I am so sorry for your loss. Your story is so sad and yet the good times you remember with Gracie are wonderful. I am crying so hard for you right now it is really hard to write this, but I am determined to get through this, since I feel honored that you have shared your story and Gracie with me.
As Jake's mom said, we have all lost dogs over the years, it sounds like this is your first loss of a pet. Honey all I can tell you is that the overwhelming grief we feel when we lose one is there because of the overwhelming joy they brought to us.
Gracie looks like she was and still is a beautiful dog. I say "still is" because she is at Rainbow Bridge ( do you know about Rainbow Bridge?) and she is healthy, happy, young and having a wonderful time playing with all of our pets that were waiting to greet her. There was a time when I had doubts about the "Bridge" then I felt it myself and I will tell you something I have never told anyone that convinced me that the "Bridge" does exist. Last March my husband and I got a new puppy, he became very ill 3 weeks after we brought him home and we had to put him to sleep 3 weeks to the day that we got him. His name was Ajax and he was 4 months old. When I took him to the vet that morning, as I was holding him, just as he took his last breath, suddenly I felt my Dakota in the room ( I lost her at age 11, 3 years ago this December) Dakota snuggled up to Ajax and gave me a quick lick to let me know she was waiting for him and would take care and watch out for him. I am not much for spirituality, but I am telling you I felt that dog in the room and I stopped crying, because I knew Ajax was with Dakota and I knew as sure as I write this that she truly was at the "Bridge" and had come for the puppy.
There is a Rainbow Bridge and all of our past pets are waiting for us there.
You obviously love dogs and when the time is right another dog will enter your life and you will love him/her just as you love Gracie, for even though it hurts to lose them, it hurts more to not have one to love.
Thank you for sharing Gracie with me. I hope what I have written will help ease your pain in some small way.
In case you don't know about Rainbow Bridge I will post the story here for you
The Rainbow Bridge
Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge.
When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge. There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play together. There is plenty of food, water and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable.
All the animals who had been ill and old are restored to health and vigor. Those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by. The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing; they each miss someone very special to them, who had to be left behind.
They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. His bright eyes are intent. His eager body quivers. Suddenly he begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, his legs carrying him faster and faster.
You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again. The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart.
Then you cross Rainbow Bridge together....
We are all here for you, so feel free to talk about Gracie and your feelings all you want, this is a great site filled with dog lovers from all over the world and we have big shoulders for you to lean on.
"Whoever said you cannot buy happiness forgot about little puppies."
- Gene Hill