Recently, we said goodbye to a very special pup in our rescue, Gracie Mae. She was one of our hospice dogs, and we had no expectations that she would be with us long – but it didn't take any time at all before she touched all of our hearts.
Gracie Mae came in quite overweight and with a diagnosis of bladder cancer, but without confirmation of an actual tumor. She didn't care what the doctors said – this girl was determined. We were told she would have at most a few months – but almost a year later, Gracie was still charming the pants off everyone who met her. She had the perfect sweet beagle face, after all – is there anything better? Gracie settled right into her foster home, with her new little foster brother and a family that showered her with love and affection at every turn and always gave the best of care. Her foster, Andrea, was perfectly in tune with her and never shy to let us know when Gracie needed an extra hand. We always say we can’t do what we do without the help of our volunteers – and that is no less true in this case. It takes a special person to take a dog into a home, not knowing if the animal has days, weeks or will be with them for years. We are very humbled and honored to be have been blessed with such amazing person helping Gracie in her time of need. Today, we’re sharing Gracie Mae and Andrea’s story as a way to honor them both and the love they shared even in those final moments.
In her final year, Gracie Mae had multiple X-rays, ultrasounds and cultures and battled several UTIs. Her last month of care alone cost more than $1,000. Through it all, she was a fighter and this spirit remained even up to her final day. When her last UTI failed to resolve after more medication, we had another culture and ultrasound done – and this time, we got the bad news: Gracie was growing unusual bacteria and the tests finally identified the elusive culprit. The mass had grown large enough and was in just the right location that it could eventually obstruct her ability to be able to go potty at all. Nevertheless, she persisted – and Gracie started on her new tailored UTI meds that day. Things were looking up – she returned to her playful, happy self and she was sleeping through the night. She was on the final day of those meds when things took a turn. Back to the vet. An X-ray revealed her bladder was fuller than full and she was obstructed.
Our hope when we rescue is that we will be able to find a fix for whatever a dog is facing, but as much as we want that, reality sometimes smacks us in the face. Along with Dr. Harcourt and the rest of the caring team at VCA Feist Animal Hospital in St. Paul, we made the decision to give Gracie a gift and relieve her from any more pain. She crossed the Bridge after snuggling in the arms of her wonderful, loving fosters. Gracie Mae is now running free, no doubt with Barnabee as the ring leader, followed by Princess, Isaac, Della and any and all of the other special dogs we have all known in our lives and come to love.
Gracie Mae was one of a kind, and it is through your support of our hospice program that we are able to provide a peaceful, loving journey to the Bridge when it is needed in cases like this. We’d like to thank Andrea and her family for their months of watching of this sweet girl. And thank you to those who have become Sustaining Members for our rescue – your monthly gifts ensure we are able to provide exceptional quality care for more dogs like Gracie, and for the animals who come through on their way to their forever homes. Your support truly changes lives – it’s what helps these dogs know their lives matter and it keeps us moving forward. Thank you all for your continued kindness.
Godspeed, Gracie Mae, safe journey home.
** To donate toward Gracie’s vetting bills, please visit our website at http://www.greyfacerescue.org/donate and click on the Paypal button.
** For more information or to sign up to be a Sustaining Member, visit this link: http://www.greyfacerescue.org/sustaining-member-program