Wednesday, October 28, 2015

It has been one of the greatest honors of my life to have been a part of Rainie's life and her healing. Her head in my hand brings a peace I have seldom felt. Each breath she has taken has been a gift. Watching her surviving and thriving from what could have taken her life to where she is today has been a true gift to me.
It is with deep joy and sadness that tonight she will meet her new family and tomorrow leave for Dallas. This has been an agonizing decision and one definitely not taken lightly. But it is a decision that is in HER best interest. She will be in an amazing home and become a therapy dog for the husband and wife (retired) who recently lost their golden retriever therapy dog, Faith. She will potentially work with homeless children in a READ program and the parishioners in her church are all waiting to snuggle her. Their home is empty and since Faith passed, Rainie (soon to be called by her original name ~ Gracie) will provide a love and strength to mend their broken hearts.
A friend in Dallas had told me about this couple months ago and their need for the love and devotion of a special dog with special needs. After much thought, communication, and many tears, as well as guarantees and promises of many photos and updates, the Rainie Service Dog Trust and the Trustee (me) will turn over little one tomorrow to her caretakers. According to the Trust I remain owner for the remainder of her life! If at any time they are unable to keep her or other circumstances might occur, she would and will be returned to me.
So Bon Voyage precious girl. You will forever and always have a huge place in my heart! I love you. God bless you, as you have blessed me. I am a better person for having had you in my life!
And to all of you who have emotionally and financially supported her, please accept my deepest gratitude and appreciation. For she is thriving and has been and will continue to be under the best possible medical care! And yes, I have spoken to her veterinarian and multiple other amazing references.
Words to my Rainie/Gracie, from APPRECIATE LIFE'S SIMPLE PLEASURES ! "It's about the legs you DO have. Be content with what you have, rejoice in the way things are. When you realize there is nothing lacking, the whole world belongs to you." ~ Lao-tzu
You have taught me everything!

Monday, October 12, 2015


Some wounds just don't heal.  That is until Gracie walked into a hospital room! It was then that I learned that you don't need sight to see who loves you or who needs love. To see Gracie is to fall hopelessly in love.  She has a healing power that more often than not is inexplicable. Her love and the love from others for her is absolute.  This affirms my belief that everything that we do and everyone that we meet is put in our path for a purpose.  It is up to us to discover what that purpose might be. Sometimes we will never know. It is then we discover that it is sufficient that it occurred. 

With Gracie little by little, visit after visit, patients have learned to walk, speak, and face the battles that lay ahead of them. Many have been flattened by life and in her presence they begin to inflate again. In the beginning many patients wanted to remain in that isolated place where no one could hurt them, but they soon realized that if they did so, no one could love them either.

A Gracie fan wrote me that meeting Gracie is on her bucket list.  How dear is that? It reminded me that you cannot live someone else's dream. You have to find your own.

I believe the most genuine and loving gift I have received from Gracie is  that worrying about something is almost always worse than the outcome.  These years, minutes, and moments I have shared with Gracie are treasures cherished beyond words.  For they are real and filled with love.  No pretenses, nothing false, only a feeling that there is nowhere and no one I would rather be with at that moment. Her patients and warriors have felt the same way. 

As I write, I sit with her and stroke her soft fur.  I inhale her fragrance, her bravery, and her love.  I want to always remember these moments for what they truly are ~ moments of clarity about what really matters  and what doesn't.

The little things really are the big things.  I have carried around pain and anger and disappointments forever it seems.  One moment doesn't change everything. But for me, with Gracie as my teacher, I see that there really is no other choice but to be brave.  Because of Gracie, I have learned everything necessary. She has seen me through some of the darkest days of my soul. 

As another Gracie fan wrote, "Oh Patsy!  What a true miracle she is. You and she are an unbeatable  balance and formula.  God knew what he was doing in joining the two of you."  

Gracie allows necessary tears to flow, not only mine, but literally hundreds of others, with all that she gives. How blessed are those who have had the opportunity to hold her close and learn these lessons. Blind love can most assuredly heal. Gracie has relieved my fears time and time again simply being by my side.  She has been a testament to perseverance and prayer.  Many at the end of their rope, found Gracie to be the knot to hang on to. And then there have been those that can't yet feel life.  But remembering Gracie perhaps one day will.

She has taught that we should all take a leaf out of her book, her story, and take each day, each moment, as it comes.  We are all far too busy rushing around consumed with busyness and technological devices, that we miss the beauty and messages right in front of us.  Gracie has taught many to take one day, one second at a time and to pay attention to the messages in their lives.

Gracie is my daily smile, reminding me that love needs no eyes to shine, teaching that you really don't need sight to see who loves you or who needs love.

This little 28 pound angel has brought me out of depression time and time again and has given my life great meaning.  Another far reaching accolade. "Sweet Gracie, I wish I could get my hands on that sweet face and give you a big kiss.  You are such a trooper. Even from far away you are giving two veterans, my husband and myself, such happiness."

My heart has found its home. I know without hesitation that everything that we do and everyone that we meet are put here for a purpose. There are no accidents. We're all teachers, if we are willing  to pay attention to the lessons we learn, trust our positive instincts, and not be afraid to take a risk or to wait for some miracle to come knocking at our door.

Each of us on this earth has the opportunity to find and to give his or her unique gift.  Whether this gift is quiet or small or large and furry in the eyes of the world it simply does not matter.  It is in the finding and giving that brings a light into times of darkness that make it such a special offering.  I have offered Gracie to hundreds struggling to hold on one more moment.

We are all survivors of one sort or another.  And perhaps the reason we're on this earth is to help ease the pain of others.  And in so doing we are ultimately helping ourselves.  Holding Gracie's leash and watching her over and over again become the catalyst for a patient's or a warrior's healing has consistently made it clear that this is indeed why I am on this earth.

"All , everything that I understand, I understand only because I love." ~ Leo Tolstoy