Tribute for Gracie (formerly Cheerio 10-51)



She was rescued from a puppy mill in Missouri where she had spent 7 years of her life having one litter after another.  We were told that when she was rescued, her tummy pretty much hung to the ground.

Her GRRIN name was Cheerio.  We named her Gracie, but she was about as graceful as a cow.  But it didn’t matter, we loved her. Like many rescue dogs, she had quirks.  She hated being outside, whether summer, fall, winter, or spring.  She would potty outside, but then immediately want back in.  We could be sitting outside with the other four-legged kids, and Gracie would be at the door wanting to go in the house.  She enjoyed the security of our home. We would encourage her to go on walks with us, and she’d do OK for a couple of blocks, but when we turned around to go back home, it was like a racehorse wanting to head for the barn!!  She was petrified of thunder and lightning, and even rain.  We are not talking about a downpour, we are talking about light sprinkles. And of course, fireworks!!  (Don’t get me started!). She would put on the brakes and there was NO WAY she was going out until the offending noise or water source was gone.  But bless her heart, she never had an accident in the house and always did everything else we ever asked of her.

Gracie really loved to chew her Nyla-Bones, although she really did not know how to play with a ball or a stuffed toy.  She loved her black poodle brother, Rudy.  They frequently napped together, and Rudy kept her face spic-and-span clean!  No doubt many of her fears were a result of the horrific life she had at the puppy mill, probably without much comfort or praise.  (I know God will take care of animal abusers and puppy mill owners, but on the outside chance that God is busy, could we have 5 minutes alone with one of these scumbags?? — Please realize that we are 65 years old, have multiple joint replacements, carry a few extra pounds, and have a few aches and pains — so I don’t know how much damage we could do, but we’d give it our best shot!)   We are so thankful to all the GRRIN volunteers who rescue and foster these beautiful Goldens and allow us the privilege of bringing them into our homes and loving them, sometimes the first love they have ever experienced.  We find joy in caring for those who need a little extra help, a little extra patience and a lot of kindness.

As Gracie aged, she developed some kidney issues, arthritis and had limited vision.  She was happy just sleeping, eating, and being petted.  We noticed a few weeks before her passing that when Gracie went out at night to potty, she started to dawdle.  She would gaze up at the dark sky (something she never did before), and just slowly keep wagging her tail.  She’d take a few steps, then continue to look up and wag.  This would continue for five minutes or more. We like to think that our prior dogs — her 32 “brothers and sisters” who crossed over the Rainbow Bridge before her — were showing her the way.  Rest in peace, dear Gracie, we will meet again at the Rainbow Bridge.

Jacque Rank and Jane Wiederspan