Friday, November 13, 2015

Remembering Gracie...

Beautiful Gracie
Opening your home to a sick, senior dog in need is not an easy decision for some people. For my lovely friend Shannon, it has become routine and over the past few years, she has fostered several senior and hospice care dogs who came to the Williamson County Regional Animal Shelter from truly heartbreaking situations. Shannon has a huge heart and can look past the matted mess of fur to see that this little animal truly needs her. 

I first met Shannon, Gracie and her other sweet pups Tiggs nearly 7 years ago while I was running my first business offering Pet Sitting Services. Shannon lived in my neighborhood and from the moment I met her little pups, I was immediately head over heels for precious pups, Gracie and Tiggs. Whenever Shannon was away for work, I had the pleasure of snuggling up on the couch with these two little fluff-balls. Tiggs, bouncy as ever was happy to play fetch, get scratches and over-all become my best friend immediately. Gracie, on the other hand, refused to accept my love. It took hand-feeding this little princess to win her over, but once I did, I felt truly accomplished. 

Sadly, this week, sweet Gracie passed away. Shannon shared, "Rest in Peace my sweet Gracie Girl. You were my first furball, my sweet old gal, and my best friend. I love you sweetie." 

With most dog rescuers, there is always 'the dog that starts it all', the one that just changes your life and opens your heart to help these sweet little creatures. I think for Shannon, Gracie was that dog. Shannon might argue with me here, while we were talking this week, she made sure I knew Gracie came into her life from a breeder, but I really believe that Gracie showed Shannon the bond between dog and human. That bond led Shannon to open her home to Gertie, a senior girl who came into our shelter half-blind, full of mammary tumors and with most of her teeth missing. Shannon (along with Gracie and Tiggs) nursed Gertie back to health and while she lived the rest of her life wearing diapers and with medical issues, Shannon was happy to give her some wonderful months where she knew what it meant to be loved and part of a family. I now think of Shannon anytime a little fluffy white dog needs a helping hand. 
Tiggs, Lola, Gertie, Herra, Precious and Gracie

Things changed when Lola entered the picture. Lola came into our shelter with very little hair, but a charming personality. Shannon scooped her up and it wasn't long until the official adoption paperwork was completed. Even with a new permanent addition, Shannon was still open to fostering and it wasn't long before she had another temporary set of paws.  My personal favorite pair of fosters were the odd couple, Herra and Precious, a pit bull and Chihuahua combo who were surrendered to the shelter together. Shannon offered them a place to stay after they were pulled into the Georgetown Animal Outreach Program. Both Herra and Precious have been adopted into loving homes.  

Order your Gracie tote here!
There are so many other dogs that Shannon has helped along the way, I just can't even begin to share how appreciated and loved she is within our rescue community. My heart hurts for her as she mourns the loss of her fist pup. Gracie was a beautiful soul who was so lucky that Shannon chose her to love.

Of course, I wanted to do something special for Shannon in Gracie's memory, so Shannon and I decided that the newest face in my tote bag line would be sweet Gracie. 30% of every Gracie tote sale will be donated to Jane's Fund at the Williamson County Regional Animal Shelter through Christmas to help care for animals like Gertie, Lola, Herra and Precious.

Stephanie Conrad
Pet Studio Art | Owner | Artist

Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Instagram

Bishop, Shannon officially adopted Bishop shortly after bringing him in! 
Lune Lovegood - Shannon opened her home to hospice foster Luna, who was
abandoned in a Walmart parking lot, in a box in Central Texas. Luna's time
may have been short, but because of Shannon, she knew what love meant.
Tiggs and Gertie