Gretchen by Lauren and Jesse / Jesse and Lauren

I was closing up at the local humane society when a man arrived with two pups. I placed the pups in our evaluation room while I took down the man’s information.

One pup was ready for adoption. The other was what is commonly referred to as a “fear biter”; a death sentence in the world of a lot of humane societies. She crouched at the back of the cage, refusing to be touched or to wag her tail. I thought it would be possible for my husband and I to socialize her and adopt her out to someone, so I brought her home. Of course, she stayed with us permanently. She needed a lot of TLC and socialization, but she began to blossom into her true “Gretchen-ness”.

At seven months of age, we discovered she had severe hip dysplasia as well as sub-luxating knee caps. So began years of surgery to correct these problems. Through it all, Gretchen displayed a strength I have seen in few other animals or humans. She never let her injuries hold her back. She swam in ponds, rivers and the Gulf. She ran non-stop. She always wanted to be where the action was.

When our son was born, Gretchen become Mama Dog. If our son cried, she barked and raced around the room, anxiously trying to make our son feel better. She sat with him in whatever room he occupied.

Gretchen’s other interesting habit was “drive-by licking”. If you got your face too close to the ground, she took advantage of your position and licked you silly.

As Gretchen aged, she helped us bring up our puppy Jack. She became the busybody of our house. She followed us around
supervising our activities.

Unfortunately, she was diagnosed with cancer about six months ago. This was a foe she could not beat. The last straw was a tumor that had eaten through part of her nasal cavity, preventing proper drainage. She also had many external and internal tumors. I looked her in the eyes one day and I knew that after 11 years, it was time.

My husband and I took her to our wonderful vet,
and relieved her suffering.

My heart is broken and my mind races with images of her. I miss her so very much and would do anything to pet her again.

Thank you, Gretchen, you touched our lives in ways we will never forget.


All our Love and Thanks,
Lauren and Jesse