She Had Me at Hello
She really did. Two plane rides and an hour-and-a-half car ride later, I was at a ranch in San Antonio to pick up "the pistol. " A name my friend Marichin had lovingly given Gracie back in 2006 because she was so full of spunk.
Gracie was born to be a show dog. She was 8 months old, beautiful with fabulous papillon ears. Her parents were both full size, but she was a miniature. Just four ounces at birth, Marichin kept waiting for her to grow. It didn't happen. Marichin said, She's too small to show and I'm not going to breed her, so come and pick her up. And so I did.
When I arrived at the house, I sat on the floor with the dogs. They were all gorgeous tri-colored papillons. I had no idea which one was Gracie, because they all looked similar!
It didn't take long before one jumped in my lamp. And, yep, you guessed it - that one was Gracie. She may have been pint sized, but she was spunkier and smarter than the rest.
A car ride back to the airport and two plane rides later, we landed back in south Florida.
Gracie fit right in. In fact, she took over but not in an alpha way. She really was smarter than the rest and would easily outfox them at every turn.
She was so smart. Most dogs know when you're sick and they'll hang out with you. Gracie not only knew you were sick, but went to the exact spot each time. If you went to the dentist, she knew. When I had carpal tunnel surgery, she knew; a blood test, she knew.
Whenever I walk in the house, the dogs always run over. Gracie used to take it a step further and give you the smell test. She would come nose to nose with me, smell where I was, who I was with and what I had eaten. It was uncanny! I used to call her the FBI dog. She had to know everything. All 6 lbs of her!
She loved to go for long walks. She was really looking for the white birds - the Ibis - which she would sprint after. For 15 years Gracie tried to catch one, but they always flew off! Squirrels were also high on her list. She would chase them up a tree. And anybody who would give her a pet was fair game.
She also loved her fabric balls made specially by a friend in Hawaii. She especially loved when they were new.
She knew me, knew my routine. Every morning she got up, went to her bed in my office to wait for me. She knew I was getting coffee and would be in momentarily. It really was amazing.
It's been two weeks since Gracie passed. To say I am heartbroken and miss her terribly is an understatement, but I didn't want her to suffer. She was just too sick to go on. We had a wonderful life together for almost 15 years, and she will live on forever in my heart.
In fact, the Ibis that had been gone for a long while has been all over lately. And today I saw a butterfly outside. Papillon means butterfly in French. Papillons have butterfly ears. Coincidence? Maybe. But, I think not.
All our furkids are special, but Gracie took it a step further. There was just something so very special about her.
She had me at hello.