As my dog at the time was nearing 16, I had known for years I would not get another dog. I just felt I was hindered on traveling and being able to go and places on a spur of the moment basis.
I kept seeing ads from Cares STL and my friends kept saying ‘No, you said you weren’t getting another dog.’ I was so drawn to this place and while I was shopping in St. Louis, I decided to go just to look. They asked me what I was looking for in a dog temperament and energy-wise etc. They brought me a gray pit bull who had just had her puppies adopted out. She was very reserved and didn’t have much interest in me, but I could see the sadness in her eyes. All I knew about pit bulls were the stereotypes I had read in the news or hearsay from people talking about how dangerous they were. This wouldn’t have been a dog I would have chosen for myself, despite the breed. She wouldn’t have been at the shelter that normally, but her foster mom (Courtney) had brought her there for the weekend because she was out of town (so again perfect timing).
I hesitantly agreed to take her on a foster basis to ‘see how it goes.’
She definitely didn’t like riding in the car, so I had to lift her in to leave. Once home, I had to literally lift her 50lb body onto my bed because she wouldn’t get on it for anything. We slowly began the adjustment period and every day she grew more confident and started adjusting to her new home. After 6 weeks, I called and said I would go ahead and adopt her. She has the kindest kaleidoscope eyes, was so gentle and loved cuddling, so she was sweetest most perfect match ♥.
Little did I know Covid-19 was about to hit, and our world was going to change dramatically.
Through this phase, we bonded more than I had ever bonded with any dog. We were just perfect for each other. (Well, except for her love of counter surfing! XD) I had my best friend with me through COVID-19 and was not lonely or depressed at any point.
When things started open back up, I didn’t want to leave her behind, I wanted her with me at all times. I felt anxious leaving her behind. This was the only time I felt depression through Covid. Little did I know the day I went to that rescue facility my life was going to change so much and I could love something as much as I love her. She doesn’t leave my granddaughters’ side when they are here and welcomes everyone with her gentle neck hugs. Every morning she wakes up and comes over to gently lay her muzzle on my cheek to see if I am awake yet. If I am awake, she wags her tail so hard it sounds like a drum beating on the bed and if I’m still asleep and don’t move, she gently moves away and lays down beside me to sleep without wanting to wake me. This morning ritual fills my heart with so much love its almost unbearable. That day I thought I was saving her, but she ended up saving me.
I named her ‘Stevie’ because I’m a huge Stevie Nicks fan, but one night I was hugging her and said out loud ‘By the Grace of God, I have you!’ and knew at that moment that was her name: Gracie. Her middle name is Jane after someone very dear to my heart who had recently passed. Both names are very important to me.
It’s strange how the world works and what is put in your life when you’re not expecting it and didn’t know you needed it. She has made such an impact on me and my life. I’m telling my story and hopefully this will inspire others to open up to adopting shelter dogs. Yes, I wanted an adorable, younger, little dog. I wanted to have the majority of impact on her behavior and habit-forming from a young age. I am not sure people realize how grateful a shelter dog can be and at 3 years old she is in her prime. The best things don’t always come in perfect, little, shiny, fur-balls. Sometimes it’s bigger packages that are diamonds in the rough ♡.
I hope you enjoy shopping at Gracie Jane. Please remember rescue facilities and get an animal based on your energy level, temperament, and what is financially feasible for you (example: grooming for long hair dogs or cats) not just by appearance. You will not regret this decision!