It All Begins with Grace……

In my renewed dedication to posting on my blog, I thought I´d just start with the beginning of the year and write about events that have happened thus far.

In the spring of 2008 when my boys were nine and eleven years old and after not having a pet for the last year and a half it was time to get a new dog. We had lost our black lab Gracie Mae to kidney failure at the age of two and half . I knew I didn´t want a puppy (too much work) but still wanted a younger dog. During this time Craigslist was new and very popular, so I started my search for a new family pet there.

I found an ad for a half yellow lab and half golden retriever dog about three years old. Apparently the owners had gotten her at a shelter and only had her for less then a year but now wanted to find her a new home after she snapped at their toddler (startling a sleeping dog will sometimes create that reaction). I took the boys with me to meet her. She was adorable! I couldn´t believe they wanted to get rid of her. It pulled at our heartstrings though when the owners older child who was about four years old was crying when she learned we were taking the dog. The coincidental kicker in all this was her name was Gracie also! To differentiate her from our first Gracie, we gave her the name of Gracie Lou ❤.

Oh how we loved Gracie! Her quirky personality and funny idiosyncrasies made us laugh all the time. Probably one of her more well known mishaps happened one summer night at about midnight. I am lying in bed and suddenly I smell something funny. It was a HORRIBLE smell. The best way to describe it was a combination of gas and burnt rubber. Worried that it was a gas leak I called the fire department. I then put Gracie in the back bedroom in her crate, brushed my hair and put on a little lip gloss. The firefighters arrived and walked around the house with their gas detector. One of the firefighters checked all the bedrooms and then comes out says to me that he doesn´t think itś a gas leak he thinks Gracie got sprayed by a skunk!! We have a dog door in the kitchen to the backyard, Gracie was able to go in and out of the house as she pleased. I gave Gracie the tomato juice bath which they always tell you to do but it did very little to get rid of the smell. I had to throw out my boys´ bedspreads, wash all of our clothes (even the ones that were in the closets and dressers). When she got sprayed I think she immediately came in the house and then walked into each room and literally spread the horrible smell everywhere. It took weeks and weeks for that smell to go away. And guess what? About three years later, it happened again!!!!!!

A few other things we loved about Gracie:

  • Hunted for squirrels in the backyard and created a path through the lawn and behind the bushes of her hunting route.
  • Did not eat her food unless I was home. And when she did eat, she would bring her food into the living room where we were.
  • Butted her head against the boys´ bedrooms doors every night so she could go in and check on them.
  • She somehow ran away twice (during the day while I was at work) and each time I got a call from a very kind person saying they found her.
  • One night as she was running in the backyard her back hind leg went into paralysis. That was a midnight trip to the emergency vet.
  • Every weekend when we took her for a walk she was so excited, like she had never gone on a walk before.
  • Walked around the house with one of my shoes in her mouth (never chewed it).
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As the years went on she slowed down, some of her quirks went away while others emerged. She eventually lost her hearing and most of her vision but she still was a happy dog, loved to eat, loved to go on walks and loved it when we came home. The last few months of her life were her most difficult. It became harder for her to walk, her breathing was labored at times, she slept a lot and could no longer go on our weekend walks.

Fast forward to February 4, 2019 my son called me and said we have to take Gracie to the emergency room. When I got home, I saw her lying on the floor and I knew something was wrong. We took her to the emergency room and made the decision that it was time to put her to sleep. While we waited for the doctor to prep her and the rest of the family to show up to say their goodbyes, there was just a few moments when it was just her and I in the room and that was when she chose to go on her own.

They say having a family pet provides unconditional love and companionship, comfort and security. Gracie Lou did all these for us. For the eleven years she was with us she was the focal point of our family and I can only assume that it was meant to be that she became a part of our family. At some point I am going to plant a tree in our backyard in her memory so she will always be with us. Love your pet as much as they love you.

LOVE YOU ALWAYS GRACIE LOU❤

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