During the holidays one year, an unfortunate accident happened. Chicagoan Kelly Shade had guests over, and one left her front door open.
Shade’s dog, Gracie, darted out and quickly got Iơst. Gracie wouldn’t see her mom again for 11 months. For nearly a year, Shade was devastated at not knowing the fate of her beloved dog. But she never stopped looking.
“We posted signs everywhere; we posted on Lost Dog Illinois, contacted all the shelters in the neighborhood and I just cried for months,” Shade told ABC 7 Chicago.
It turns out Gracie didn’t go very far, but she also didn’t know how to find her way home after her bold dash out the door. Luckily, some good samaritans made sure the dog had the basic necessities.
Gracie didn’t go any further than the Jackson Park Highlands neighborhood. There were multiple sightings of her over the summer, but the Iơst, scared dog didn’t let anyone get close enough to rеscuе her. She also avoided other dogs.
Neighbors seemed to know that Gracie had been a pet, but didn’t realize her home was less than 2 miles away. Once she was spotted by dog-lover Polly Ellison, Gracie had a secure source of food. Ellison would feed the dog when she came by, hoping to gain her trust.
“She was in obvious fear of potential harm [and] I just couldn’t turn my back on her,” she told the news. Eventually, Ellison called on local dog rеscuеr Katie Campbell to help rеscuе the beautiful black pitbull with the cute white feet. They worked together to create a routine so they knew when to expect Gracie. Then, they managed to lure her into a crate so they could get her a check-up and see if she had a microchip. Luckily, she did! (And this is why it’s so important to microchip your pets and make sure the information is up-to-date!)
“People need to realize the ability of a dog to sưrvivе and just never give up on them,” Campbell said. “That’s really the biggest thing you can teach people is never give up.”
After that, all they had to do was call Shade. “She had an owner and a loving home to go home to and a sibling dog. It’s been overwhelming,” Ellison added. As you might imagine, there were many tears when Shade got the call that her beloved dog had been located safely. Miraculously, she seemed healthy and uninjured despite 11 months on the street.
When 6-year-old Gracie stepped out of the vehicle and back onto her own street, she was a little disoriented. In fact, she didn’t seem to recognize Shade at first and nearly walked right past her.
But it must have been a familiar scent that made something click. The dog stopped dеad in her tracks and turned around to jump all over her mom. Jumping, licking, and wagging her tail, Gracie realized she was finally back home in time for the holidays she missed last year. “Definitely a holiday miracle,” Shade said. “It’s definitely remarkable.”
The pup had sưrvivеd all four seasons on the Chicago streets. But now, she was back where she belonged in her warm doggie bed with a mom who loved her more than anything.