Happy Birthday, Gracie!

Friday, November 5, 2010

When Buddy & Lulu were little, we had kitties as pets. Of course, like all kids, they wanted a puppy. But like all parents, Gus & I knew that no matter how many times they insisted that they would take care of the puppy, we would be the ones doing most of the work.

Then in 1999, one of our cats died. The kids were devastated. Buddy was 9 and Lulu was 8 - so we decided it was time to get a puppy. The very next day we fell in love with Gracie, a 3-week-old St. Bernard. It was really hard to wait 3 more weeks to bring her home, but somehow we managed, and she came to live with us just before Christmas. A 6-week-old 15 lb. ball of fluff.

Gracie was the best dog ever. Once she was out of the puppy stage, she never chewed on anything or raided the garbage. We did crate-train her, but once she was about 6 months old, we never had to crate her while we were gone - she would just sleep on the couch. However, she did think that any food at head level was obviously hers. (I call that "The Case of the Missing Grilled Cheese Sandwich".)

Even though she weighed 150 lbs., she had no concept of her size. She would try to sit in our laps and then look befuddled as to why it didn't work. When there was a thunderstorm, she would try to wedge herself under my desk or behind the couch. Sometimes, she would just get in the bathtub.

She really hated to have her ears cleaned. She would run through the house trying to escape when she would hear us get the stuff ready. Then she'd come when I'd call her - but she did it very reluctantly, LOL. Gus would have to lay on top of her to hold her down. One time, she was determined to get away, and she dragged Gus through the house - while he was laying on top of her! LOL!

Just before Gracie's 7th birthday, Lulu noticed that Gracie was limping. We took her to the vet, and he put her on medication, hoping that it was either a sprain or arthritis. After a couple of weeks, it was obvious she wasn't getting any better. We took her to an orthopedic surgeon, and the x-rays confirmed that she had bone cancer. After reviewing the options, we made the almost-impossible decision to have her euthanized. I honestly think that it was the hardest thing I've ever done. But we loved her and didn't want her to suffer any longer. We all went to the vet with her, and I stayed with her until it was over.

She's been gone for 4 years now - and today would have been her 11th birthday.

Happy Birthday, Graciebelle - we love you!!


Gus said...

Dammit! - Now you got me all teary-eyed again. I miss u Gracie Belle - u were the best.