Gracie was a rescue puppy, so tiny when she was adopted that she had to be fed from a bottle for the first weeks.  The family was told that she was a chihuahua mix, and would be a very small dog, exactly what they were looking for.  Gracie thrived in her new, loving environment, and reached about 50 pounds at 11 months old.  So much for the chihuahua heritage!  Her size was a surprise, but her personality was everything they’d hoped for and more.

Like little kids, puppies explore their world by chewing.  Unfortunately, Gracie ate a hand-towel, and became very ill.  Her family pulled all their savings and credit card cash, nearly $4000, to pay for surgery to save the dog they all adored.  Gracie came through the surgery and seemed to be doing pretty well, but then her abdomen began to fill with fluid.  Luckily the vet that treated Gracie participates in a monthly volunteer cat spay and neuter clinic.  Dr. C knew how much the family loved Gracie, and wanted an opportunity to give her another chance. Dr. C also knew the other vet, Dr. McR, would provide another pair of experienced hands to try and save the puppy.

Gracie headGracie body


I took one look at this sweet face and fell in love, as did all the other volunteers.  Gracie was a very, very sick little girl, but we all wanted so much for her to pull through.  She was the last patient of the day, and everyone was sending up silent prayers as the two wonderful vets worked on her.  Gracie’s family was incredibly grateful for all the extra effort, but not surprised that their puppy had touched all our hearts.  The family’s two little girls didn’t really understand, but did their best to help their best friend recuperate when she came home.

kids loving Gracie


Unfortunately, Gracie began to fail once again.  My best friend was haunted by Gracie’s struggles, and made arrangements for one last try to save her.  She made arrangements with an amazing veterinarian surgeon to try to save Gracie.  The family agreed, and the cost was put on my friend’s personal charge account.  In spite of all the prayers and efforts, Gracie’s heart stopped on the operating table and they couldn’t bring her back.

This puppy touched so many lives, and her story still does.  We are now asking everyone to please donate anything you can towards my friend’s account at the vet office, so that her kindness doesn’t have to absorb all the cost of Gracie’s surgery.  We were unable to set up a bank account or PayPal account for the Gracie fund donations, since it’s a single animal rather than a certified charity.  You can send PayPal funds from your account to the PayPal account, and indicate it’s for the Gracie fund.  The funds will then go to the vet hospital that performed the surgery, and I will be happy to provide documentation of all the funds received and forwarded to the vet hospital.  I’ve never done anything like this before, but would love to see many people share in this effort, rather than my friend having to handle it all herself.

Thank you so very much.  This is a wonderful family, and their memories of Gracie will be even more special if they can see a multitude of people taking part in this effort for Gracie’s memory.

Gracie, full face


Dog park people

My Great Dane, Ellen, and I spend many hours in the local dog park.  The parks are for the dogs to run and have fun with each other, but the true entertainment is provided by the people.  Just as the dogs run the gamut from danes to chihuahuas and everything in between, the owners are from every background imaginable.  Like most dog parks, my neighborhood one has a core group of regulars who come often.  The dogs recognize one another immediately, playing with their friends and checking out any newcomers.  The owners are the same way, sitting and talking with people they’ve come to know only in this one special setting.  One peculiarity is that since the dogs are the purpose of the park, we all learn the dog’s names weeks before we remember their owner’s.  More than once I’ve been called “Ellen’s mom”,  but that’s okay since I only remember the dog’s names too!

Last time I was at the park, about six of us spent over an hour talking about everything from movies to politics and everything in between.   Our backgrounds and life experiences were different, we ranged in age from 20’s to 60’s, our opinions were on all sides of the issues, yet we were able to avoid confrontation.  We all keep our cool and stay respectful, because we want to come back with our dogs.  We all understand that if we get into arguments or treat someone badly, it would be difficult to come back.  Somehow, now matter how much we might disagree, we are able to simply stop arguing and agree to disagree on that particular subject.  I can’t help thinking that if only we behaved that way with others all the time, our society would be a lot different.  And if good, respectful behavior is possible at a dog park,  we should be able to carry that type of behavior over to other public venues.  Can you imagine what might happen if our governmental representatives actually behaved like people in the dog park?  They might even find compromises that everybody could live with instead of being so confrontational!