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Finding a home for Gracie

Geri Glover knows how hard it's going to be on her niece, Claire Matthews, to say goodbye for a time to her dog, Gracie. Glover and others are trying to find a temporary home for Gracie in between their visits to Matthews' mother, Susan, who is in hospice care. They hope to find someone who will take care of Gracie until Claire graduates in June.

Gracie needs a place to stay.

It need only last for a couple of months until her best friend, Claire Matthews, officially graduates from Hamilton High School.

It would be great if Gracie's foster home was a place filled with love and understanding.

You see, Gracie has been through a lot lately.

The four-year-old little stout-bodied terrier, dachshund and maybe corgi mix was rescued by Susan Matthews and her daughter, Claire.

In her own way, she helped rescue them.

Gracie was the one constant for the two as Susan fought her battle with breast cancer.

“She likes to sit on our lap,” said Susan’s sister, Geri Glover. “Or to sit right up against you. Sometimes she likes to sit on the back of the chair right by your head.”

Susan Matthews is now in hospice care. Last week, Claire and a group of her classmates held a mock graduation at Hamilton’s Discovery Care Centre so Susan could see her daughter graduate.

The plan now calls for Claire to move in with a school counselor at the end of this month. She plans to move to Seattle to be with her brother after graduation.

She hopes to take Gracie with her.

Sally Blevins of Darby has been helping the family through this difficult time. She’s hoping to find a good foster home for Gracie.

“She’s up to date with her shots and all of that stuff,” Blevins said. “She’s good with dogs her size, but she is a little cautious around new people. It takes a while for her to warm up to them. Lately, she’s had a lot of changes in her life, but she’s doing better.

“The situation is that we need to find a foster home for Gracie until Claire graduates,” she said. “It’s a short period of time. We want to do what we can to make sure that Claire can have her dog again.”

Glover is heading back home to New Mexico at the end of the week. Another sister is coming to be with Susan and Claire next week.

“It would be great if someone would step forward and say they can help this week,” Glover said. “After next week, it really starts to become critical.”

Glover knows that it’s not easy for Claire to be separated right now from her dog.

“She knows that’s what we need to do, though,” Glover said. “She probably would like to visit Gracie. It would be nice if the people would be willing to let Claire stop by from time to time.

“Gracie really is part of this family,” she said. “She’s actually become more social over the last few days. There have been a lot of people coming in and out. Maybe she just gave up and decided that having some new people around would be OK.”

Claire knows that whoever decides to foster Gracie won’t regret it.

“Lady Gracie is a low rider who is slow to trust, but will eventually exploit you for belly rubs and attention,” she said. “She’s still a puppy at heart.”

Anyone interested in helping can call Blevins at 406-821-0920. No texting please.

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Associate Editor

Reporter for The Ravalli Republic.