5 weeks ago
Monday, March 01, 2010
Gracie Church: 1998-2010
Today, Kara and I said goodbye to our beloved Gracie. Gracie was a great, loving dog, who loved and protected her family. She enjoyed long walks and barking at the UPS guy, but most of all, she loved to swim. As a matter of fact, the only time she would ever play fetch was in the water at dog beach.
Gracie was adopted by Kara from the Escondido Humane Society (as was her younger adopted brother, Buster) and it was love at first paw for Kara and Gracie. I met Gracie a few months later when Kara and I started dating and Gracie turned me from someone who didn't like dogs into someone who loves dogs.
Although Gracie suffered from separation anxiety (and left a trail of destruction, in some cases, when she was left alone), she handled separation from Kara and me much better after "we" adopted Buster. And when I say we, I mean all of us, as Gracie also adopted Buster, always keeping a watchful eye on him at the park, scolding him if he got out of line, and grooming him whenever he would sit still long enough to take it.
Gracie loved people and got along with most other dogs. She was a protector of her "pack", though, so she was suspicious of any dog or person that she felt was acting "inappropriately", which included being a little too rowdy with Buster. She would bark or snap at other dogs when this happened, but mostly, they were warnings to "keep your distance". With suspicious people (and the UPS guy), she would bark, but never bite.
Gracie had mostly good health over her lifetime, but she had started suffering from arthritis over the last year or so. Her health, however, really started going downhill in the last month of her life, when she stopped eating almost completely. After a few weeks and a few visits to the vet, we discovered that she had cancerous tumors in her liver, lymph nodes and on her back. For the last few weeks until she died, we just tried our best to make her comfortable. Probably her happiest time during this tragic period was when we took her for one last visit to the beach. Even though it was an impromptu visit and we hadn't brought her throw toy for water fetch, she still headed straight into the ocean for a short swim.
Gracie is gone, but she will never be forgotten. And, her family will miss her terribly.
Gracie, we love you.