A construction worker left Kelly Shade’s door open in December while she was having work done on her property. Dog Gracie dashed out the door to avoid the construction sounds.
Shade feared for Gracie’s safety when she didn’t return home that night. ‘We plastered fliers all over, and we promised a reward,’ Shade explained to The Dodo. She’s microchipped, but the chip’s purpose is to identify her, not to locate her.”
“We were hoping that someone would locate her and take her to the clinic to have her microchip scanned,” Shade explained. “But we hadn’t heard anything – we got a lot of phone calls, but it was never Gracie.”
The weeks and months passed, and Shade began to doubt whether she’d ever be reunited with her beloved pet.
Katie Campbell, a rescuer who tracks and traps stray dogs in the Chicago area, received a call from a friend about a stray black and white pittie who’d been visiting a local woman’s property in search of food nearly a year later. Polly Ellison had been feeding the dog twice a day in the hopes of earning her trust. However, the puppy appeared to be unwilling to accept assistance.
As Campbell said to The Dodo, “She told me a little about the dog’s mannerisms, how she was scared”. A WiFi trail camera and a standard trail camera were set up to monitor whether or not she came to eat at the time.
To lure the dog inside, Campbell set up a trap one day early on Thursdays, noting that the dog would always come up on that day. As Campbell put it, “We laid a trap with some hotpot roast and Vienna sausages and drove away.” “The dog was familiar with my car, so we didn’t want her to feel as if we were keeping an eye out.”
The dog couldn’t say no to such a wonderful food. “She went in in approximately 10 minutes!” Campbell said. “We were parked a half block away when my camera pinged, and I noticed the image she was in, so we zipped up.”
Upon returning to her home, Campbell fed and watered for the dog. The dog wagging her tail and placing her head on Campbell’s shoulder when she opened the trap door.
This shocked Campbell, who had been scanning for the dog’s microchip with great anticipation.
Calling the microchip company confirmed that Gracie was indeed the dog. Campbell dialed Shade’s number, and she burst into tears of joy.
“I texted Gracie’s image and her address to Campbell, and we agreed to meet up after some calming down and mutual crying,” Campbell recounted. “I’m sure everything was stressful for Gracie because she had been on the street for so long.”
When Gracie saw her mom for the first time in a year after getting out of Campbell’s car, all traces of tiredness vanished.
“Gracie went closer and closer to [her mother] and the second she sniffed Kelly it was just absolute ecstasy,” Campbell recalled. “She began to wiggle and leap around in circles around Kelly, surrounding her entire body. In my opinion, it was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen.”
Gracie and Shade’s heartfelt reunion can be seen here:
For a brief moment, seeing Shade’s beloved puppy again put the world back together.
That moment was like something out of a movie, Shade remarked. “Such stories are common, but to have it happen to me felt a little out of the ordinary. After watching the video, I’m still amazed that it truly happened. In the end, Gracie made it home.'”