There Is a Price to Pay

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Ginger. I first wrote about our yellow lab when she was six months old. I wrote about her energy and enthusiasm. She’s six and a half years old now. Still has energy. Still has enthusiasm. Ginger was given to Jean and me – free – so to speak. (All pet owners are now laughing to themselves, or aloud, saying that there is no such thing as a “free” pet – and they are correct. In Ginger’s case, they are really correct!)
We got Ginger when she was three months old. The initial owners told us that we could have her at absolutely no cost whatsoever. In their words on the phone, “Take her today, and we will bring her over immediately, along with her training cage, food, leash, toys, etc., etc., etc.” Now keep in mind, Ginger is a purebred from a Florida kennel and was valued at between $800-$1200. Everyone is captured by her beauty and always remarks to that effect when they see her.
But also keep in mind, even though she is highly intelligent and a great pet, Ginger has always been energetic and enthusiastic – so energetic and enthusiastic as a puppy that she chewed on everything within site, even more so than most puppies. I think that when she chewed up the eyeglasses of her original owner, a dentist, she became expendable in that household. Of course, digging up his wife’s flowers and breaking a few items in the house may have been an extra incentive to locate another home for her. Preferably, it would be a good home, with more land and running space, and with someone having more time to take care of (and entertain) her.
Even though the official registered name we gave her is “Rio’s Miss Ginger,” we actually should have named her “Freedom.” Why that name? Well, because, as everyone knows, “Freedom is never free.” And, as I mentioned above, Ginger came with a hefty price tag. A little over two years ago, she was diagnosed as being diabetic. That’s right, diabetic. If you didn’t realize pets could be diabetic, don’t feel like the Lone Ranger. We didn’t either. But we were informed that about one in every 100 purebred labs does develop this disease.
Ginger has to have insulin shots every 12 hours. She also requires special prescription dog food. Exercise is important, so we have to make sure that she walks up and down our mountain daily. This keeps Ginger in shape and keeps us in shape – especially me – since when I am home I am expected to accompany her to the mountain top and back.
Jean and I love Ginger and are willing to sacrifice for her. Americans who love freedom must be willing to sacrifice even more. In reality, our ancestors gave us freedom. But through the years, generations have learned that there is always a price to pay. For some, the price is much costlier than it is for others. Some pay with time, effort, talents, and money. Some pay with their lives.

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Carl Mays, author of 13 books and speaker at over 2500 events, can be contacted at carlmays@carlmays.com or 865-436-7478. His books, including “People of Passion,” are available in stores, at www.carlmays.com, and on Amazon.com.
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