Ginger's Golden Playground

                             Red dog.... Gold heart

(photo from our vacation in June 2008)
Ginger lost her battle with cutaneous lymphoma on October 28th 2008. She was 12 years old.
Ginger CGC ThD DSA TT,  7/96 - 10/28/08

See more photos of Ginger in her Photobook here.

Ginger was a red Golden Retriever. This website is all about Ginger: her likes, friends, and activities. Ginger was a certified therapy dog with Chenny Troupe, the Anti-Cruelty Society, and Sit Stay Read and enjoyed many other activities which are listed below.

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Golden News
(newest to oldest):

  • Photos from our 2008 Wisconsin vacation (Shawano, WI)
  • Photos from our 2007 Wisconsin Dells vacation
  • Ginger passed Therapy Dogs International's TDI Test at dog camp!  You can find out more about TDI here.
  • Photos and "diary" from our 2006 Dog Scout Camp vacation! We (with Ginger and Pooch) went to Dog Scouts of America's camp for vacation this year. It was a lot of fun and you can read all about it here!
  • Ginger passed the Sit Stay Read Test spring 2003 and is now a certified Sit Stay Read therapy dog! She participated in a summer program where she was read to by kids.
  • Photos from our 2003 Smoky Mountain vacation ! I finally completed uploading these photos of our vacation.
  • Happy Finding Day! If you'd like to read about how I found Ginger, check out the end of this page.
  • Ginger passed the ATTS (info in link) Temperament Test on September 13th! and is now "Ginger DSA TT. " My terrier Pooch also passed the TT. (2003)
  • Ginger, DSA! Ginger passed the Dog Scouts of America test in September and is now a Dog Scout ! (2003)
  • Summer 2003, we went on vacation to Smoky Mountain National Park in Gatlinburg, TN. See photos here! We also stopped at Mammoth Cave on the way home.
  • Summer 2002, Ginger and I went on vacation to Wisconsin (her 'brother' Pooch went too!) You can find out about our trip and see photos on her Wisconsin Vacation Page !
Summer 2001, we went to Maine for vacation. You can see photos of that trip on Ginger's 2001 Maine Vacation page. (The picture of Ginger in the border background is from that vacation)

Ginger in Print and Television

Click here to watch Ginger in the news!
Canine Therapy Corps (previously Chenny Troupe) was featured on CBS News, and they filmed Ginger and I with the other dogs at Swedish Covenant where we volunteered.

*Ginger and Pooch were mentioned in the book "Dog Park Wisdom" by Lisa Wogan
Click here to see the excerpt.

*Click here to watch Ginger on Animal Planet!
Ginger can be seen on an episode of Animal Planet's TV show,"K9 to 5." !
 She is not the "star" of the segment, it was about a dog named China Bear who joined Chenny Troupe and they filmed at the hospital where we volunteered (RIC). Ginger can be seen sniffing therapy dog China Bear during the opening, and in many shots in the background (going through the agility tunnel and jump for example).

*Ginger and I were featured in an article on vacationing with your dog. You can read it here:   Should They Stay or Should They Go?  

*Ginger in the Chicago Tribune!
Ginger and I had our photo in the Chicago Tribune when they were running an article about things to do with your dog. The photo was taken during the first ever Canine Cruise on Lake Michigan. You can see more photos from the cruise here.
                                                          (click photo for larger version)


(Click on any photo to see a larger version.)



Some of Ginger's favorite activities are:


(Lake Superior, in WI)

(Niagra Falls)
Hiking/Mountain Climbing

(The peak of Whiteface Mtn, Adirondacks)

Surfing the Web

Dog Scouts
(Troop 109, Ginger's at center)

Ginger and her Cart

Animal Assisted Therapy

Other activities Ginger enjoys:
 Musical Canine Freestyle, Therapy work,   park visits, Flyball...
You can learn more about many of the   activities mentioned by checking out the links at the bottom of this page.


Here are some photos of Ginger's friends. Click for larger photos

Pooch, Ginger's "brother"
( Pooch's webpage )

Sasha - Lab

Hamster (Cinnamon)
Fabian-Guinea Pig
Fabian-Guinea Pig


Here are photos of Ginger with some of her 'cousins' (other Goldens!)
Click (on most) for larger photos

Ginger and Mattie (a Dog Scout)
Ginger (right) and Chewy

Ginger and Mattie again
Ginger (right) and Casey, an assistance dog

Ginger (left) and Jenny

Ginger (standing) and Jenny again


About Ginger and How I Found Her

I found Ginger as a stray six years ago, on December 15 1997.
I was walking out of school, and I saw a dog running around in the park outside the school. It looked like maybe a Golden or Irish Setter mix (or both) She was running in the football field and chasing ducks. I was watching her, but I figured some owner had just let their dog off leash to play... I kept watching as I walked, but didn't see anyone else who seemed to be watching the dog. I decided to try to call her over to me, because I figured if she had an owner they would yell or come see who was holding their dog. I stopped, and a friend of mine saw me and came over to talk. I told him about the dog, and he stood there while I tried calling her.
I started calling "C'mere puppy! Come on!" She came over but wouldn't come closer than about 20 feet away- she seemed scared. I told my friend I'd see him later, and he left. As soon as he left, I squatted down and tried calling her again- she came over, but she was crouching low as if she was scared. Her tail was wagging, though!

Ginger pretty much made herself at home right away. Since it was mid-December, we already had the tree and the Christmas decorations up, and she never once bothered any of them. She never made a mess in the house, never chewed up my collection of stuffed toys and she never tried to chase the cat.  I never found her old owners or any sign of them, and with all the neighborhoods we've been in on walks no one ever recognized her.

The first time I took her in, the vet said Ginger was between 1 1/2 and 2, and that she was probably spayed (she was). They called her a Golden mix. However, when I showed her photo to some people, they though she looked all Golden. I went searching online and found lots of photos of red Goldens (I had never seen one before) including several field CH's that looked like they were related to Ginger... I also asked a few breeders, who said she was definitely a Golden.

When I first found Ginger, she was pretty shy and scared of many new people, places, and noises. She sometimes would cower or back away if people wanted to pet her while we were on walks. She would bolt at some loud noises, and was afraid of raised hands or voices.
I did a LOT of socialization with her, mainly just by taking her as many places as I could and helping her realize that no one and no thing was going to hurt her (I wouldn't let it!! ) I took her to obedience class pretty soon after I found her- not sure how soon. By then she was already a little more confident, but obedience class helped a LOT! After Beginner's, we went right into Intermediate, and at the end of Intermediate, before we went on to Novice, she passed the CGC! She did break a stand/stay when the evaluator came up to her *wielding* the brush, but the person realized what had happened and she re-did that segment.
Ginger later re-passed the CGC with flying colors (a little over a year after I found her) when she took it in conjunction with the TDInc Therapy Dog Test. During the test, there is a segment where the dogs go up to three people sitting down to 'visit', one with a walker and one in a wheelchair. Ginger wiggled up to each one, stuck her head *through* the walker to greet that one person, and on her evaluation sheet the evaluator wrote "Happy Visitor! :)" She passed.

So, that's pretty much the whole story. After obedience, not sure if it was the summer after I found her or the next summer, we took an Agility class. Ginger did wonderful, was VERY confident on the obstacles and loved it- probably partly because I had always taken her to the playground and played with her on the equipment, some of which is very similar to agility obstacles. After that we began to try other activities as well.

Ginger is a therapy dog with Chenny Troupe- . Chenny Troupe has a very difficult therapy dog test with a general pass rate of about 30% of dogs who take the test. Many dogs take it 3+ times before passing. Ginger passed on her first try. She didn't even blink when during the heeling, a metal pot was dropped behind her. I think that's am amazing change from the dog who was scared of the sound of automatic doors opening! Ginger does therapy work in a rehablitation center weekly. You can see many of her other activities in the pictures above.


**Some of Ginger's favorite websites**

Commercial (stores) :

  • Wolfpacks - dog packs and gear. You can see Ginger wearing her Therapy Dog Vest from Wolfpacks in the 'Hiking' photo. She also is wearing a Wolfpacks daypack in the Smoky Mountain pics.
  • SitStay Store - GREAT place! Ginger bought her Cabana Crate there (and tons of treats!).

Non-commercial :

Activities :


Email Ginger at: [email protected]