From day one Gracie was special. She was the only lab we ever had that never chewed up the furniture and other things she wasn’t supposed to. Sara Lee, Onyx and Phoenix would have chewed down the house if given the chance. My furniture still has the evidence from them.
Gracie came to us after a loss. We had a registered lab named Sadie Rose. Farmer Cheese got her from a dear friend. One day while still a young pup she went missing. No trace…just gone. We were heartbroken of course and just knew someone had dognapped her. This was before social media was in every aspect of our lives so attempts to find her were fruitless.
Several months afterwards in 2008 our daughter came across a family selling puppies at Tractor Supply in Valdosta Ga. They were full labs, unregistered. We’ve never really cared about whether dogs were registered. It makes no difference in the abilities and temperament of the dog.
She asked if we were ready for a new pup to love. It had been a long time and we said a tentative yes. I wasn’t 100% sure. She brought us home a gorgeous 12 week old Gracie. We all fell in love immediately. We named her Gracie because Easter was nearing and she brought us hope.
Unknown to all of us our daughters dear friend bought a pup for her family from the same people. Not sure if it was the same day or just near the same time. Our families have been friends forever and we were excited to learn we had sisters! What are the odds of that happening? Of course through out the years we have kept up with how these sisters were doing. Their Lucy and our Gracie have had ear troubles among other issues from the beginning. Gracie’s had several surgeries. But despite all that she was mild mannered and sweet and has been a blessing to us. Sadly Lucy passed away in December but she was a blessing to her family too.
Gracie has been to school with me after surgeries and visited other times. She was always so sweet and everyone who met her loved her. She was the most gentle dog I’ve ever known. The kids at school adored her.
Gracie is the only dog we’ve ever had that would go out and do her businesses far away from the yard and out of eyesight. We’ve always said she was a lady. It’s been tough on her to have go on a piddle pad in the house. Due to her arthritis and tumor in her foot she just has not been able to walk much at all. Every step is hard but she adapted well and still loved to ride in the RTV as much as possible. Riding and eating scrabbled eggs were her favorite things.
In December 2020 we had a tumor in her foot and a growth from her head removed. Even with her legs as feeble as they were we and her doctors thought this would help her and give her a better quality and longer life. Unfortunately the tumor was large and he was unable to get it all. We knew the cancer would come back eventually but we had no idea it would be this soon. The tumor was very aggressive. Because of her age, 13, and the severe arthritis she has there was nothing that could be done about her tumor. It was rapidly growing into other areas of her foot. With each bandage change it looked worse. She began to tear at the bandage to try to take it off. We were left with no choice. For her wellbeing we had to let her go. This feeling is to familiar and is quite possibly the hardest thing in the world to do.
Thursday February 4th was a beautiful sunny day so Gracie spent a lot of time in the sunshine. She went on many, many Kubota RTV rides. She of course had scrambled eggs for breakfast and treats often throughout the day.
Friday was more dreary. It was drizzly and cloudy. We fixed Gracie scrambled eggs for breakfast. Later in the early afternoon she had some more as a snack. When it was time to put her in the car to go I made sure to bring bread and cheese. With all the medicine she had to take she had become extremely fond of a piece of cheese wrapped up in a bit of hot dog bun. At the vet she enjoyed this special treat as we loved on her and told her how much we loved her. Gracie took her last breath about 3:50 that day.
Writing about her is like a form of therapy which I definitely need. Farmer Cheese needs to do physical work as his therapy. We all grieve in our own ways. Thank you for loving our sweet girl along with us and for all your thoughts and prayers during this process and the days, months to come.
Gracie girl, you will always be in my heart.