Ginny the Fox Red Lab, Part 1

A year ago today, I was taking a break from work and opened my KSL Classifieds. I had been thinking of getting a dog for years, but I could never commit to it. I couldn’t figure out how to train a new puppy with my work and life schedule. I wasn’t sure if other housemates would be OK with it. Dogs need a financial investment. Yada, yada, yada.

But it was COVID-times which meant a lot of isolation for me. There would sometimes be several days that went by where I never left the house. This was a problem. But a dog could be the solution–a friendly little reminder you have to get up every morning and get out of the house. Plus, something that needs you and loves you 100% of the time is never a bad idea, right? Right? And I was working from home so suddenly it seemed like an actual possibility to train a dog.

At any rate, I opened KSL and started scanning labrador puppies, which I had done multiple times since I’d been working from home–never really sure if I was serious. Why a lab? I’d grown up with labradors and I love them. So much. And I also love how good they are as family dogs. And I wanted a dog that could go running, hiking, and hunting with me and be somewhat of a protector, too.

And then I saw a one-year-old fox red labrador old who had been professionally trained and needed to be rehomed. She was beautiful. (But she cost a pretty penny.) But she looked like a perfect fit. A dog that was already trained, but who was still young and puppy-ish. Did I mention trained?

So…I texted the owners. They had someone else they were waiting to hear from but said I could come look. So I texted my sister and told her she was coming with me to look at a dog in five minutes.

Ginny (that was not her name but I don’t like her previous name) was a total sweetheart. She showed us all her tricks and was a very good girl. The family had taken very good care of her–all the care, all the toys, all the training, all the things. But they had just moved and didn’t have the yard space they felt Ginny needed to be happy. She is also crate trained and they said she just spent most of her day in the crate and they didn’t feel that was a good situation for her. (Of course, I have my own opinions on why she may have been rehomed now, but we’ll save those for later). Well, I took a picture and said I’d call them back.

The picture:

Then I texted people in my family and said, “Should I buy this dog?” They thought I was joking. The parentals ended up on a phone call where we discussed all the things. Family members said if I did buy her they would all be willing to watch her if I needed to go on a trip or that they would help in any way. Because they all felt I needed a dog, too. The support was the tipping point.

I told my housemates that I was planning on getting a dog and would let them know the next day (maybe not the greatest advanced notice, but…). The next morning I woke up and felt like it was a good idea and that this dog was perfect for me. I contacted the owners and they were like, “Great. Can you come pick her up right now?” Well, if I was going to do it, I guess it was good to just go for it.

I headed to their home, picked up all the things, gave a lot of moola, and drove away with a puppy dog. I may have freaked out a bit considering this was the end of me just caring about me all the time. I had a living creature that was now in my care.

I had considered a name overnight that I wanted to give her and tried it out on her but it just didn’t seem to fit. Since it was a holiday, I took her to my sister’s house and all the neighborhood was out and about. She was overly loved on by children (she is THE BEST with children) which helped me feel better about the decision. One of my sister’s neighbors (who is also a friend) suggested I name her Ginny because she’s a red head and I love Harry Potter. From that moment on, her name was Ginny. There really is no other name that she could be.

Pictures from her first day in my care:

Ginny settled in well the first day. The owners gave me all of her supplies so there wasn’t anything I immediately needed (although I have maybe bought her many toys and comforts since). She was immediately loved and continues to be loved on by everyone–family, friends, and neighbors. She is a lucky dog.

And now this post is getting too long, so I’ll share more in another post (videos included!) about her excellent head-tilting skills, her love of snow, how she took over my picnic table, how she knows Portuguese, overcoming her insane gas problems, learning to swim, learning to hunt, and how much I freaked out about being a dog owner. But it’s been a year now. Lots of people say I rescued her even though I just rehomed her. But even though she drives me nuts much of the time, she has really helped me through this pandemic. So maybe it was a rescue.

[Note: Um, yes, Ginny has an Instagram, I ashamed to admit. But I only post to it about as often as I post to my own. So rare indeed. @ginnythefoxredlab].

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