This little mutt brings us so much joy, it feels almost selfish not to share her with you.

This is Gracie Strudel Allan Cole, our rescue mutt.

Gracie was found on the side of the highway in Virginia by one of the rescuers at New York’s Mighty Mutts. We first saw her on Petfinder, then Will and I adopted the little one on September 15, 2005.

Gracie came to us in desperate need of love and a family, and has flourished with the security, affection and attention we give her.

From day one, Grace was a devoted sister to Thurman, our elderly beagle. When he was with us, Grace really looked out for him. She made sure Thurman was keeping up and doing alright.

Needy and super-clingy when she came to us, Grace has flourished into a confident, happy, sweet, well-adjusted pooch. Separation anxiety has been a battle, but has calmed over time.

Although the separation anxiety is something she might always have from her abandonment and “life on the streets”, it has improved dramatically. Hopefully, now she is secure enough to know we will always come home for her.

A little bundle of doe-like love, this alien-looking chihuahua/rat terrier mix is the best thing that could have happened to Will and I.

Rescuing animals is the most rewarding experience. They give back ten-fold, whatever you give.

Gracie Strudel is a true rescue success story.