Associated Press
Monday, November 30, 2020

CHICAGO (AP) - A dog that darted out of an open door nearly a year ago and has been living on the streets ever since is finally back home in Chicago.

Gracie, a 6-year-old pit bull, was reunited over the weekend with her owner, Kelly Shade, thanks to a couple of people who took time to gain the dog’s trust, capture it and return it home.

“She got close and that tail started wagging, and she just lost it and I lost it,” Shade told WLS-TV.

It was last December when Gracie hightailed it. Shade searched, posted signs, contacted shelters and “cried for months.”

Over the summer, people in the Jackson Park Highlands neighborhood where Shade lives noticed a skittish black dog with white feet roaming around. One of them was Polly Ellison, a fellow pet owner.

“She was in obvious fear of potential harm (and) I just couldn’t turn my back on her,” Ellison said, explaining why she started feeding Gracie and kept feeding the dog for months to gain the dog’s trust.

Ellison and Katie Campbell, who has rescued dogs before, kept up the routine long enough to capture Gracie. Then, after detecting a microchip under Gracie’s skin, she was able to track down Shade.

For Campbell, the reunion underscored something she wants all dog owners to know.

“People need to realize the ability of a dog to survive and just never give up on them,” she said.

For Shade, there is also a lesson about not giving up on other people.

“In the world we live in and we hear all these bad things, to hear there are kind-hearted people willing to go above and beyond,” she said.

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