We'll just lay it all out here right off the bat: Gracie suffers from canine megaesophagus, is not good with cats and other dogs, and is reactive to new people, especially children. BUT Gracie is the most loving and affectionate dog you'll ever meet. She'll happily play with you and walk by your side for an outing; she'll cuddle with you all night long; she'll try very hard to keep her eyes open during a late night movie session, though sometimes those warm, cuddly evenings on the sofa lead to adorable snores from this fur baby.
Because of her ME and her behavior toward others, we're looking for a special adopter for Gracie. She has lived for several months in a foster home, where she has been kept separate from four other dogs and two cats. There's a lot of crating and rotating going on. With some work (desensitizing and conditioning), Gracie is now no longer reactive toward one of the dogs when that dog is crated and calm, and she has done well with the small, senior, nonreactive dog in the home when Gracie is on leash and that dog is calmly sitting around. She's been attentive to and curious about other foster puppies, so her behavior with itty bitty baby dogs is the most encouraging attitude we've seen from her so far. (In fact, when foster puppies arrived over the winter, she would check on them in their crate in the middle of the night and follow them around the house, trying very hard not to step on them as they walked beneath her.) With a nonreactive cat, she's hyper-curious and very fixated when on leash but will not try to harm at first. With a cat who will react and run, she will pursue and try to catch. Because of those issues, we recommend a home free of other animals, unless there's a professional (trainer, veterinarian, etc) or highly, highly experienced adopter out there who can keep everyone separate, safe, and secure. Safety is the top priority in her foster home.
To say that her foster family adores her is a dramatic understatement. At first, they took her in just to help her recover from aspiration pneumonia. And at first, she pushed some boundaries. She growled and lunged at their children, so they responded by having the kids take charge during mealtime. Gracie learned to associate those kids with something positive (she LOVES food), and now the children and Gracie are three peas in a pod. They all get along very, very well, and Gracie can be walked by them and can be trusted alone with them. There have been a few dog/kid slumber parties, to the delight of all three. It took only a few days to get her to that point, so if a family has children who are dog-savvy and willing to patiently earn Gracie's trust, then they should be fine. With kids who will try to grab her toys or who will act fearful, Gracie would not do well.
So, who's our ideal adopter? We're looking for someone who will see the caring, kind, cuddly soul inside this special body the way we have. We're looking for someone willing to stay up late and nurse this baby back to health when ME causes problems. We're looking for a person who can financially afford occasional trips to the vet and who can follow a strict mealtime schedule in order to manage her condition. We're looking for someone who will play and romp and scout around for the best, most indestructible toys in the market -- just to see Gracie's face light up when she gets a present. We're looking for someone who can feed her three times a day, play tug of war, and go for a walk to explore the outdoors. Most of all, we're looking for someone who will see that this 1 year old's life has just begun and that she, like every other dog here, deserves a forever family. She's waited for months for someone to come adopt her, and it's breaking our hearts.
If you have questions about Gracie or would like to meet her, please call us at 208-794-0944.
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