I am sure the laughter was echoing all around the mountains on that day, a couple of weeks ago, when my son and I met up with Stephenie for a photo shoot with her amazing dog Gracie. Not only is Gracie quite the remarkable trooper in oh-so many ways – but honestly: the real truth is, that this is quite a remarkable pair. A dog, who despite many things going against her, seems to take life in stride – with an owner who certainly echoes the same – and on top of that; has one of the most wonderfully infectious laughs you can imagine. So there was a lot of that.

I had the great pleasure of first meeting Gracie with her new adoptive family already a few years back and have seen Gracie in training on and off since then. Like many others, I too, believe that sometimes dogs come into our lives for a reason; as if “there is something there that was meant to be”…and…how it is, that this particular dog turned up at a shelter as an older, mature dog and found her way into Just This Family – no one can really know. But one thing I think is absolutely certain: it really was meant to be. Gracie was Finally Home.  Since that day, a lot of things have happened and Gracie has lost not only a back leg, but now also all or most of her eye sight. Yet one thing remains the same: her connection to people is deeply heart felt.

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I brought my 14-year old son along to the shoot as my assistant to help juggle camera gear and stuff and I think both of us were equally drawn in by that something special of this remarkable pair: an ageing blind dog getting by on three legs, taking life in strides… and her owner, frequently breaking the silence of Nature by erupting in the warmest laughter. What a pair. What a fun photo shoot. What a great pleasure to witness it all. Here’s to Gracie – who has touched so many hearts on this remarkable journey of hers!!

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