Some of you may be wondering where Gracie’s been.  Usually I can’t go more than three weeks without documenting that dog’s nuttiness around our house, but it’s been strangely calm around here.  This may have something to do with the fact that I learned we weren’t feeding her enough at mealtimes, but bygones.

It’s not that she doesn’t get into trouble.  Gracie’s still stealing socks and pens and food when she can get her paws on it (people food – nom nom nom), but she’s just not as frantic day to day.  Maybe it’s a fuller tummy, maybe it’s our conscious effort to love on her more, maybe it’s simply getting older.  Whatever it is, life has gotten a little more peaceful.

Gracie’s been such a huge part of Riddle from the Middle, though…it seems almost wrong not to continue blogging her life.

**  It turns out that Gracie loves raw pasta.  Adores it.  Phoebe, too.  She hovers nearby when we’re breaking angel hair for the water, hoping we’ll pass her a piece (or five).

**  She greets every morning with a wild romp with Phoebe.  The wilder, the better.  It usually starts before I can get them out the back door.

**  There’s a second WWE session after breakfast every single day.  Forget to let them out at your own peril – you just might find two giant dogs barreling through the house at breakneck speed, banging into walls and taking kids out as they go.

**  Toilet water.  Ewwww.

**  There are few things quite as funny as a golden who’s gotten her tongue stuck mid-lick.  She’ll be lapping away, tasting the deliciousness of BrightSide’s hand, when the drag becomes too much.  Suddenly Gracie finds her tongue hanging out of her mouth, pressed against delicious skin, while she gazes adoringly at BrightSide.

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**  She gets irrationally excited about ice.  On the plus side, it’s a cheap (and low calorie) treat.  On the other hand, tiny chips leave little puddles on the kitchen floor, a particularly cold discovery to make when I’m in socks.

**  Gracie still gets into the recycling.  Even the blandest box occasionally grabs her attention, but what she really loves is cleaning out the inside of a Chef Boyardee can.  (Don’t judge.)

**  Recently somebody (ahem! definitely not me) put a folded up exercise mat behind a chair in the family room.  So far Gracie has gotten the most use out of it, climbing behind the chair and pawing it into a comfortable pillow for her nap.

**  Gracie recently went into the office, pulled a candy bar from a stash (don’t ask), and delicately carried it back to the bedroom.  In the old days this kind of find would have sent her scurrying under the kitchen table to devour her treat as quickly as possible, so stealing = bad but bringing me the loot?  We’ll call that progress.

**  Big dogs need cuddles, too.  Even giant, super fluffy, almost 80 pounds dogs.  The kids crack up when they see Gracie crawl into BrightSide’s chair and curl up in his lap.