ginger will have. I hope that she and I have a long, long journey together. Not knowing about either of us and our longevity, drives me to enjoy the moment. I’m not going to waste the time we have. I tell her about my feelings. And in a strange way, she processes, at least, my earnestness in want to communicate to her.

This video is an attempt to communicate with each other. I praise her, and she responds.

If you want a great painting done by a great artist, this is Than’s address.

Than Tun Oo
No. 582 San Yeir Nyein Street
16 Quarter, Dagon North,
Yangon, Myanmar