This Sunday (MOVING DAY) is Gracie’s birthday! September 15th, 2005 is when we adopted our precious pup, and September 15, 2007 is when Will and I got engaged. The date has some seriously posi-Cole energy around it, so hopefully that means this new apartment will be blessed with sweet vibes. I know our beloved mutt is, so that bodes well.

Some of my favorite things about Gracie are…
+ The way her small head and neck violently flings up the heaviest down comforter to get herself inside, then she circles several times until she finds the perfect spot to coze up in.
+ The way she will follow me anywhere and walks beside me with more loyalty than any human I’ve encountered.
+ Her tiny paws that she has placed in my hands when I’ve needed it most.
+ Her little chihuahua mane that glows when back-lit.
+ Her bravery and fearlessness that constantly reminds me to put my worries aside and live bravely in each moment.
+ Her ability to sleep ANYWHERE. I can put a cocktail napkin down on concrete and she’ll take this as an official “nap invitation”.
+ The way she bosses Milo around, and just about ANY other dog she encounters. A rottie, pit, a BUFFALO wouldn’t intimidate this 13-pound sassy little lady. She fears nothing and likes to lead everything. I often say that if our future children have HALF of Gracie’s confidence they will be set for life.
+ The way she twirls when she’s excited. And twirls, and twirls, and never gets dizzy.
+ Gracie just wants to spend time with us. So much so that I can walk into another room for mere moments, and she’ll be on my heels finding a spot to curl up in and keep me company.
+ Whether we’re on the rocky shores of Maine or the frozen ground in the mountains, or IN A KAYAK, whatever the terrain or situation, Gracie is excited and comfortable and ready to dive into whatever we are dong. She is game for whatever, whenever, as long as we’re together. Talk about being in the moment, she is IN each one with all of the gumption she can muster.
+ The way she looks up at Will and I with total love in her eyes. Gracie loves her aunts and uncles (Barr, K$, and ShaSha know what’s up), but the way she gazes up at Will and I is an unparalleled adoration. It is pure love, that I cherish and appreciate so deeply.
+ The way her tiny black-tipped tail is always curled.
+ Our connection. It’s unreal how this creature is so connected to me. She FEELS what I feel. She knows what I’m thinking. We communicate without words sometimes in such a subtle but precise way. She is one of the deepest connections I’ve ever had, and it’s pretty amazing to see.
+ Most importantly, her bright, bold, loving spirit that lives fully in every single moment she has on this earth. Soak it up, baby girl. Thank you for choosing Will and me as your human companions who get to love you and watch you live every moment to the fullest. Our moments are so much more precious and beautiful because you are ours.

I could go on forever. The reasons to adore and cherish this precious soul are endless. We’ll be moving on her birthday, but she’ll be sure to get extra hugs, snuggles, and treats all weekend long, no matter what. She sure does deserve them.
More Gracie Strudel:
1 / 2 / 3 / 4