I didn’t think it was possible for our girl Gracie to actually stop my heart anymore.  After all, I’ve lived with her antics for almost five years now.

I’ve seen her through food thievery, ingesting inedible objects, battles over socks, and even the mother of all Oh $#@! moments when I seriously wondered if my dad would strangle her.  What else could she possibly throw at me?

What else indeed.


I’ll have to give a bit of background so you can fully grasp the magnitude of Gracie’s fumble.

Bee and I made a solemn promise to my dad during mom’s final days.  She had a large amount of jewelry that she’d collected over the years, items she wanted to leave to “the girls” when she passed.

Sometime in the last year, though, mom asked dad why wait?  Why not give the jewelry away now while she could see the girls enjoy it?  Well, they had good intentions…mom and dad decided to begin giving jewelry as gifts on birthdays and special occasions, but then life happened (as it so often does).  Suddenly mom was gone and dad was left with her (still full) jewelry boxes, which is how Bee and I found ourselves promising to fulfill mom’s wish by wrapping up something special “from grandma” for birthdays and Christmas.

Fast forward a few months and we were faced with our first occasion – Bear’s tenth birthday.  I must admit I was a little intimidated once the moment arrived; the pressure to choose a gift from beyond the grave was daunting, so I ended up texting Bee a picture of three options.

We settled on earrings that were a circle of small pearls.  Sweet, simple, and something we’d like to think mom would have chosen for a milestone birthday like turning ten.

Fast forward (again) to the Sunday we’d be having our family dinner.  The awesome Cake Boss had promised a surprise cake for Bear, so she was on pins and needles waiting for the afternoon to arrive.  We’d gone to church that morning then headed back to the house for a quick last minute cleaning.

T-man and I entered the house through the garage.  From this vantage point I could see that the master bedroom door had opened (geez, why haven’t we fixed that thing already?!), releasing the hounds, so immediately I was wondering what sort of Gracie mess I’d have on my hands.  (If that sounds like a knee-jerk reaction then you clearly haven’t caught RFTM on my Gracie days. Check out some of her antics here and here.)  We turned into the kitchen so I could put our barbecue supplies on the counter; this was when I first had an inkling that something was amiss.

It’s a strangely disconcerting sensation, really.  Kind of a tickling at the edge of your mind – the knowledge that something’s not right, but you can’t quite put your finger on what that something is.

And then I had that catastrophic car accident experience, right there in my own home.  You know the one…that moment when time slows down and neurons frantically fire in an attempt to make sense of what’s in plain sight.

Bits of wrapping paper.  More bits of wrapping paper.  Part of a bow.

Oh no oh no oh no.  I must have said it out loud because I could hear T-man asking what was wrong.  My heart stopped as the pieces finally dropped into place.  It was the wrapping paper I’d used that very morning.  The paper I’d last seen wrapped around Bear’s very special gift from grandma.

There was a fraction of a second of sheer shock…of all the things on the kitchen counter, that dog had to stand on her hind legs and push stuff out of the way to reach the box in the very back. It didn’t even smell like food, for heaven’s sake, and dogs are supposed to be color blind so she couldn’t have been attracted to the paper!  What the hell even drew her attention to that one particular area in the kitchen?!

But that was all the “I wonder” time available because it was right about that moment when I spotted the bits of box and had my out of body experience.

This was when true panic set in.  Suddenly “Oh $#@!” became less of a state of mind and more an exclamation that shocked my son into silence as I sprinted toward the family room.

Did that dog eat my mom’s earrings?  DID THAT DOG EAT MY MOM’S EARRINGS?!? thundered through my head as I searched the wreckage.  And there, lying beside shredded wrapping paper and a gnawed box, were (thank you Jesus) my mom’s earrings.  With two teeth marks puncturing the square holder.

Mom must have intervened to save Gracie that day.  There’s no other explanation seeing as I was far beyond all rational thought as I threw her furry butt out the back door.

I can forgive that dog a lot of things, but if she’d eaten my mother’s jewelry?  That one might have been hard to recover from.