Last night my wife and I had to say good bye to the first addition to our family. I still remember the day we picked Gracie up, she fell asleep in Kami’s arms as we looked at her siblings trying to decided which one would be added to our family. At that point, Kami and I really weren’t interested in having kids so we decided a black cocker spaniel would be a great enhancement to our lives.
We had no idea that over the next 14 years we would grow to love this little puppy like she was one of us. We played fetch, taught her tricks, ate fruit with her, and gave her the best world we could. She loved to roam the back yard and do a perimeter search to make sure all was safe before bed. As we moved to our current home that roam got MUCH longer but she still enjoyed walking the fence line to identify any new smells. Gracie was never much of a guard dog, but she loved us and we loved her.
When Kami got pregnant with Lukas, Gracie would lay her head on her belly…we like to think she was listening to him and making sure he was safe from the world we lived in. She did the same with Ian, and was his biggest fan the moment she got to meet him. Over the last 4 years, Ian grew to love Gracie and play with her as much as she could in her old age. She had a rough last few years as we had to remove an eye and deal with tumors, but each time we had a procedure she came back with a few more months of energy and she spent it on time with Ian. Though Gracie was def before Ian ever arrived she always knew when he was home and greeted him everyday after school with a tail wag and sniff. Ian reciprocated with a hug and a “good girl Gracie”.
Last week Gracie lost sight her her last eye and began to show signs of depression as she couldn’t find us, interact with us, or know where she was. Over the course of the weekend the eye appeared to start causing her pain and she stopped eating. She was showing us that she was ready and we knew it. Yesterday Gracie and I shared one final apple and a few tears (at least from my side). Last night was one of the hardest moments in my life as we went to be with Gracie for one last time and comfort her as she settled down for her final earthly sleep.
We love you Gracie, I miss you dearly, and I hope you and Lukas are having an amazing game of fetch.