When Mary Violante adopted Gracie, a now 11-year-old Chihuahua-Dachshund mix, from a pet rescue organization, she had no idea that she would one day save someone’s life. Little dogs like Chihuahua’s are known for their constant little yapping sounds, but one day Gracie began barking a bark that Violante had never heard before.
Little did she know, it was Gracie’s way of telling her that something was wrong.
Violante and Gracie live together at an independent-living community in Wake Forest, North Carolina. When Violante was outside talking to one of her friend’s in the courtyard, it was hard to ignore Gracie’s persistent barks.
So, Violante followed Gracie around the corner and past some bushes before discovering John Ball lying on the ground.
Ball is a 92-year-old man who is blind and vertically challenged. He had fallen down on his outdoor patio after losing his balance, and was unable to get up. When Gracie saw him lying there, she immediately jumped into action to gain the attention of her owner. Violante quickly called 911 for Ball, but thankfully he only suffered a few cuts on his arm and a bruised back.
No one else was in the courtyard aside from Gracie, so if she hadn’t gotten help, who knows how long Ball would have been lying there for. It’s safe to say that little Gracie is a hero, and her barking has finally came in handy.
Ball showed his appreciation for Gracie with a balloon, some treats, and a ‘thank you’ card that read: “Dear Gracie, Thank you for your big commotion you made yesterday alerting humans that I needed help – you are my hero! Lassie would be so proud. You get the good neighbor award. I am honored to be your friend. Visit me sometime, let’s stay on barking terms. Bark On, Gracie! Your friend, John Ball.”