Her eyesight is practically non-existent and she’s down to three teeth.
But Gracie, the star of Saving Gracie, is hanging in there. For a 10-year-old Cavalier King Charles Spaniel who spent six years in a puppy mill, she’s more than just fine.
As readers of the book will recall, Gracie’s sole purpose in life was to bear puppies — until she was rescued, along with some 330 other dogs from the Mike-Mar Kennel in Lower Oxford, Penn., four and a half years ago. After five months at a shelter she was adopted by Linda Jackson, and Linda and Gracie have been a pack of two ever since.
Gracie has had a few scares in the last nine months, however.
Last October, the black and white dog had two of her five teeth pulled and a couple of lumps removed from her breasts. One of the tumors was benign and the other was malignant. The vet was fairly confident she removed all the cancer.
Two months later, another lump was discovered, and in February, a fourth lump was found, this time near Gracie’s throat. This time the vet decided not to operate.
July brought another close call. Erika, Linda’s 16-year-old daughter, found Gracie hanging off her dog bed, face down and choking on an enormous ball of fur that had lodged in her throat. Erika jumped into action: she reached inside Gracie’s mouth and pulled out the mass of fur. Linda was beyond relieved. “Had no one been home or had all the kids been sleeping, I would have found her dead,” she wrote.
I caught up with Linda this afternoon to see how Gracie was doing. The lump near her throat has grown a little and she’s starting to slow down. Her bad eye is swollen and red and still requires drops. But among the three Cavaliers who now reside at the Jackson home, Gracie still rules. Linda has learned to appreciates evey day she has with her beloved pet.
If you’re anywhere near Lebanon, Penn., from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 14, drop by the Lebanon Valley Mall. Linda and Gracie will be signing copies of books as part of a book fair featuring several dozen authors. If I didn’t live 2,000 miles away, I’d join them.