Gracie Update

She’s trembling, the poor li’l crit, under the broad leaves of a giant agapanthus.

Self stayed up with her last night, then fell asleep around dawn.  At some point during the night, Gracie was barking, barking, barking.  This is just the li’l crit’s way:  when she is frightened or nervous, she barks.  Last night, she kept it up for hours.  Hubby eventually got up.  Self heard him moving around the kitchen.  She must have fallen asleep.

When she came to, it was already past 10 a.m, and hubby was mopping up dog pee from the kitchen floor.  He declared that Gracie was completely blind.

We told the vet we’d start insulin treatment.  We went to the clinic so a nurse could show us how it should be done:  “Tent the skin,” the nurse told self.  “Here, you practice on one of our boarders.”  Another nurse came in, leading a gigantic and supremely gentle collie on a leash.  Self put her right hand on the ridge of the collie’s back, grabbed a pinch of skin, lifted, and jabbed in a slender needle with what she hoped was convincing assertiveness (Syringe was filled with saline solution only).  It didn’t go in all the way.

“It’s all right,” the nurse said.  “I know it’s different when it’s not your dog.”

Since Gracie became so weak, the other li’l crit, Bella, has been staying clear of her.  Funny how these things go, this animal instinct for self-preservation.  Whatever it is Gracie has, Bella must be thinking or feeling, she surely doesn’t want any of it.

Self bought cans of special prescription dog food, mixed some with warm water, and Gracie lapped it up.

Let’s see, what else today?  In spite of all the drama over Gracie, self managed to finish Jose Saramago’s The Cave, which she started reading on the plane to Manila (Last time self was in Manila, she managed to read four books.  This time, she couldn’t even get through one) She brought it back to the library, hoping to borrow another book.  She had just put money into the parking meter when a man said, “Library’s closed today.”  Self expressed surprise, dismay, disappointment.  She kept on walking until she reached the library’s front entrance and saw the posted holiday schedule.  The library re-opens on Sunday, the day after Christmas.

Self wishes the holidays were over already, real fast.

Just now, she made hubby help her bring Gracie back inside.  Hubby complained that her fur is matted with urine, which is true.  But, at this point, self doesn’t care that the li’l crit stinks to high heaven, only that she is still alive.

Son offered to take Gracie back with him to Claremont.  Self actually thought this was a pretty good idea, as Gracie loves son.  But how would he handle the blindness, the twice-daily insulin injections, his classes, as well as an assistantship?  Self wondered if perhaps Gracie might be happy with son’s girlfriend, whose parents have a farm in Nipomo.  Amanda has two other dogs, and she knows animals.  So many things to ponder, and self’s been back barely two days.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.


  1. ArtSeblis said,

    December 24, 2010 at 4:06 am

    I can hope that Gracie gets well. Even with the blindness, Gracie can feel people who love her near, and I think this can make things easier for her.

    I will stay tuned. It feels as if I know Gracie already.

  2. December 24, 2010 at 4:24 am

    Dear Michelle,

    I so appreciate your messages of support. You don’t know how much reading the link you sent me has helped shore up my resolve.

    At one point, I even asked the vet if we could give Gracie up for adoption: I’ve heard that kind families who are financially better off do adopt animals who, either because of behavioral or medical problems, are difficult to find homes for. The vet told me that I should never think of giving up Gracie: either put her down, or fight for her. “Gracie,” the vet said, “deserves to spend her last months or years surrounded by the people she loves.”

    • ArtSeblis said,

      December 24, 2010 at 5:00 am

      Hi, Marianne. I’m glad the link helped you. And the vet was right. For me, my own Happy is not just a dog anymore. He’s kinda like my baby, a member of my family. Maybe my love made him into something more than an animal in my mind–it doesn’t matter. Loving our pets helps us become better persons. Take care, I’m praying for the recovery of Gracie and strength and courage for you.

  3. Jean Vengua said,

    December 24, 2010 at 9:38 pm

    So sorry to hear about your Gracie (which makes me think of my own Gracie). It sounds really tough. I hope she will be feeling better soon. Your vet is right — it’s much better for your Gracie to be around her familiar family and familiar smells and surroundings, especially if she’s gone blind — don’t ever give her to someone else.

    take care…


  4. December 25, 2010 at 12:20 am

    Thank you so much for the message, Jean. Gracie is still very weak but she’s hanging in there. She’s been on insulin for the past day and a half, still not seeing any improvement but I know this much: she is a fighter.

  5. Penny said,

    December 25, 2010 at 5:22 am

    So sorry. Hope you can still have a good Christmas

    All my best,

  6. December 25, 2010 at 8:19 am


    Gracie is much better. The vet says she might still recover some of her sight. She is more relaxed, doesn’t bark the whole night long.

    We are going to have a good Christmas, Penny. I hope you and Natalie and Thomas have a great Christmas. I hope we can see each other soon.

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