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All Dogs Go To Heaven

They say, “All Dogs Go to Heaven” but I’m starting to have my doubts. The reason for this is my 10-month-old puppy that we ironically named Gracie. As empty nesters, we thought it would be a good idea to add a furry family member! We might have been wrong!

Grace is a Border Collie-Aussie Shepherd mix with bits of Tasmanian Devil, Shark, and Billy Goat thrown in. The day we brought Gracie home, she was shy, scared, and docile… it was the most peaceful 24 hours we’ve spent with her. Since that time she has turned into a whirlwind terror.

In the span of a few months, she has broken into a bottle of expensive perfume (Gracie and I smelled like Chanel # 5 for a week), she’s eaten through 15 pairs of underwear, numerous pairs of socks, two of my wife’s nightgowns, and part of my favorite T-shirt. She tore the wires off of our motorized electric lounge chair, dashed through our patio screen door (we had to put a new screen in), and tore the lenses out of our eyeglasses…(my wife insisted we needed updated pairs anyway). She had the audacity to bite into my new Jimmy Buffett CD! (perhaps Gracie thinks she’s a Land Shark…sigh!) Jewelry isn’t safe. TV remotes have to be replaced and are now carefully hidden. She gnaws on throw rugs and carries them around for fun… you get the picture. Her latest tricks are unraveling our toilet paper rolls (we often see a roll halfway down our hallway and dumping her water bowl over).

At least once an evening, our Gracie aka Little Sh*t becomes a four-legged pinball and runs laps at full speed ricocheting off of our chairs, the working recliners, our hallway bench, and more. When she does this, we duck and hold throw pillows up to shield our bodies! She flies at us with no regard for anyone’s safety. If she had a cape, she could give Underdog a run for his money.

Since we replaced our screen door, Gracie has figured out how to slide it open and closed. (Yes, she lets herself out and in.)

We put a new fence in so that Gracie could run off some of her energy and Gracie promptly got her head stuck while trying to squeeze through it. Every lunch and dinner Gracie barks, begs, and howls like she has never been fed. In fact, Gracie barks a lot. She barks at things both visible and mostly invisible. She seems to do this for no reason.

Gracie’s favorite way to wake us up is to lick the back of our necks or bite a small chunk of our hair off (I’m getting older and really need my hair!).

I know what you’re thinking…This is not a worthy tribute to a dog. You are right…so far it isn’t. But I haven’t mentioned the most important thing…Gracie has one trait that overrides all of those destructive ones.

She loves people…all people. She loves anyone who visits, our daughter, our parents, our friends. Gracie loves the neighbors, strangers, and believe it or not, she even loves the Mailman!

Contractors fawn all over Gracie because she loves them so much. They all want to take her home with them…at times we’ve considered it.

Gracie hasn’t met a person that she doesn’t like…she doesn’t judge anyone. Big or Tall, Little or small, our Gracie just loves them all! It’s a trait we should all have! Luckily, Gracie shows the most love to my wife and I. She follows us everywhere, looks at us with adoring and somewhat mischievous eyes, and greets us as if we have been gone a month when we take the trash out.

Gracie may not be well-behaved, but she sure knows how to love. Her tail wags constantly when we greet her. She lays next to us, Watches TV with us, sits on our patio chair and the top of the patio table with us and because she’s a Border Aussie, she likes to Herd us! (Ankle pads may be in our future.)

Some days it feels like we’ve had Gracie for 8 years instead of ten months, but then Gracie shows us how much love she has in her heart, and I think to myself, how dull would life have been if she never came along.

When the time comes, I’m still not sure if Gracie will get into heaven (Heck, I’m not so sure I’ll make it) but I am confident that wherever Gracie ends up, she’ll have plenty of love for whoever is there with her!


  1. Your essay reminded me that our most challenging puppy turned out to be our most beloved dog. So worth the chewed socks and stolen steaks, LOL!

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