Gracie, my baby Chihuahua, is pictured here wearing her costume for the Fall Festival at church. She is going as a taco. Isn’t she the cutest? Gracie is basically my second “all my own” dog. We have had dogs since 1999, and I loved them, but they were really for my children who are grown now.
I knew they taught responsibility, caring, and gave great joy. I knew children that had pets matured more quickly, were more responsible as a whole, and seemed more secure so I knew getting them a pet was a good idea.
When my kids became adults and moved out, we kept my daughter’s Pomeranian. The reason we did was because in her dorm she could not have pets. There was no choice but to leave Prissy with us.
I loved Prissy and formed a very strong bond with her when the kids left home. I didn’t empty nest well and she was now my “baby”. I led a very busy life at that time. I was on the “Library Board” and volunteered many hours at my local library, and with a “Crime Victims Assistance” program in our county. I did volunteering for a local hospital, as well. I was active in my church (the one we attended at the time) so Prissy was left alone quite a bit.
I began to think about this. Prissy was used to gleeful and boisterous play when Kate came home and hubby and I didn’t “play” the way she did. I began to sense there was a loneliness in Prissy and I began to cut back on being gone so much. Still there were days that pulled me away, even when I didn’t want to be. I determined, at that point, I was going to say no a bit more forcefully to some things and give Prissy the attention she deserved.
As this new-found freedom to be home began to dawn on Prissy, she bonded all the more with me. She followed my every step and would put her nose under my door in the mornings, she was so anxious to be with me. Hubby had a rule back then of no dogs in the bed. That rule has since been changed.
Prissy died suddenly and without warning and I was devastated. Gone was my baby with her sweet ways, her adoring, unconditional love, and the fact she was no longer my inseparable buddy was almost more than I could bear. I cried and grieved! It was as if I could not shake it. I felt so much guilt that I had spent too much time away from her in the beginning of my empty nest transitioning, that I had not fought harder to secure a place in my bed so I could be with her that much more. I felt guilt over things I had no control over. I knew God had given Prissy to us and now my gift was gone forever!
I looked for other puppies, hoping another would help fill the void, but none bonded with me or me to them as Prissy had. Actually, none bonded to me period! I thought this was so strange because I had so much love to give. I began to wonder if this was my punishment for not appreciating Prissy as I should have. A friend told me Prissy was one of a kind and I would never find another like her. I began to believe that myself and it deepened my grief beyond words.
I watched as other dog owners would pick a puppy and the bond was totally natural. What was wrong with me?? That question went through my mind over and over. Finally, one day I began to pray about this. I told God Prissy was a dog, not a human and although she was irreplaceable, He could make another one for me with everything I needed, which was loving and companionable!
It was funny, because it takes me days to name a puppy, but as I prayed that prayer the name “Gracie” came to me. God let me know another puppy that loved me unconditionally was coming and to name her Gracie because that is what she would be…my saving grace from oppressive grief.
One day I took one more look at the classifieds online (I was not familiar with rescues at that time). I saw her and called immediately. The lady wanted to know how I got her number because it takes 24 hours for an ad to post and she had only posted ten minutes before the phone call. I knew God was up to something!
We met in a Wal-Mart parking lot the next day. At first I had misgivings about her. She seemed nervous, uncomfortable, and overly shy. Again, a rejection I thought. My friend told me to watch her as she held her. Every time I would say something, she would turn her head as far as it could go to look at me. There was another puppy that didn’t do that. It had bonded with the breeder. My friend looked at me and said, “This is the one, I can tell it. She wants you!”
Gracie had on a bulky sweater and I stripped it off. She relaxed in my arms. I handed the lady the money for her and gave my keys to my friend. I wanted to hold her all the way home. I stopped off at my husband’s office and he thought she was beautiful!! He isn’t a dog person like we are…or I should say WASN’T….he loves her, now.
Gracie and I went shopping with Kate for Gracie’s Fall Festival costume yesterday. Gracie is two years old now, so her costume from last year doesn’t fit. I drove and Kate held Gracie. She shook and trembled and panted the whole way there. The poor baby thought she was going to the vet! We got to the shop and Kate said Gracie was making her hot. Kate had been fishing and she was still pretty layered up, ready for a blizzard in south Texas…she is my Aggie!
When I took Gracie, immediately the shaking, trembling, panting stopped. I felt her little body totally relax. I don’t need signs anymore to know Gracie and I have bonded, but when I get them they warm my heart and bring me such joy!
I will always miss Prissy. She was one of the best dogs we ever had! But, Gracie is, too. She fills my heart with so much love! The old rule of no dogs in the bed is long gone. She snuggles right next to me at night and greets me with loving wet kisses in the mornings. She lets me dress her, put rhinestone collars on her, and baby her to my heart’s content. Her attitude seems to say, “Whatever makes Momma happy, makes me happy and that is what it is all about!” If you are a dog owner, you will know as crazy as this may sound, it is very normal and true!
The lady in the pet store said to me yesterday, “Ah, a rescue dog….one you rescued and one that rescued you!” I think that describes Gracie and me perfectly!
If you are thinking of a dog, precious reader, please, adopt and don’t hesitate! You won’t regret it!! They are great for your health physically and emotionally and you are great for theirs, too! Check your shelters and organizations such as “Dogs Bound For the Pound”. They will be loyal and loving companions for life and for the fact you saved them from the unthinkable! Somehow, they know you literally saved their lives!
Please, let me hear your story of you and your precious pet! I know it is a beautiful one!! I will see you soon!
Why do they call it raining cats and dogs? Because one day a man stepped outside and stepped in a poodle! (My daughter, Aggie Girl, contributed this one.)
One day a man is walking down the street
when he sees an old man with a nice looking dog. He goes over to the man and
asks: ‘Does your dog bite?’ The old man replies ‘No never’. When the man bends
down to stroke the dog, it immediately takes a snap at his hand. The man says ‘I
thought you said your dog did not bite! ‘I did’ replies the old man, ‘but this
isn’t my dog!’
Gracie is my chihuahua. She has a very, very sweet heart! I had been away for a meeting one night this past week and while I was gone, Sunshine’s chihuahua had made a crying noise she nor my husband had ever heard. She said it was just so sad! I asked her what it sounded like and she was able to imitate it.
If you don’t know about Chihuahuas, they are the quintessential lap-dog! They are a baby in a dog’s body. They cry and sound just like a human child! They want attention, love, and to be in your lap just like a human child! They get the bad rap of being “ankle biters” or “the world evolves around me and me alone!” personas, etc.. I suppose some Chihuahuas in history have been like that, but ours are cuddlebugs, lovebugs, and angels!
As Sunshine made the crying noise, I decided to see if I could make it, too. Obviously, I can imitate a chihuahua very well. Gracie, who was beside me, looked at me. I continued to make the noise because her face began to take on expressions I had not seen her have. First, she turned her head quizzically to stare at me. Then, she began to get a sad look in her eyes. Suddenly, as though she could not take my so-called distress any longer, she jumped on my arm and began to kiss me profusely on my cheek. Of course, when she did everyone in the room emitted awwwws!
I have never seen such intense love and affection from any animal as what she has for me! I am amazed by her sensitivity and her literal kindness and compassion! I know she is just a dog, but animals have such a capacity to love, I truly cannot imagine anyone not wanting one! They are loyal, protective, affectionate, loving, and can truly sense what you need. They know when you are in emotional distress and/or physical distress, and if you are fortunate enough to find that special one you truly bond with, they will not leave you until the crisis is over; Even then, it is reluctantly!
I will never make that sound again. Her reaction was endearing, but at the same time heart wrenching! We all felt so sorry for her!! She is my special angel. It is as though she was made just for me! As I blog, she has her place by my side where she sleeps until I am finished. She knows when the last letter is typed and all is in place, she will be cradled in my arms and her face will be showered with kisses!
I almost didn’t get Gracie, because of the reputation of Chihuahuas. Would I have lost out had I not listened to my heart! I thank God for her! He truly made Gracie just for me, and yes, I believe that with all of my heart!
Good night, dear reader! It is “Gracie time”.
Just waiting for hubby to come back with the trailer to load up and head out. Thank goodness this will not be as long of a trip as it was to Oklahoma. Gracie is going so please say a prayer for me and her!! She doesn’t potty on car trips and I make a fool out of myself at truck stops trying to get her to!! I will post pictures when I can get to an internet “hot spot”! See you soon, dear readers!!