Amazing Grace



Sweet Grace had a long, adventurous story before I adopted her.  I began working at Earlysville Animal Hospital in April 2001.  By that time, Grace has been living there for almost a year and a half.  She had been brought into the clinic after being trapped by one of their clients.  It appeared that she had been shot in a rear leg for chasing chickens and had been living with an infected, necrotic leg for six weeks before she finally went into the trap.  The wonderful vets at the animal hospital took her in, and did an amputation on the leg and the next morning she escaped from a kennel worker who took her out to potty.  Grace was gone again for another week with a fresh incision and catheter still in her leg.  Amazingly, on the last day they set the trap (as everyone had given up hope that she was alive), Grace went in it!  After her recovery from the amputation, Grace endured the horrible treatment for heartworm disease.

Grace was completely feral.  Everything about the human world terrified her.  She would just potty in her kennel run, as going outside on a leash made her catatonic.  Thankfully, Dr. Emily KInnaird took Grace under her care and put her on some anti anxiety drugs which helped Grace make progress in connecting with the staff a bit.  But as soon as I started working there, I couldn't leave her in a kennel run one more night.  She came home and became one of the pack.

It took a long time for Grace to learn to be comfortable in a house.  But I let her be who she needed to be and didn't put any pressure on her.  We propped open doors as thresholds were a problem and kept ceiling fans off as they were clearly dangerous.  But she also took cues from our other stable dogs, and eventually she became pretty close to normal.  She didn't mind riding in the car, but Grace was not the kind of dog who liked to go places. She was happy at home, sniffing in the yard and hoping a bunny would come for a visit.  It was one of the biggest honors of my life to teach that sweet little three legged dog all about love and how the world could be a happy place.  She was such a kind, gentle and loving soul.  We lost her in 2011 to acute renal failure, but her spirit lives on in our little Stash.