Frustratingly, an open door can be the enemy of a dog parent. Many dogs go missing after bolting outside unsupervised and losing their way. This nightmare came true for Chicago resident Kelly Shade last December. A visitor left a door open, and Gracie the Pit Bull escaped into the street.
For Shade, the next 11 months were torture. She missed her girl and worried about her out on the street. Now, as the best early Christmas gift ever, she finally has her dog back. The two had a long-awaited reunion in November, fortunately captured on film.
Shade described their emotional reunion to ABC:
“She got close and that tail started wagging, and she just lost it and I lost it.”
Gracie definitely recognized her mom and her whipping tail shows how much she missed her all these months. The pup is now off the streets and back in her cozy dog bed at home.
You can watch their reunion below:
An 11-Month Search For Gracie
From the day her pup went missing, Shade did everything she could to find her. She never gave up.
“We posted signs everywhere; we posted on Lost Dogs Illinois, contacted all the shelters in the neighborhood and I just cried for months.”
Fortunately though, all that work wasn’t for naught. Come summertime, residents of the Jackson Park Highlands neighborhood noticed Gracie living on the streets. The dog had wandered less than 2 miles away from home. When people tried to approach her, Gracie acted fearfully and refused to come home with anyone.
One neighbor, Polly Ellison, began feeding Gracie over the course of a few months. She hoped to slowly gain the dog’s trust so she could approach her. Ellison knew she had to do something for Gracie.
“She was in obvious fear of potential harm [and] I just couldn’t turn my back on her.”
Ellison then connected with Katie Campbell who has experience rescuing stray dogs. Eventually, the two were able to capture Gracie.
Stray But Not Homeless
Campbell checked the Lost Dogs Illinois Facebook page and saw that Gracie had been listed there. She also had a microchip. This “stray” dog had a home and a family, and one not too far away. Campbell shared a message of hope with her discovery:
“People need to realize the ability of a dog to survive and just never give up on them. That’s really the biggest thing you can teach people is never give up.”
Lost Dogs Illinois also pointed to Gracie’s story as an example that not all stray dogs are homeless. Seeing the beautiful reunion between Gracie and Shade, it really makes all the time, patience, and effort worth it. Thanks to good samaritans who did their due diligence and knew what to do, Gracie is home again and stray no longer. Shade accurately summarized the situation:
“Definitely a holiday miracle. It’s definitely remarkable.”
Microchip your dogs folks!