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Gracie came to me in a strange way, with a bit of luck, or maybe even divine intervention. Two years ago, while I was still living in California, I was on the Internet and was drawn to the Petfinder website. I was not looking to adopt a dog, in fact, I had several already. (Yes, I am a dog lover in a big way.) I started searching, and when I came to Gracie's photo I stopped and immediately called her foster mom—who was in Texas! The fact that I was in California and Gracie was in Texas did not seem to deter me at all! It just seemed she was supposed to be mine.

Gracie was a 10-month-old pup who just had a litter of puppies herself. She was found under a shed with the puppies and brought to an animal rescue group. She was lucky to be rescued by such a great group (a no-kill group), but all the inquiries that had been coming in were for her puppies. No one wanted the "mom"—who was just a puppy herself! Except me. I talked on the phone with Gracie's (who at the time was being called "Latte" due to her tri-coloring) foster mom for a couple of hours, and by the end of the call we were arranging for Gracie's trip to California.

As soon as I met the shy little border collie mix with the beautiful coloring, I fell in love with her. She had such dignity and "grace" for having gone through what she did and had this wonderful way of laying down in front of me and crossing her front paws. Alas, "Gracie" got a new name.

I have had over a dozen dogs during my lifetime, but Gracie is special. She is the smartest dog I have ever owned, and she doesn't leave my side. Gracie has run along side me on the beach and in the mountains in California while I rode my horse, and she is now by my side while I ride in the fields and forest preserves in the Chicago area. Miraculously, Gracie seemed to have come to me knowing every command there is! I spent very little time teaching her, yet she is the most obedient dog I have ever owned and just instinctively knows what I want of her just by looking into my eyes.

I love Gracie—she's beautiful!

— Carol, senior attorney


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