Regardless of the source of her name, beyond her hair, there is nothing "gingerly" about her. She is part Rhodesian Ridgeback. My first thought when I heard this, was that they had actually found a dragon from Harry Potter. Rather, it turns out she is something that is also known as an African Lion Hound. This is because they were bred in South Africa to hunt lions. Let me repeat that.
They were bred.
In South Africa.
To hunt lions.
But don't worry, she's not a pure Ridgeback. No. The pure breed of a creature with the propensity to take down voracious lions would be too much. Thankfully she has the calming traits of a monstrous Rottweiler. These creatures, on the other hand, were bred in Germany to haul carts laden with butchered meat. Let me repeat that.
They were bred.
To haul carts.
Laden with butchered meat.
This means that "Ginger," a dog who weighs almost as much as I do, is historically bred to pull dead things behind her as she hunts lions and may or may not actually fly and breath fire. One is reminded of her calling every time she is taken for a walk. She mistakes squirrels for lions and me for carts of dead meat. Of course, so would a passer-by after seeing me dragged to the end of the block in hot pursuit of a Fierce Texan Squirrel. "LIONS, Ginger!" Yells the cart of dead meat. "Not squirrels. LIONS!" Such episodes of lion-mistaking occur on occasion, often to the bemusement of neighbors.
Of course, she doesn't need a squirrel to mistake for a lion. Sometimes she just goes nuts for no reason. Check this out:
are her teeth.
When I sleep, if she wants the pillow, I let her have it.
I play fetch with her mostly in interest of self-preservation. When she brings back the toy, she does this weird thing where she confuses the toy with my foot. I do not expect to have all of my toes when I return from Texas.
When she growls, it means she's playing. This is not intuitive. When she's playing, you think she is about to go for your jugular. For example,
is her. Playing.
It's not just that she growls that's unsettling. It's that nature of the growl. The deep, guttural, angry nature that can inherently only mean, "I am not happy with what you are doing, and you should stop this activity before I crush you." If only the UN Security Council could growl like that. Seriously. No one would enrich uranium. That is, of course, until they found out the council would chase any thrown object like its a fierce Texan squirrel.
In all honesty, she's very sweet and wouldn't hurt a fly. Well, that's not true, she'll eat a fly at first chance. She might think they are also lions.