Gracie was the result of a teenage pregnancy. Her mother Duchess and father Duke were owned by the same family. Duchess was not yet a year old and her owners were planning to spay her before she reached maturity, but Duchess had other ideas. She played the rebellious teen going off to experiment with Duke when nobody was paying attention and it wasn't till the vet told them that she couldn't be spayed in such a condition did they even know she was pregnant! And so Gracie and her two brothers came into the world.
Meanwhile Karen and Harry had just lost their shitzu, Martina, to extreme old age. They were consumed with grief. They brought her body back from the vet and lovingly buried it in the yard, then went for a drive to clear their heads. They ended up in Westfield at the pet store they used to purchase Martina's food and toys. There was a sign on the door for shitzu puppies. The store wasn't actually open, the proprietor was simply there accepting a special delivery, but when he saw the clearly distraught couple, he invited them in and when he noticed their interest in the ad, made a point of calling the family, who lived nearby.
Next thing Karen and Harry knew they were at someone's house petting the most adorable little mop puppies. They said they were just looking, but Karen got it into her head that she was interested in the female. Tiny Gracie stole her heart the instant their eyes met. Yet it was only a matter of hours since they'd put their last dog in the ground and it felt odd to replace her so soon. Duke and Duchesses owners urged them to seriously consider taking Gracie that day.
Karen and Harry drove back to their house and on the way made a decision. By night fall little Gracie had become a part of the family. The first night was hard, Karen and Harry mourning Martina, Gracie dealing with the shock of leaving her litter mates and parents for the first time, but together they all bounced back and there's nothing like puppyish enthusiasm to make everyone feel better.
No pet is ever replaceable, but we all need someone to love.
Transcriber: Marjorie Skiba
About the Orator: Karen lives in Connecticut with her husband and lap dog. She spends her free time performing mitzvahs: doing numerous charity projects with her church and helping support a village in Tanzania through World Vision.