The pet rescue called her “Chance.” This is fitting since she came to us entirely by chance.
We were not looking for a dog. Her face popped up on my phone in a text sent by my son’s girlfriend.
We were receiving a blast of texts with various photos because, after 13 years of faithful service, our two beloved dogs had both died of old age within weeks of each other.
Our hearts were heavy, and our house was much too quiet.
It was the tilt that got us. In the photo, the dog’s sleek black head was tipped to one side. Ears cocked. She looked quizzical. The caption mentioned that this dog was part of the “St. Thomas Group.” I had no idea what that meant. I set the phone aside.
Our daughter, however, would not be dissuaded.
“Look at her mom. Just look!”
So I said I would call them. There is no harm in just calling right? A phone call is not a commitment after all.
So I called and was given an application email. No harm in emailing right? So I sent an email.
In the meantime, our daughter had already fallen in love. Thus began my life as a stalker. I emailed again. I sent photos of our family.
I all but included references from our cat: “great family. Soft beds. Little slow on the treats.”
I think our daughter must have asked a half dozen time per day over the next few days “did the rescue call?”
Finally, they did. A meeting time was set at the foster home. I’ve been less nervous for job interviews.
Our first sight of her was a shiny black blur leaping energetically at us behind a glass storm door. Suddenly, she paused, looked up and cocked her head. Our daughter sighed “oh mom I love her.”
I knew then that she was our dog. She hadn’t yet moved to our state, let alone our home, but she had already won our hearts.
We took her home that day. We named her Nova Grace. Nova has big brown eyes and sleek dark hair and the most exquisite little elfin face like a canine Audrey Hepburn.
She is best described as a mix of Terrier/Chihuahua/Pure Rocket Fuel.
Her nickname: “Nova Grace the Flying Ace.” This before we knew that she had come to us by plane.
We would later come across news coverage of the day the “St. Thomas Dogs” arrived in Pittsburgh. In the clip Nova is motionless in a cage, head cocked to the side in what we know is her classic “I’m figuring this out” look.
The fact that she is so still in the video tells us how scared she must have been. Nova Grace is not still unless she is asleep.
She didn’t know yet that the plane, and those people, were angels saving animals.
Today she goes nowhere slowly. To watch her cavorting around the house is to see what a canine/goat mix might look like.
She is a handful and completely spoiled, and if anyone in the family tries to discipline her, someone recalls that tiny dog, in a crate, on a plane and she generally gets whatever she wants.
To say that Nova Grace has brought joy to our home is an understatement.
People tend to pat us on the back for “rescuing” a dog. When I think of all the love and laughter this sweet, silly and oh-so-bouncy black dog has brought to our home we know that it was Nova Grace who rescued us.