Sunday, November 27, 2011

Meet Gracie: A True Lady

Gracie looks like a tough lady, but she's much more lady than tough. She keeps quiet, and she's not demanding. She follows her people around most of the day and sleeps happily in her crate when they're gone. The other day I came out of the shower to find that she pulled the throw blanket off the couch and made a little bed out of it in front of the bathroom door. When I opened the door and laughed at her, she looked up at me as if to say "What did you expect? You were taking too long and the linoleum was not very comfy."

"Enough with the camera—let's do something else!"

We used to have a no dogs on the couch rule in our house, but Gracie snuck her way into our laps little by little. If you're reading book on the couch she'll put her head on your thigh, a few minutes later her paws will come up, then her front legs, followed by half her body, and by the time you finish a chapter she's curled up in your lap and you're wondering how she got there. She has an incredible ability to turn into dead weight right as you want to get up off the couch. "No," she insists, "It's much more comfortable on the couch. Stay on the couch."

She trained us with the couch business, but we are training her on some basic commands. She has a very solid "sit" and she's doing well with  "touch," "come," "stay," and "down." Though, she doesn't so much lay down as she melts—she's a character. Gracie is naturally very attentive to people, and she easily figures out what you want from her. She waits very patiently in her open crate as her breakfast and dinner are being poured, and that takes a lot of restraint. 

Gracie and our dog have a ball playing tug and chasing each other around. The games don't get rough and when we tell them play time is over, they obediently quit. The one thing that makes Gracie go wild is toys. We took her to a softball tournament and she really wanted to catch every single ball that went in the air. She had most everyone watching laughing and feeling bad for her. "Oh man, stop throwing that ball, and someone give it to the cute dog!" Her toy drive makes her a lot of fun to play with. This girl's got some hops, but the only time you see it is if you hold a ball or rope up for her to jump for. She will snatch up any shoe or sock that's left lying around, however, she hasn't destroyed anything yet. The reason is, she likes to be by people, so she'll carry her find over and plop down next to you before she starts chewing. Um, no. Give me that, Gracie. She's not a squirrel chaser or dog barker, though, which makes walks very nice. She doesn't even flinch when other dogs go nuts on the other side of a fence or in the park. She's just happy to be walking along and sniffing. 

"I'm even good during bath time!"
On walks we get comments about her all the time. "Wow, that's pretty Pitty!" Yeah, you can't beat those amber eyes. "She's going to get big, isn't she?" No, actually, she's full grown. "How did you get her to sit at crosswalks?" Um, we told her "stop" when we reached a corner, and she figured it out. My favorite comment was, "She's so chill with you, how long have you had her?" One week. We didn't make her chill, she came that way.

Gracie has a good tolerance, and doesn't react to much at all, really. She'll give one low bark if someone is at the door. She lovingly greets all visitors. She's not the kind of dog that gets excited about baths, but she doesn't mind taking one. She doesn't care if her ears are tugged, her toes are inspected, or you reach into her mouth. Gracie doesn't even care if you lift her in your arms or pick her up over your head. She just loves being with people. She wants to hang out and make you happy. I have no doubt she's going to be some lucky person's best dog.

"I think someone's comingmaybe it's my forever family!"
Many thanks to Jubilee's foster mom, Monica, for sharing Gracie's story. To learn more about meeting or adopting Gracie, please complete an application with Project Rescue Chicago.

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