In August of 2009 our family received a call from Dirk’s Fund about a very senior dog that had arrived at the Pacific shelter that was in need of a “forever” home. Her name was Ginger. We have a soft spot in our hearts for all dogs but this senior dog was special . . . she needed us and we needed her. I remember the ride home from the shelter watching my daughter’s face as she looked down at this scrawny, frail little dog with staples in her one ear, a shaved body and sores all over her back end. I can only imagine what she was thinking. Ginger looked like a cross between an opossum and a cocker/golden mix. We learned quickly that looks can be very deceiving! Little did the Bouchein family know that this “FRAIL” looking “FREE” little dog was anything but. She took us for the most eventful, action-packed, beautiful ride of our lives. She taught our family so many things. The most important of these was . . . “NEVER, EVER GIVE UP”, and until this morning at 8:30, she never did. And, as she readied for her journey over the Rainbow Bridge, she showed her incredible love and devotion one final time by giving me one last kiss as she closed her eyes. In the end, as the humans, we are forced to make important decisions for our canine friends that are very hard . . . is it too soon or have I waited too long! I can say with great certainty that she was ready . . . but as her family we will never ever be. I cannot describe the hurt we feel in our hearts and the incredible void already present in our lives. I can, however, tell you that there is no greater joy than providing a forever home to a rescue dog no matter how long they are with us. Their unconditional love and devotion is something every human being should experience and can learn from. I know we sure did! The folks at Dirk’s Fund are “angels” here on earth and our family thanks them for bringing the joy of Ginger into our lives, if only for a brief period of time. Ginger leaves behind her “canine” siblings Willie, Max and Sophie and her “humans”, Dave, Cathy and “big sister” Meredith.