This face.  This face.  Those big soft eyes and sweet expression have saved Gracie’s rear end from more close encounters with riotous fury than she has any right to expect.

Gracie’s exploits are renowned in our circles, and while it gives me great joy to know that reading about her insanity has caused more than one laughter induced tinkle incident I have to point out that I live with this dog.  This dog, who cannot go more than four consecutive days without wreaking some sort of havoc.  Who follows a survival instinct that dictates she must steal food when the opportunity arises despite the fact that we’ve fed her without fail for four years running.  Who gazes adoringly with her huge brown eyes because she knows we all crack under her spell.

In case you hadn’t figured, it’s time once again for a Gracie tally update.  (You can check out her last mayhem post here.)

  • two pieces of indescribably delicious Polish bread
    • If any of you know the backstory on the indescribably delicious Polish bread, you realize exactly how close Gracie came to buying the farm that morning.  When sista-friend and her hubby visit his family they bring back the most incredible bread from this Polish bakery.  Melt in your mouth incredible.  They’ve got this whole list of bread people giddy with delight when presented with an enormous round loaf of sweet bread that will forever change your perspective on french toast.  Which is what BrightSide was making one Saturday morning when Gracie managed to sneak in the kitchen, lurch to the counter, and devour two pieces reserved for Bear.  Bad. Dog.
  • a Spaghetti-Os can
    • licked perfectly clean on the inside, opening nibbled and bits of label chewed off
  • Phoebe’s dinner
    • When Phoebe decides to skip a meal, Gracie tries to shove her way into the bowl before we can get it off the floor.  Occasionally she succeeds.
  • an entire box of sunflower seeds  (That’s what I get for buying in bulk.)
  • a snoutful of my cereal
    • Okay, to be fair, the Life was sitting unattended on the counter after Gracie had lulled me into a false sense of security with three good days in a row.  Well, that streak came to an end when her big old nose was buried in my bowl as she inhaled my food.  Were I one of the kids this would have ended in frustrated screams but I have serious coping skills.  Put the dog outside, scoop out the snuffled section, and add more cereal ‘cuz mom life.
  • a box of grape Propel mix packets
  • Cheerios dropped as T-man was eating, two or three at a time
  • yet another Q-tip
  • Bear’s “I’m sick and miserable and don’t want to fight Gracie for the tissues” handkerchief
    • This was a great (and eco-friendly) plan right up until the moment Bear went to her room, leaving the handkerchief behind on the couch for Gracie to mouth into a drooly mess.
  • a snoutful of T-man’s Raisin Bran
    • Once again, Gracie slipped behind an unsuspecting T-man to bury herself in a bowl being poured on the counter.  T-man whirled around at the crunching sound, hollered loudly, threw Gracie out of the house, and dumped his cereal in the sink.

They say dogs learn early how to do that face.  You know the one – head cocked, wide eyes peeping upward, ears tucked slightly – the one that has you reaching for treats before you know what hit you.  Gracie’s long term survival amidst all this destruction has rested greatly on her ability to combine that face with an ability to convey unconditional love.  We can be surrounded by the remnants of the last piece of cake and still…still…we end up loving this dog at the end of the day.