On February 21, 2009 the police were called in to help a 9 year old Yellow Lab/ Golden Retriever we named Grace. Her 5 gallon water bucket was bone dry and she had no food (it was a large self feeding container). The cable line was so short it barely reached into her dog house, which contained no straw, no blankets or a warming lamp. The police officer responded, wrote a report and also contacted animal control. When I saw the animal control officer putting her into his truck, I was overwhelmed with happiness. A state of peace came over me, her life as she knew it was ending and a new life would begin.
I was touched by all of the neighbors that came forward to give statements and stated they would be willing to testify in court. Seldom do we find neighbors willing to file a formal complaint with police, make a statement and appear in court. These neighbors were incredible and Grace's angels. Grace's former caretakers were charged with animal cruelty. Unfortunately, they were only slapped on the wrist and given a $100 fine for 9 years of abuse and neglected.
Because Grace was tethered to her dog house under pine trees, the neighbors told us that sap would drip on her in the summer, and her coat was always a sticky mess. She lived in her own fecal material, only weighed 35 pounds, had a deformed right front paw with no pad and we did not know when she ate her last meal. Neighbors said the caretakers never gave her any attention and Grace lived her first 9 years of life all alone and afraid.
I brought Grace home, showed her what a real home should be and what having a family is all about, giving her all the love she so deserved. We worked hard on behavior as she was not socialized around other animals and needed to learn the house rules. Grace learned very quickly and became my best friend. Grace's devotion was truly incredible, one that I have never experienced before and the love she gave to our family was beyond amazing.
Grace was my angel and taught me what truly matters in life. She brightened any room she walked into and comforted when you needed it the most. Grace was an extraoridnary dog with a gentle soul that touched everyone's' life. I am so grateful Grace came into my life and she will live forever in our hearts and home.
After being with us for 6 1/2 years at the awesome age of 15 1/2, on September 5, 2015 I had to send Grace to the Rainbow Bridge to be with her brothers and to run free of pain. With that difficult decision I had to make, as Grace took her last breath, I also made a promise to Grace that I would continue my rescue work for senior dogs and will carry on her legacy.
In honor of Gracie Ann, Gracie's Dog Haven started and our work continues still today saving the lives of senior dogs just like her.