Ding Dong

^ My princess.

I opened the door and there she was, brown button eyes snapping with delight, red shaggy tail a-wagging. As I stood back, she leaped into her new home and began a top-to-bottom inspection, charging through each room, running her nose along every baseboard, and introducing herself to three startled cats along the way.

^ At first, she chased them unmercifully but now they kiss noses. 

This is how I met my girl, Gracie.

Yes, she literally showed up on my doorstep, a 2.5 year old orphan already acquainted with the hard knocks of life but ready, bless her joyful heart, to try on a new family for size. 

And thankfully, we all fit each other perfectly.

Now I'll be the first to admit that a dog like Gracie may not be everyone's cup of tea.


^ Big world, chilly little dog. 

She is big.

Eighty five pounds worth of big, and more than happy to stretch out by standing upright at a kitchen counter, deftly pulling at the tea towel draped over the cake to guide it toward the front edge of the counter, or even delicately pawing at the upper shelves in hopes of getting one of those peanut butter cookies on the cooling rack to fall the right way.

^ Swamp queen rules over her domain. 

She is boisterous. 

Oh, to her credit, she does doze peacefully at my feet through many hours of the day. But when the lady gets charged up - usually before her walk or when she knows food is about to be delivered to her ever-ready lips - she leaps, hops, spins, dashes and bounds through the house with considerable vigor.

^ Problem solver. 

She is headstrong. 

I may have forgotten that I set a dish of meow mix down on the laundry room counter for a finicky cat who nibbled a few bites and then walked away. But Gracie has not, and you better believe that the instant my back is turned, she is going after that tasty amuse-bouche with a vengeance. 

^ Strangers often tell me she looks like a little bear, and I agree. 

But Gracie's considerable charm more than outweighs her challenges.

She is







smart as a whip

and always down for a ride in the car.

^ Dialed in on the birds. Always.

In short, my good dog, Gracie, is the perfect dog for me, and on this, her seventh birthday, I still can barely believe my incredible good fortune that she found her way to me. 

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If you enjoy reading stories about cheerful big red dogs, or even just gazing at their adorable photos, let me recommend to you a journey through my Pet Love collection which will definitely scratch your itch.

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