Gracie, a black border collie with a sweet personality, has been welcomed as one of the family by staff and residents at Manila Nursing Center.
(Town Crier photo/Revis Blaylock)
A few months ago Gracie was in the Jonesboro Animal Shelter and was about to be put down when an animal control officer noticed she was in labor. She gave birth to four cream-colored puppies. She and her puppies were featured in the Jonesboro Sun.
Several of the staff members were reading about Gracie in the newspaper. Gracie had one week after her puppies were weaned to be adopted or again, she would face euthanasia.
Registered nurse Carol Luoma, an animal person, approached Shari Doty, MNC administrator, about adopting Gracie for the nursing home facility.
Doty said she would make some calls and see what could be done. Several staff members assured Doty if for some reason it did not work out, they would take Gracie home with them.
Gracie came to Manila for a weekend visit to see how she would interact with the staff and residents.
"She did better than we ever would have expected," Doty said. "She moved right in and made herself at home. She would go to the residents who called her. The staff took turns taking her out during their breaks. Everyone immediately fell in love with Gracie. Somewhere in her life, she had been well trained. She does well on a leash. She loves running in the back fenced-in area."
Gracie was officially adopted by Manila Nursing Center on July 6.
She is not allowed in the dining area but enjoys walking the halls, visiting with staff and residents in the lounge area and getting all of the attention she can handle.
Dana Towell, owner of Groomingdale's in Manila, gave her a shampoo and haircut at no charge.
Gracie is two to three years old. After the adoption, Gracie was spayed and has done very well after the surgery.
"While she was at the veterinarian being spayed, it was discovered she needs medical treatment for heart worms," Laquitta Nelson, staff member, said. "There was no doubt about it, she will get the $350 treatment."
Doty said staff members started chipping in for her treatment.
"One staff member said she was giving her soda money for a week and another said she was giving up cigarettes and donated money," Doty said. "Probably 90 percent of our residents had pets at home and they are enjoying having Gracie around. Gracie gets along with everyone. She likes the residents, staff, family members and children who visit. I don't know if she could get any more spoiled."
Gracie is a lucky lady. Not only was her life spared twice, she went from being homeless to having a home with a family of over 100 to love and care for her.