Gracie, a six-year-old pit bull that lives in Chicago, recently reunited with her owner after going missing last December

By Eric Todisco
December 02, 2020 01:27 PM
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Home sweet home!

Nearly one year after Gracie, a 6-year-old pit bull, went missing from her Chicago home, the canine recently reunited with her owner in what is being called "a holiday miracle."

"She got close and that tail started wagging, and she just lost it and I lost it," Gracie's owner, Kelly Shade, told ABC 7.

Last December, Gracie wandered away from Shade's home after a visitor left the front door open.

And for the next 11 months, Shade — who has had Gracie since the dog was two months old — worked tirelessly to find her pup.

"We posted signs everywhere; we posted on Lost Dog Illinois, contacted all the shelters in the neighborhood and I just cried for months," she told the outlet.

Credit: ABC 7 Chicago

Over the summer, residents from the Jackson Park Highlands neighborhood of Chicago discovered Gracie less than two miles from Shade's home. But Gracie, terrified to get close to other people and dogs, refused to go home with them.

Luckily, neighbor and fellow pet owner Polly Ellison began feeding Gracie over the course of the next few months to gain her trust.

"She was in obvious fear of potential harm [and] I just couldn't turn my back on her," Ellison told ABC 7.

Ellison eventually managed to capture Gracie with the help of Katie Campbell, who rescues stray dogs in her spare time. Campbell detected a microchip in Gracie and quickly tracked down Shade.

"I just started crying all over again," Shade recalled to ABC7 when she learned Gracie had been found.

Said Campbell, "People need to realize the ability of a dog to survive and just never give up on them. That's really the biggest thing you can teach people is never give up."

"Definitely a holiday miracle," Shade said. "It's definitely remarkable."