Gracie’s Rescue and Adoption Story

Anna C. shares Gracie’s rescue and adoption story with us:

Gracie was a Cocker Spaniel rescued from a hoarding situation around the St. Joseph, Missouri area.  The St. Joseph shelter said it was the worst case of neglect that most of them had ever seen.  According to the information that I received, she was rescued on October 2, 2012.  As you look at the pictures, you can’t tell where the dog stops and the mats begin.  She could barely walk, had cherry eye and it was also determined that she had several ear infections that had gone untreated.

Once rescued, she was eventually cleaned up (the owner initially was not wanting to sign over the animals), treated her cherry eye and ear infections and placed in the St. Joseph Shelter’s Prison pup program, where inmates work with the dogs to help train them and get the ready for adoption.  Her age is still a mystery though, as many of the issues she had dealt with probably make it harder to determine.  At first they thought she was 8-10.  Then, after cleaning her up, and a vet look over, they thought perhaps 5-8.  Later, they dropped it down to 2-4.  My own vet thinks that 4-7 is most likely.

Initially, I did not see the rescue pictures but received those after the adoption.  What caught my eye, as I was considering bringing another dog into my home in mid-December 2012, was her adoption photos.  She looked so much like my current pet, Hermione, that I fell in love with her before I even had a chance to see her.  I contacted the Friends of the St. Joseph Shelter volunteer, Kathy, to find out more and work on possibly adopting little Gracie.  Because I was about an hour away in Kansas City, I worried at first that I might not be able to get up there to adopt her.  Because it was a public shelter, she would be released for adoption on January 9, 2013 and, if more than one person was there, a drawing would be done to see who got her.  Because I was familiar with many of the issues Gracie was dealing with, since I have had several cockers in my life, I really felt that I needed to make every effort to try to get her.

I arrived at the shelter on the designated day, and found 2 others that were interested in her.  One was an older gentleman, the other was a family with a couple of children, perhaps upper elementary.  I was very nervous, as was one of the little girls, who said, “Mom, she’s here for Gracie too!”  Her mom told her to hope for the best, and I know that I took that advice as well.  When the time came, we placed our names in a “hat” and one was drawn.  I closed my eyes, expecting to not get her.  But, surprise!  My name was drawn.  I think that Kathy, who I had been talking with, was glad I got Gracie.  Because of all the untreated ear infections, her hearing had been compromised, so they were concerned that the children might accidently startle her.  They were also concerned that the older gentleman didn’t understand that she was going to need constant ear care for the rest of her life.  The children were upset, which kind of made me feel bad, but the older gentleman was already looking at other available dogs.  Needless to say, I was happy that I was the one who would be taking her home.

I also found out a few other things while I was completing the paperwork for the adoption.  The inmate who had been with her, working with her, since around Halloween had been extremely emotional when he had to let Gracie go, and wrote a wonderful letter to let her new owner know all about her.  He even sent the toys she had with her.  I made sure that I sent him some pictures of her in her new home, with her new “sibling”.  I learned she was a very laid back dog, and also considered a sweetheart by all who came across her.  This surprised many of them, after the hell that the animal had probably endured for God only knows how long.  I don’t know whether they will allow it, but I would love to be able to let her prior handler get a chance to be reunited with her at some point in St. Joseph.

I brought Gracie home that night.  I worried at first that Hermione, who was 7 years old and had been the “Queen” of the house for most of that time, might not take too kindly to a new interloper.  But, with only a few bumps, the transition has gone extremely well.  My 80 year old mother, who lives with me, has also enjoyed the new addition to our family.

I had only had her a couple of days before I had to go ahead and take her to my vet, Ark Animal Hospital in Liberty Missouri.  I had been taking my pets to that Hospital since 1993, so had every trust that they would treat her well.  I had used Zymox in her ears and had noted through her whining that her ears were very tender.  I had planned on getting her groomed during the weekend, but, as it turned out she had a pretty bad ear infection still, we had to put that on hold.  We have treated the ears for a week, finally got her groomed, and will follow up with the vet tomorrow.  But already, as you can see by the pictures, she already seems happy in her new situation.  With continued treatment, including ear treatments purchased from your web site, along with the Omega-3 also purchased from your site, I hope to keep her ear and skin issues in check.

She came into my life just because of a photo, but Gracie has turned out to be the sweetheart that I was told.  She loves to snuggle and get groomed with her grooming glove.  Even Hermione has been sleeping closer to her too, so I’m hoping that they will become close, though I’m sure there will be the occasional spat.  But, even with all she’s gone through, I have found it amazing how easily she takes up with people.  Even the day I got her, another family with even younger children, came into the shelter while the staff were playing with Gracie while I filled out paperwork.  She let the little ones come right up to her and she allowed them to pet her, wagging her little stub the whole time.  My brother and his family even took up with her right away.

I’m so very happy to have brought her into my family.  If anything, I have learned something from her.  No matter what happens to you in life, you have two choices.  You either respond to it negatively and blame everything wrong in your life for your current situation and feel sorry for yourself.  Or, you respond positively, using that to know that life will eventually get better, and face the world with a smile.  I know my life is better for it, and so is hers.

Thanks for sharing Gracie’s adoption story with us, Anna! We’re so glad Gracie found a loving home with you.

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